Skip to main content
Haitian President Jean-Pierre Boyer receiving Charles X’s decree recognizing Haitian independence on July 11, 1825. Bibliotheque Nationale de France

Haitian President Jean-Pierre Boyer receiving Charles X’s decree recognizing Haitian independence on July 11, 1825. Bibliotheque Nationale de France

June 22, 2022

How Haiti is Still Feeling the Impact From Colonialism and Slavery

Ask Students: What was the reason behind the Haitian president’s agreement to France’s demands for reparations? How was Haiti’s economy affected by these payments?

Share

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Pinterest
Share On LinkedIn
Email

Summary

Once the richest colony in the New World, Haiti is now one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere for reasons that are often overlooked. The New York Times recently conducted an unprecedented investigation into those root causes, which includes an “independence debt” totaling to about $21 billion to Haiti’s former colonizer: France. The Times’ Catherine Porter, who led the team that uncovered the story, joins Ali Rogin to discuss. For a transcript of the video, click here

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions

  1. Where is Haiti?
  2. When and why did Haitians overthrow their colonial rulers?
  3. What was the reason behind the Haitian president’s agreement to France’s demands for reparations?
  4. How was Haiti’s economy affected by these payments?
  5. Who pushed the U.S. State Department to invade and occupy Haiti in the early 1900s?

Focus Questions

In 2004, the Haitian president urged France to return the billions of dollars Haiti was forced to pay to preserve their independence. Do you think this should occur? How would this aid Haiti today?

Media Literacy: How can you find more information about Haiti’s history that wasn’t included in this segment?

Additional Resource

See this explainer from AJ+:

Remote video URL

 

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

Post a comment

Log in or Sign Up to post a comment.