The Empire of Haiti, often simply just called Haiti, is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is the only domestic monarchy in the North American continent and one of two empires in the Americas, the other being Brazil. Haiti is also the smallest state in the world whose hereditary ruler claims the title of emperor.
Haiti gained independence from France in the aftermath of the French Revolution as the first state freed by and ruled by former slaves. Because of its origins numerous other countries blocked recognition of Haiti or otherwise asserted one-sided negotiations that Haiti could not refuse. With little recognition, massive debt, and few to no civil liberties, Haiti experienced considerable violence, conquering the whole of Hispaniola yet fragmenting into multiple competing governments. Numerous Haitian leaders, some being monarchs and others being republicans, were overthrown in the more than forty years since independence.
Since forming an unstable yet lasting imperial monarchy in 1849, Haiti has made efforts to create durable institutions and grow economically. Even so, the Haitian political system remains volatile, as seen from numerous American and Brazilian interventions over the years, and Haiti continues to be the poorest country of the Americas. However, considerable gains have been made, and many believe that Haiti is on the road to future political and economic prosperity.
For more information see main article: History of Haiti