- country occupying the W portion of the island of Hispaniola, West Indies: 10,700 sq mi (27,713 sq km); pop. 5,054,000; cap. Port-au-Prince
A country of the West Indies comprising western Hispaniola and two offshore islands. Originally inhabited by Arawak Indians, the region became a French colony in 1697. Following a slave revolt led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, an independent republic was established in 1804 comprising the entire island of Hispaniola. The eastern part of the island revolted in 1843, forming the Dominican Republic. In the 1900s, Haiti was ruled by a series of dictatorships, including the repressive regimes of François Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude, who was ousted in 1986. Jean-Bertrand Aristide became Haiti's first democratically elected president in 1991. Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city.
OriginSee also: Haïti
From Taino hayiti (“mountainous land”).