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Saint-Domingue facts for kids

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Location of Saint-Domingue
Status Colony of France
Capital Cap-Français (1711–1770)
Port-au-Prince (1770–1804)
Common languages French, Haitian Creole
Roman Catholicism
Government Absolute monarchy (until 1792)
Republic (1792–1804)
• 1625–1643
Louis XIII
• 1643–1715
Louis XIV
• 1715–1774
Louis XV
Head of State of the French Republic  
• 1792–1795
National Convention
• 1795–1799
French Directory
• 1799–1804
Napoléon Bonaparte
• First French settlement
• Recognized
January 1 1804
21,550 km2 (8,320 sq mi)
Currency Saint-Domingue livre
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Captaincy General of Santo Domingo
First Empire of Haiti
Today part of  Haiti

Saint-Domingue was a French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804, in what is now Haiti.

The French had established themselves on the western portion of the islands of Hispaniola and Tortuga by 1659. In the Treaty of Ryswick of 1697, Spain formally recognized French control of Tortuga Island and the western third of the island of Hispaniola.

In 1791, the slaves and some free people of color of Saint-Domingue began waging a rebellion against French authority. The rebels became reconciled to French rule following the abolition of slavery in the colony in 1793, although this alienated the island's dominant slave-holding class. France controlled the entirety of Hispaniola from 1795 to 1802, when a renewed rebellion began. The last French troops withdrew from the western portion of the island in late 1803, and the colony later declared its independence as Haiti, its indigenous name, the following year.


Map of Hispaniola
French map of Saint-Domingue French colony in Hispanola island, by Nicolas de Fer

Spain controlled the entire island of Hispaniola from the 1490s until the 17th century, when French pirates began establishing bases on the western side of the island. The official name was La Española, meaning "The Spanish (Island)". It was also called Santo Domingo or San Domingo, after Saint Dominic.

The western part of Hispaniola was neglected by the Spanish authorities, and French buccaneers began to settle first on the Tortuga Island, then on the northwest of the island: they called it le Grande Terre. Spain later ceded the entire western coast of the island to France, retaining the rest of the island, including the Guava Valley, today known as the Central Plateau.

The French called their portion of Hispaniola Saint-Domingue, the French equivalent of Santo Domingo. The Spanish colony on Hispaniola remained separate, and eventually became the Dominican Republic, the capital of which is still named Santo Domingo.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Saint-Domingue para niños

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