After defeating and expelling the colonial powers, the slave descendants had yet another battle to be fought. Due to the class differentiation created by the white French colonists fathering children with their African slaves; and, despite the unifying factor of their oppression by the colonists, the single country of Haiti divided into two separate states. Those of darker complexion were led in the north of the island by Henri Cristophe, while Alexandre Petion held the lighter skinned southern state. After overcoming their class differences and intense internal fighting, Haiti reunited.
However, during most of the 19th Century, Haiti and its neighboring state, Santo Domingo, have had much conflict. Depending on the sway of the political and military power, Santo Domingo was annexed and divided from Haiti several times.
Having failed several attempts to re-conquer its colony, the French Government finally recognized Haitian independence in 1825, under the condition that Haiti and its people pay compensation to France. For over one hundred years, the Haitians paid the price of their freedom, which considerably impacted the economy and at least slowed down economic development.
Read the biographies of Henri Christophe and Alexandre Petion.