January 1 - 1804 - Haiti Declares Its Independence
When Haiti became an independent nation, it was the second independent former colony in the Western Hemisphere and the first to gain its independence through a slave rebellion. Yet much of the good about Haiti's independence was overshadowed by the way Jean-Jacques Dessalines would govern Haiti as first the "Governor-General for Life" and then as "Emperor Jacques I." Most appalling was large massacre of all white people remaining in Haiti after French rule ended, which featured extreme violence and sadism. Dessalines also kept most of the former slaves in Haiti in working conditions which were not that different from before the Haitian Revolution. Despite all of the issues, it was still remarkable that Haiti was able to declare its own indpependence in 1804.