The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers

In 1791, enslaved Haitians ousted the French and founded a nation. But France made generations of Haitians pay for their freedom. How much it cost them was a mystery, until now.

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Hasnain says:

Well sourced, engaging article on the absolute misery the world (especially, France) put Haiti through. I learnt a lot from this one.

Minor qualms aside (a few exaggerated claims of being the 'first' to report on this; concerns around local experts not being cited) this is well written and worth a read.

"No country could be expected to come to Haiti’s defense. The world powers had frozen it out, refusing to officially acknowledge its independence. American lawmakers in particular did not want enslaved people in their own country to be inspired by Haiti’s self-liberation and rise up.

So, Haiti’s president, eager for the trade and security of international recognition, bowed to France’s demands. With that, Haiti set another precedent: It became the world’s first and only country where the descendants of enslaved people paid reparations to the descendants of their masters — for generations.

It is often called the “independence debt.” But that is a misnomer. It was a ransom."

Posted on 2022-05-22T01:17:34+0000