By. BBC Staff
A chronology of key events:
1492 – Christopher Columbus lands and names the island Hispaniola, or Little Spain.
1496 – Spanish establish first European settlement in western hemisphere at Santo Domingo, now capital of Dominican Republic.
1697 – Spain cedes western part of Hispaniola to France, and this becomes Haiti, or Land of Mountains.
1801 – A former black slave who became a guerrilla leader, Toussaint Louverture, conquers Haiti, abolishing slavery and proclaiming himself governor-general of an autonomous government over all Hispaniola.
1802 – French force led by Napoleon’s brother-in-law, Charles Leclerc, fails to conquer Haitian interior.
1804 – Haiti becomes independent; former slave Jean-Jacques Dessalines declares himself emperor.
1806 – Dessalines assassinated and Haiti divided into a black-controlled north and a mulatto-ruled south
1818-43 – Pierre Boyer unifies Haiti, but excludes blacks from power.
1915 – US invades Haiti following black-mulatto friction, which it thought endangered its property and investments in the country.
1934 – US withdraws troops from Haiti, but maintains fiscal control until 1947.
1956 – Voodoo physician Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier seizes power in military coup and is elected president a year later.
1964 – Duvalier declares himself president-for-life and establishes a dictatorship with the help of the Tontons Macoutes militia.
1971 – Duvalier dies and is succeeded by his 19-year-old son, Jean-Claude, or “Baby Doc”, who also declares himself president-for-life.
1986 – Baby Doc flees Haiti in the wake of mounting popular discontent and is replaced by Lieutenant-General Henri Namphy as head of a governing council.
1988 – Leslie Manigat becomes president, but is ousted in a coup led by Brigadier-General Prosper Avril, who installs a civilian government under military control.
Democracy, coup and intervention
1990 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide elected president in Haiti’s first free and peaceful polls.
1991 – Aristide ousted in a coup led by Brigadier-General Raoul Cedras, triggering sanctions by the US and the Organisation of American States.
1994 – Military regime relinquishes power in the face of an imminent US invasion; US forces oversee a transition to a civilian government; Aristide returns.
1995 – UN peacekeepers begin to replace US troops; Aristide supporters win parliamentary elections
Rene Preval, from Aristide’s Lavalas party, is elected in December to replace Aristide as president.
1997-99 – Serious political deadlock; new government named.
1999 – Preval declares that parliament’s term has expired and begins ruling by decree following a series of disagreements with deputies.
Aristide’s second term
2000 November – Aristide elected president for a second non-consecutive term, amid allegations of irregularities.
2001 July – Presidential spokesman accuses former army officers of trying to overthrow the government after armed men attack three locations, killing four police officers.
2001 December – 30 armed men try to seize the National Palace in an apparent coup attempt; 12 people are killed in the raid, which the government blames on former army members.
2002 July – Haiti is approved as a full member of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) trade bloc.
2003 April – Voodoo recognised as a religion, on a par with other faiths.
2004 January-February – Celebrations marking 200 years of independence turn into uprising against President Aristide, who is forced into exile. An interim government takes over.
2004 May – Severe floods in south, and in parts of neighbouring Dominican Republic, leave more than 2,000 dead or disappeared.
2004 June – First UN peacekeepers arrive, to take over security duties from US-led force and to help flood survivors.
2004 July – International donors pledge more than $1bn in aid.
2004 September – Nearly 3,000 killed in flooding in the north, in the wake of tropical storm Jeanne.
late 2004 – Rising levels of deadly political and gang violence in the capital; armed gangs loyal to former President Aristide are said to be responsible for many killings.
2005 April – Prominent rebel leader Ravix Remissainthe is killed by police in the capital.
2005 July – Hurricane Dennis kills at least 45 people.
2006 February – General elections, the first since former President Aristide was overthrown in 2004. Rene Preval is declared the winner of the presidential vote after a deal is reached over spoiled ballot papers.
2006 June – A democratically-elected government headed by Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis takes office.
2006 September – Launch of a UN-run scheme to disarm gang members in return for grants, job training.
2006 October – US partially lifts an arms embargo, imposed in 1991.
2007 January – UN troops launch tough new offensive against armed gangs in Cite Soleil, one of the capital’s largest and most violent shantytowns.
2008 April – Food riots. Government announces emergency plan to cut price of rice in bid to halt unrest. Parliament dismisses Prime Minister Alexis.
2008 May – US and World Bank announce extra food aid totalling 30m dollars.
In response to plea from President Preval for more police to help combat wave of kidnappings-for-ransom, Brazil agrees to boost its peacekeeping force.
2008 August/September – Nearly 800 people are killed and hundreds are left injured as Haiti is hit by a series of devastating storms and hurricanes
2008 September – Michele Pierre-Louis succeeds Jacques-Edouard Alexis as prime minister.
2008 November – A school in Port-au-Prince collapses with around 500 pupils and teachers inside. The authorities blame poor construction methods.
2009 May – Former US President Bill Clinton appointed UN special envoy to Haiti.
2009 July – World Bank and International Monetary Fund cancel $1.2bn of Haiti’s debt – 80% of the total – after judging it to have fulfilled economic reform and poverty reduction conditions.
2009 October-November – Jean-Max Bellerive becomes prime minister after the Senate passes censure motion against his predecessor, Michelle Pierre-Louis.
2010 January – Up to 300,000 people are killed when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits the capital Port-au-Prince and its wider region – the worst in Haiti in 200 years.
US takes control of the main airport to ensure orderly arrival of aid flights.
2010 March – International donors pledge $5.3 billion for post-quake reconstruction at a donor conference at UN headquarters.
2010 July – Popular anger grows over slow pace of reconstruction six months after quake.
2010 October – Run-up to presidential, parliamentary polls due on 28 November. Concern over exclusion of popular candidates.
2010 October-December – Cholera outbreak claims over 2,500 lives and triggers violent protests.
2010 November – Presidential and parliamentary elections.
2010 December – Announcement of inconclusive provisional results of presidential election triggers violent protests.
2011 January – Presidential election run-off vote scheduled to be held on 16 January is postponed because of row over who should be on ballot.
Former president Jean-Claude Duvalier returns from exile, faces corruption and human rights abuse charges.
Click HERE to see the Original Article