The history of the Haitian debt to France

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. The Haitian Revolution, which took place between 1790-1804 and resulted in Haiti becoming an independent nation at last after slavery had been abolished there for over 200 years, did not bring prosperity to this new Caribbean territory due largely because of the Haitian debt to France. Haiti owed France the compensation money they demanded as their price going into those conflicts.

Yet even though we’re talking centuries past here, before any European colonization started, Haiti was quite prosperous during certain points throughout its early years.

Following the Haitian Revolution, Saint-Domingue had become a valuable French colony. The demand for compensation led to decades of poverty as Haiti became heavily indebted to France and other powers who wanted their debts paid in full.

When Haitian independence was established in 1804, France demanded the newly formed country pay 150 million francs for French recognition and aid. In addition to this payment, they wanted 50% discounts on Haiti’s exports.

Because of these expectations, Haiti resembled a French colony. After payment, all of these constraints were relaxed, albeit certain limits remained because you couldn’t sell or purchase anything from those two countries without knowing if it was safe.

The Haitian debt to France crippled Haiti.

Payments to France in 1834 and 1947 left Haiti with a huge debt, which it could not afford. For the country to pay its lenders back without raising taxes or cutting spending on essentials such as food stamps (known then as “rations”), they were forced into taking loan installment plans that would continue year after year until this century’s end.

all at great suffering by both Haitians themselves who lived through these times while also having significant impacts globally because of how wealthy nations influenced their decisions using information from international news broadcasts about what was happening there during those periods when things seemed brightest but turned out otherwise due largely. Many believe that the Haitian debt to France has had an impact on what’s happening in Haiti in recent days.

Haitian President Aristide demanded payback.

As Haiti’s President Jean-Bertrand Aristide demanded in 2003, France paid Haiti more than 21 billion dollars, which he claimed was the equivalent of the 90 million gold francs Haiti had to pay Paris after its independence from France.

Because of Aristide’s calls for reparations, the French and Haitian governments collaborated with the United States on Aristide’s removal because they feared that reparations discussions in other former colonies would set a precedent for Algeria, according to French and Haitian officials.

President Aristide was overthrown in a coup d’état in February of that year.

International peacekeeping forces have not been sent to Haiti by the United Nations Security Council, of which France is a permanent member, after a request from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Haitian debt to france- The history of the Haitian debt to France

However, just hours after Aristide’s resignation, the Security Council voted unanimously to send troops into Haiti.

“Foolish” and “illegal” were the words used by provisional prime minister Gerard Latortue when rescinded the demand for reparations.

Concerning reparations due to the theft of the nation’s wealth throughout its history, Haiti’s government requested $17 billion from France in 2010.

One hundred scholars, artists, and E.U. politicians signed a petition for the motion, but the French government rejected the pleas from the nation they robbed — the petition was rejected. 

The new York Times Article

According to an investigation by The New York Times, Haiti made payments to France totaling millions of dollars after it gained independence. As a result, the Haitian economy was set back by billions of dollars. 

This setback helps to explain why tens of thousands of Haitian refugees have made their way to the border of the United States in search of safety. 

In the week since The New York Times published its Ransom project about forced payments Haiti made to its former colonizer after the country gained its independence, many Haitians have expressed feelings of joy. Some have demanded that France repay Haiti.

France’s role in the Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution was a complex and multi-layered conflict that had far-reaching consequences for the Atlantic world. At its heart was the question of slavery. Slavery had been a contentious issue in the colonies for many years. In 1791, enslaved people in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (modern-day Haiti) rose in rebellion against their enslavers. 

Over the next few years, the conflict spiraled into a full-scale war, with Haitian rebels fighting against not only the colonial authorities but also private slaveholders and other interested parties. France’s role in this conflict was significant, as the Haitian Revolution had major implications for the French Empire and the Atlantic slave trade. 

The Haitian Revolution showed that enslaved people could successfully rebel against their enslavers and demonstrated the power of popular resistance movements. In addition, Haiti became the first independent nation in Latin America, and its success inspired other enslaved peoples to fight for their freedom. As such, France’s role in the Haitian Revolution was crucial in shaping the course of both Haitian and Atlantic history.

French enslavers had a terrible impact on the lives of Haitians. After they won their independence, France and the United States cut them off from the rest of Europe. France and the United States’ economies were built on slavery, making Haiti’s acceptance of formerly enslaved people as citizens a threat.

To recognize Haiti’s independence, France agreed to pay billions of dollars in “compensation” to the people they abused, raped, and labored to death for centuries.

It’s unclear to me what Haiti owes France, but it is clear that France owes Haiti (along with the United States). 

Haiti’s debt to France

Haiti has a long and complicated history with France. In 1804, Haiti successfully won its independence after years of struggle. However, as part of the peace treaty, Haiti was forced to pay an exorbitant sum of money to France. 

This debt quickly became a burden for the young nation, and it was not until 1947 that Haiti finally managed to pay it off. Even today, Haiti is still feeling the effects of this debt. In 2010, Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed thousands of people. The 2010 earthquake left much of the country in ruins. 

After the disaster, France demanded that Haiti pay back the remaining debt balance. Haitian leaders eventually agreed to make payments only after France forgave a portion of the debt. The Haitian people have never forgotten this act of generosity, and France remains one of Haiti’s closest allies.

The Paris Club and Haiti’s debt relief

Days after the Haitian earthquake that killed over 200,000 people of Haiti in 2010, a group of nations known as the Paris Club of creditor nations announced that they would expedite the process of providing debt relief to Haiti and called on countries that were not a part of the group also to cancel a debt.

A compromise regarding the total cancellation of Haiti’s debt was reached with the Paris Club in the previous year. France reported the previous week that its members were currently working to accelerate the process of reaching the bilateral agreements that need to be reached to ensure that the accord is put into place.

The history of the Haitian debt to France

However, this debt has nothing to do with the Haitian debt to France for the revolution.

The first reduction of the Haitian debt to France. 

The amount was eventually reduced to 60 million gold francs, but Haiti has been struggling ever since to make these payments. Many believe that the debt is unfairly punitive and that France only keeps it in place to maintain control over Haiti’s politics and economy. 

Others argue that Haitians should be grateful they’re not being completely ignored by France and should focus on repaying what they owe.

Haiti has long been in debt to France, dating back to the 18th century. After Haiti’s successful slave revolt, France demanded reparations that crippled the Haitian economy. 

The country has continued to spiral into debt, while France has repeatedly refused to forgive the loans. This timeline explores the history of Haitian debt to France and how it has impacted the country’s development.


Does Haiti owe France money? 

The amount equivalent to 21 billion dollars in today’s currency was transferred from Haiti to France.

The wealth taken from Haiti and given to the French government, as well as the wealth taken from Haiti and given to the various banks that financed the Independence Debt, are well documented.

Will France pay Haiti back the money?

I believe France and the United States owe Haiti a debt that can never be fully repaid because of all the negative things they have done to the country.

France should return the money, but it won’t because doing so would set a precedent that other former French colonies in Africa could follow.

If France is serious about making amends, it should consistently provide access to its markets, investment capital, scholarships, and other opportunities. 

How much did the Haitian revolution cost Haiti?

By 1825, 150 million francs had been reduced to 90 million over time.

They could not pay it without taking loans from the United States and France.

It wasn’t completely paid off until the year 1947. 

How long did Haiti take to pay off its debts?

In 1893, the French government finally admitted that they had received the payment of 90,000,000F.

It wasn’t until 1947 that Haiti could finally pay off all of the interest associated with its debt. 

French Indemnity Law severely damaged the Haitian State and society. It aggravated an already exploitative regime and damaged its economic infrastructure, making it vulnerable to international exploitation.

American financiers, in particular, preyed on chauvinist nationalists.

The advantage provided them with what was best suited to the economy or politics while maintaining control at home.

They could profit from the profitable commerce route that ran through North America’s West Indies, including today’s Dominican Republic! 

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