Haiti History Timeline
Timeline Description: Haiti's history is one of colonization, occupation and significant political unrest. Haiti's political stability has been repeatedly threatened through the 20th and 21st century, both by political events, and natural ones, like the horror of the 2010 earthquake.

Date Event
1492 Columbus Reached Haiti

Columbus reached Haiti in 1492, quickly bringing an end to the vibrant native culture of the Taino people.
1508 Spanish Slave Trade Established

The Spanish officially established the African slave trade in 1508, providing an ongoing supply of slaves moving into Haiti.
1592 Last Queen of Haiti Executed

The last native queen of Haiti, Queen Anacaona of the Taino Kingdom in Haiti, was executed by the Spanish.
1625 French Settlers Reached Haiti

The first French settlers reached Haiti in 1625. The French influence significantly shaped Haiti over coming centuries, even after Haitian independence from France.
1751 Slave Rebellions in Saint-Dominique

Slave rebellions began in 1751 in Saint-Dominique. These challenged the status quo and put white slaveholders at risk, since they were dramatically outnumbered.
August 14, 1791 Haitian Revolution Began

On August 14, 1791, the Haitian revolution began. Slave rebellions had already been common in Haiti. The revolution was military and political, leading to widespread massacres of white landowners.
April 4, 1792 French Legislature Granted Equal Rights

The French legislature formally granted legal rights to all French people and those within French colonies. This legislation was the first step in the abolition of slavery.
1793 Toussaint Gained Power(1793 to 1799)

Over the years between 1793 and 1799, the military general Toussaint consolidated power and gained additional political power through military actions.
February 4, 1794 Abolition of Slavery in All French Colonies

The French legislature officially abolished slavery in all French colonies, including Haiti, in February 1794.
July 8, 1801 Haitian Constitution of 1801

Haiti drafted its first constitution in 1801. This constitution made the military leader, Toussaint, governor for life.
March 1802 Toussaint Defeated by French Forces

The military leader, Toussaint, was defeated by the French in March 1802. Toussaint had the support of the Spanish, but not the Haitian peoples.
January 1, 1804 Haitian Independence

In January 1804, Haiti declared itself independent of French control, under the leadership of the revolutionary Dessalines.
January 1, 1807 Division of Haiti

In 1807, Haiti split into the Republic of Haiti and the State of Haiti, divided between North and South, following a significant battle.
December 31, 1843 Constitution of 1843

After some political strife in Haiti, a new constitution was drafted and president appointed in 1843.
July 28, 1915 U.S. Occupation Began

Following a period of significant unrest, U.S. troops occupy Haiti. The United States remained in control of Haiti until 1934.
August 14, 1934 Occupation Ended

The U.S. Occupation ended in August 1934. By 1935, the people oof Haiti have a new constitution.
October 22, 1957 "Papa Doc" Duvalier Elected

Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier is elected President of Haiti. He goes on to institute a reign of terror and presidency for life. He is succeeded by his son.
December 16, 1990 Democratic Elections

In December 1990, after a long period of totalitarian rule, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president. He supported the poor; however, he was soon deposed by a military coup.
1994 U.S. Occupation

Following repeated bouts of violence and unrest, the country of Haiti was occupied by U.S. forces with the support and approval of the United Nations. Several months later, the UN officially took over; however, U.S. forces remained key to the occupation.
January 12, 2010 Earthquake

On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck the city of Port-au-Prince. More than 230,000 people were killed and the city's infrastructure destroyed.