Speech: History of Haiti

Topics: Haiti, Dominican Republic, Latin America Pages: 6 (1732 words) Published: November 28, 2008
Title: The history of Haiti

Purpose: To understand how Haiti became what it is and all the trials it has endured

Thesis: In order to explain Haiti’s history I will discuss its location, when and how it became independent and Haiti today and also its early history


Attention Getter: Who here has heard of the horrible plight of Haiti? Haiti has been through constant suffering everyday due to economic difficulty, lack of food, lack of clean water, hurricanes, and possibly everything that could go wrong with the world. I’m sure no one in their right mind would want to be there now but does anyone know how Haiti became as it is now. Well that’s what I’m about to tell you.

Preview: In order to understand the history of Haiti I must explain 1) its early history, 2) where it’s located and its population 3) when and how it became independent and Haiti today

[Transition: First let me explain a little about Haiti’s location and population]


I. According to The History of Haiti by Steeve Coupeau Haiti is a small country of some 17,398.39 miles 28,000 km².

1. Haiti was once a prosperous paradise but now is a disheveled wasteland

Haiti is located approximately 750 miles southeast of Florida and just to the east of Cuba. Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Haiti has a land mass of 10,714 sq. miles. Haiti, an Indian word meaning "mountains," is made up of extremely mountainous country of which only 20 percent of the territory lies below 600 feet. The highest mountain in Haiti (Chain de la Sel) is almost 9,000 feet above sea level.  The climate in Haiti is tropical with average temperatures ranging from 80 degrees in January to 86 degrees in July. There are also two rainy seasons. The first runs from April to June and the second between October and November. The terrain is mountainous and only 15%is flat

Haiti is one of poorest countries out there due to decline of agriculture

It was once known as the Pearl of the Antilles, a beautiful fertile paradise that was later exploited at the arrival of the French.

[Transition: Now that I’ve explained a little about Haiti’s location let me explain about Haiti’s early history]

II. In order to understand Haiti’s early history and how it got the name Haiti

A. In 1492 Christopher Columbus set up a Spanish settlement Navidad on the north coast of the island of Hispaniola known as Haiti today. 1. It was called Santo Domingo

a. According to Thayer Watkins of applet-magic.com it became a staging point for later expeditions and supplied supplies for conquistadors in Mexico and others. b. The Spaniards were given estates on the island and were allowed control over the natives.

2. Santo Domingo (Sainte-Dominigue) becomes Haiti

a. After the conquest of Mexico and the establishment of New Spain lost its status and their economy dramatically dropped b. In the 16th century Spain lost control of the seas to the Dutch, French and the British. In the 17th century Santo Domingo was invaded by pirates and others and soon belonged to the French. The French named the island Sainte-Dominigue but later changed it to the Haiti based upon its native name which means mountainous.

3. Slaves

a. The French were into foreign trade so they traded valuables for slaves with Africa. b. Mulattoes born from the slaves and white men were given special privileges and were slightly wealthy c. In 1751-1757 to the 18th century escaped slaves formed a grouped called maroons and using a method called guerilla warfare fought against the French for their independence, many mulattoes joined as well

[Transition: Now that I’ve explained a little about Haiti’s location and it’s early year let me explain about how they got their Independence and Haiti Today]

III. In The First Black Republic in August 1791 against the farm owners...

References: Watkins, Thayer (1991). Political and Economic History of Haiti http://www.applet-magic.com/haiti.htm
Crawfurd, Jacob (2003) updated (2004). 200 years of independence for Haiti: The first black Republic
Laguerre, Eusau (2008). Independence of Haiti http://www.travelinghaiti.com/history_of_haiti/independence_haiti.asp
Coupeau, Steeve (2007) the History of Haiti, the Pearl of the Antilles (pp. 1-3) Greenwood: Greenwood Publishing Group
Léger, Jacques Nicolas (1907) Haiti, Her History and Her Detractors, (pp. 22) Michigan: The Neale Pub. Co.
Richard A. Haggerty, Dominican Republic and Haiti: Country Studies, Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1991.
Bourne, Joel K.Jr (2008). National Geographic: Dirt Poor, (pp 108-111) Vol.214- No. 3
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