How Haiti achieved independence

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Haïti is the first republic in the world to have been led by a person of African descent: Jean-Jaques Dessalines. This is not however the only historically significant aspect of this country. Notably, it is Dessalines' victory over Rochambeau, in Vertieres, that forced Napoleon to abandon his bid for the control of Louisiana and eventually, the rest of the `New World'. Therefore, weren't it for Dessalines and his troops of freed slaves of African …

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…up in arms, united with the Southern troups of Petion, and defeated the French Rochambeau (successor of Leclerc who had died of malaria) at the famed Battle of Vertieres, outside of what is today Cap-Haitien, on November 18, 1803. Dessalines proclaimed the independence of the colony at Gonaives on January 1, 1804 and gave it back its native name of Haiti. The first republic in the world to be led by a person of African descent was thus born.