Few people look at the history of Haiti to gain an understanding of its current political or economic situation. Many will be able to tell you that it is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere though few know that this stems in large part from the reparations that Haiti was forced to pay to French slaveholders by France, the U.S. and other nations in 1825: 90 million francs (or $21 billion today). This embarassing, morally backwards, and economically crippling demand impeded Haiti from utilizing its early independence, only 17 years after the U.S., for the betterment of its nascent republic. Haiti did not complete paying off this debt for 122 years. Luckily, the U.S. didn’t have to pay similar reparations to the British for the 587, 182 slaves (very near the population of present-day Boston) in the U.S. around the time of independence since they kept them and proceeded to utilize their labor for free for the next several decades. What if…
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