U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Americas
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 03-10-2012, 08:04 AM
 
3,806 posts, read 5,199,282 times
Reputation: 3294

Advertisements

I think the difference goes back a long way.

Both are tiny countries, but Haiti is the smaller. Long ago though it was the biggest sugar producer in the world. This was accomplished by the French colonist managing what is generally regarded as the brutal slave society in the New World. One consequence of this was that Haiti had a rather large population of slaves. However, as slaves their food was limited. Now in Haiti eventually you had the largest and most successful slave rebellion in the New World. The French colonists and the army sent from France were defeated by the slaves (in consequence Napoleon ended up selling Louisiana to the US because he viewed France's colonies in the New World as being more trouble than they were worth without Haiti). With a work force of free men instead of slaves Haiti's sugar production plummetted. However, its population was more or less the same since the French colonists were always a tiny percentage of the population, but revenues had taken a huge hit with the loss of sugar production. So people did what they could to survive which usually results in instability in a society if it happens on a large scale. Since at the time and for a very long time afterwards no other place in the New World was interested in taking in a large number of people who had participated in a slave rebellion Haiti's always been stuck with a pretty high population which exacerbated the problems. On top of that Haitian Creole and even French which it is largely derived from aren't really all that common in the New World so this imposed another barrier on Haitians leaving Haiti.

Meanwhile if I remember correctly the Dominican Republic had a more gradual and calm end to slavery. The people of the DR also speak Spanish which is a much more useful language in the New World than French so it was easier for them to move elsewhere. DR is also larger than Haiti so it didn't suffer so much from overpopulation.

 
Old 03-10-2012, 08:24 AM
 
2,076 posts, read 3,078,229 times
Reputation: 883
I basically traveled across the Dominican Republic and Haiti on a pickup truck.

One point: rural Dominican Republic is just AS black as Haiti. I think a lot of tourists go to Santo Domingo or those mega resorts in Punta Cana and get this impressions that Dominicans look more like Ricans. Not true.

As to the subtle relations between these two people, I think this interaction between me and the Dominicans who took me to the border says it all. One guy was clearly a mix and was doing all the talking while the driver was more reserved and a black guy. The mixed Dominican freely admitted all his ancestry, he seemed proud of his European, Indian, and Black heritage. To him that made him a more 'true' Dominican to have a foot in all the races that make up the island. Kinda like an American white will proudly claim some NA ancestry.

But... He saw himself as a Latin and European culturally. That part was clear and he did look down on the full black people we came across in the villages. Even his friend driving the car but it really came to it: he downright hated the Haitians. He tried to keep me from crossing, telling me they all practice voodoo and other such things I don't remember anymore.
 
Old 03-10-2012, 08:43 AM
Status: "Then everything change forever..." (set 13 days ago)
 
5,173 posts, read 8,025,013 times
Reputation: 4269
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Artiste View Post
but didn't Spain invade/enslave DR for tons of hundreds of years? why don't they have the same disdain/resentment for the Spanish
As far as I know, slavery was very different on one side of the island from the other. In Haiti it was harsher and much more similar to the type that developed in the US, mostly because Haiti was a very rich colony with a plantation economy, much like in the US during slavery. In the Dominican side, slavery was mostly practiced by a very small percentage of the white population and much of that had to do with house chores and attending cattle. Aside from requiring less slaves, it also didn't require intense techniques to motivate the slaves to work. Overall, Dominican slaves received a much better treatment than Haitian slaves (or in most other places in the Americas.)

Also, most of the Haitian population were slaves at the time of their independence from France and half of all blacks were born in Africa. On the Dominican side, when they separated from Spain, most of the population was free despite being of mixed descent and most of the whites didn't even owned slaves. Due to the poverty that affected almost everyone of all colors on the Dominican side, the slavery institution from the initial colonial days broke down rather quickly through out the country and this help breakdown much of the racial barriers that developed in other countries, it remove any incentive for future resentment from large segments of the population (unlike in the US or in some other islands), and encouraged so much racial mixture between whites and black, that the DR is one of only two countries in the world with a majority population of mixed black-white ancestry (the other country is Cape Verde).

But personally, I think the most important factor is one of distance and intent. Spain is on the other side of the ocean and when the Dominicans separated from Spain, it was done bloodlessly and the Spaniards never attempted to reconquer the Dominicans or kill them off. Haiti, on the other hand, is right next door and for many decades attempted to conquer and, on occasion, commit genocide against the Dominican people. Also, Dominicans had a very bad experience after they asked Spain to recolonize them in the 1860s in order to put an end to the constant Haitian invasions and destruction of Dominican towns and people. That ended in a very bloody war in 1865 and many Dominicans see that as completely unnecessary since it all started due to Haitians attempt at conquering the Dominican people. Without that, there would had been no need for the Dominicans to ask to be recolonized and much of the historical animosity between the two countries could had been avoided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PosterExtraordinaire
One point: rural Dominican Republic is just AS black as Haiti. I think a lot of tourists go to Santo Domingo or those mega resorts in Punta Cana and get this impressions that Dominicans look more like Ricans. Not true
According to the CIA World Factbook, over 3/4 of the population live in urban areas.

Also, of the 9 million or so people living there, roughly 1 million are Haitian and their descendants, and between 6-7 million live in just two areas, the Santo Domingo metro area and the Cibao Valley.

Another fact that should be mentioned is that Haitian immigrants are heavily employed in construction and farm work, over 80% of the labor force in those sectors, if I'm not mistaken. They also do a lot of the informal work such as selling things on the street, washing windshields at intersections, begging and such.

Last edited by AntonioR; 03-10-2012 at 09:01 AM..
 
Old 03-10-2012, 08:54 AM
 
2,076 posts, read 3,078,229 times
Reputation: 883
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonio84 View Post

According to the CIA World Factbook, over 3/4 of the population live in urban areas.

Also, of the 9 million or so people living there, roughly 1 million are Haitian and their descendants, and between 6-7 million live in just two areas, the Santo Domingo metro area and the Cibao Valley.

Another fact that should be mentioned is that Haitian immigrants are heavily employed in construction and farm work, over 80% of the labor force in those sectors, if I'm not mistaken. They also do a lot of the informal work such as selling things on the street, washing windshields at intersections, begging and such.
The blacks in these villages and rural areas were Dominicans because they spoke Spanish (I don't speak French) though maybe they learned

Even a village like Boca Chica is about 99% black to my eyes. Overall I'd say the Dominican is about 50% black based on my impressions and not on any statistics.

People in Latin countries self-identify differently than here in the USA so you're gonna get stats that don't match your perception.
 
Old 03-10-2012, 09:06 AM
 
3,500 posts, read 4,957,688 times
Reputation: 3493
O.K. I have Jared Diamond's 2005 (Pulitzer-Prize winning) book in front of me now, entitled "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed." Chapter 11, talks about the divergent paths that Haiti and the Dominican Republic took. I will summarize what he says.

Originally, both parts of the island were largely forested. Today (as of 2005), 28% of the Dominican Republic is still forested, but only 1% of Haiti. Haiti's difficulties are much more serious than those of the DR. Haiti's perennially corrupt government offers minimal public services such as electricity, water, sewage, medical care, and schooling. Haiti has 1/3 of the whole island's land area, but nearly 2/3 of the island's population, and an average density approaching 1,000 per square mile, most of them subsistence farmers. (During colonial times Haiti had 7 times the population of the DR). Haiti's rate of pupulation growth, and its rate of AIDS, TB and malaria, are among the highest in the New World.

DR is more developed than Haiti and its problems are less acute. DR's per capita income is 5 times higher than Haiti's, and the population density and population growth rate are lower. Haiti's economy consists of mostly subsistence farming, some coffee and sugar exports, 20,000 jobs making clothing or other export goods, a few tourist zones, and illegal drugs. Compare this with the DR, which since 1967 has been at least nominally a democracy without any military coup (unlike Haiti's recent history). Industries in the DR include iron, nickel, (until recently) gold, and bauxite mining, 200,000 workers in free trade zones, several hydroelectric dams, and numerous cash crops. Training baseball players is also popular.

Haiti's national park system is tiny, and is threatened by peasants felling trees for charcoal. The DR's national reserve system by contrast, is relatively the most comprehensive and largest in the Americas.

BUT - In the 1800s Haiti used to be much richer and more powerful than the DR. Haiti invaded the DR several times, and annexed it for 22 years. So what happened? One factor is that Haiti's constitution always forbade foreigners from owning land or controlling means of production through investments. The DR on the other hand, welcomend and offered citizenship to immigrants, including from various European and middle-eastern countries. This helped the DR develop a market-export economy. Also, Haiti cut down its forests in the 1800s the develop intensive farming, and it has never recovered from this. Haiti's elite identified with France, and were only interested in extracting money from peasants, not in developing Haiti's economy.

Environmental differences in the 2 countries; The island's rains come mainly from the East. Thus the DR receives more rain and supports more plant growth, and has more rivers than Haiti, and thicker soils. In contrast, Haiti is drier, with limestone terrain, and thinner soils, less fertile and with less capacity for recovery.

The DR's dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961) sought to develop cash export crops, an industrial economy and modern state, but Haiti's dictator Duvalier did not do these things. With more forest cover and rivers, the DR was able to build hydroelectric dams, and its next leader, Joaquin Balaguer, stressed the use of propane and Venezuelan gas for fuel, thus avoiding deforestation for charcoal as the Haitians did. The Dominican armed forces strictly enforced bans on illegal logging by using survey flights and military operations.

Unfortunately the 21st century has seen worse environmental problems in the DR, such as human poisoning from agricultural herbicides, smoke from mining operations, litter and consumer waste, and smog from motor vehicles.

Last edited by slowlane3; 03-10-2012 at 09:22 AM..
 
Old 03-10-2012, 09:09 AM
Status: "Then everything change forever..." (set 13 days ago)
 
5,173 posts, read 8,025,013 times
Reputation: 4269
Quote:
Originally Posted by PosterExtraordinaire View Post
The blacks in these villages and rural areas were Dominicans because they spoke Spanish (I don't speak French) though maybe they learned
I know there are many black Dominicans, but most people there don't live in the countryside or in small villages. To me, most seemed mixed, at least they had features that didn't quite match those of unmixed heritage and compared to the Haitians who for the most part are quite unmixed and uniform, with rare exceptions. I know for us Americans, there are mixed race features we see as black, but in most of the world, mixed race features are seen as mixed race features. lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by PosterExtraordinaire
People in Latin countries self-identify differently than here in the USA so you're gonna get stats that don't match your perception.
That's true. Often times, we Americans tend to assume our way of seeing the world is how most of the world does it, but the opposite is true. US history is very unique and explains why some things are done in the USA and hardly anywhere else. Then we're shocked when we travel abroad.
 
Old 03-10-2012, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,475,201 times
Reputation: 8776
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
How did you come to the conclusion that they are the same people? Completely different languages, cultures, histories, etc.
I had thought that they were originally populated by the same people, being an island, and then invaded by differing cultures. I was wondering what factors created a civilization on one side and desperate poverty on the other.

I know absolutely nothing about either, just that one side is welcoming for tourism and the other, somewhat dangerous.

Aha, so it's a mixture of the percent of black people who were actually slaves at the time of independence, the different policies of government, and the geography. I see now.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this. I think of the Spanish Inquisition and the French Revolution and have not had a lot more education in history, unfortunately. I now see the countries involved in a different light. Thanks again.

Last edited by goldengrain; 03-10-2012 at 10:05 AM..
 
Old 03-10-2012, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,475,201 times
Reputation: 8776
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jersey08057 View Post
They are both descended from the African slaves that were brought over.
So what were the determinants that decided such differing fates for the two? Is it that the Spanish created schools and commerce, whereas the French just grabbed whatever they could from the islands and left?
 
Old 03-10-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,475,201 times
Reputation: 8776
Quote:
Originally Posted by PosterExtraordinaire View Post
I basically traveled across the Dominican Republic and Haiti on a pickup truck.

One point: rural Dominican Republic is just AS black as Haiti. I think a lot of tourists go to Santo Domingo or those mega resorts in Punta Cana and get this impressions that Dominicans look more like Ricans. Not true.

As to the subtle relations between these two people, I think this interaction between me and the Dominicans who took me to the border says it all. One guy was clearly a mix and was doing all the talking while the driver was more reserved and a black guy. The mixed Dominican freely admitted all his ancestry, he seemed proud of his European, Indian, and Black heritage. To him that made him a more 'true' Dominican to have a foot in all the races that make up the island. Kinda like an American white will proudly claim some NA ancestry.

But... He saw himself as a Latin and European culturally. That part was clear and he did look down on the full black people we came across in the villages. Even his friend driving the car but it really came to it: he downright hated the Haitians. He tried to keep me from crossing, telling me they all practice voodoo and other such things I don't remember anymore.
Well, it seems that they were both slaves. A prior post said there was a greater population on the Haitian side and a bloody rebellion, whereas the Dominicans had a smaller population that the land could sustain and a more gradual transition into freedom.
 
Old 03-10-2012, 11:29 AM
 
Location: pennsauken
402 posts, read 621,815 times
Reputation: 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
So hating the other half made them a thriving civilization? That makes no sense.

Haiti: A Victim Of Naked Imperialism By Ghali Hassan
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Americas
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top