Caroline's Wedding Historical Context

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Violence and Political Unrest in Haiti

Haiti’s history is one of violence and political unrest, and its population has been subjected to many occupations and enslavements. Haiti is situated in the western part of an island called Hispaniola; the eastern part is called the Dominican Republic. Hispaniola was inhabited by the Taino and Arawak peoples (classed as indigenous peoples of the Americas) when in 1492, the explorer Christopher Colombus landed and claimed the island for Spain. The Spanish enslaved the indigenous people and imported African slaves to mine for gold. In the 1600s, French, Dutch, and British pirates established bases in Haiti. In 1664, France claimed control of the western part of the island, calling it Saint-Domingue. The colony prospered, growing sugar and coffee. The population was divided into ruling white Europeans, free black people, and black slaves. The majority of slaves were African-born, since harsh conditions meant...

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