Responding to Pat Robertson's racist assertion that Haiti won its freedom as the modern world's first independent Black nation as the result of making a "pact with the devil", Haiti's Ambassador to the U.S. Raymond Joseph stated on The Rachel Maddow Show that if Haiti's liberation was "a curse", it was a curse that greatly benefited the United States.
Paraphrasing Ambassador Joseph (with the help of Wikipedia's entry on the Louisiana Purchase), the ambassador deftly pointed out that the successful liberation of Haiti by its largely enslaved African-descended people caused Napoleon to lose its significant sugar exports rendering the former colony and the Louisiana territory strategically and monetarily inconsequential to him.
So, as a direct result of the successful uprising in (then) Saint-Domingue and the sale of the Louisiana Territory to the young United States, our country double in size for $15 million (or ~$.03/acre) in 1803. This massive acquisition of land from France just over 200 years ago gave us the modern-day states of . . .
"Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, parts of Minnesota that were west of the Mississippi River, most of North Dakota, nearly all of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide, and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans."
So, thank you, Ayiti!
May you rise from the ashes yet again with liberty, justice, and democracy for all.
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