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In 1791, thirty-five thousand slaves rose in an insurrection, razed a thousand plantations, and took to the hills. Spanish, English, and French troops were soon battling one another for control of the colony.The imperial powers militarized the slaves, training them in the arts of "modern" warfare.

Some wealthy citizens think of themselves as French, but most residents identify themselves as Haitian and there is a strong sense of nationalism. Haiti covers 10,714 square miles (27,750 square kilometers).

It is located in the subtropics on the western third of Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean, which it shares with the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic.

The neighboring islands include Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.

The island is also located within the Caribbean hurricane belt. The population has grown steadily from 431,140 at independence in 1804 to the estimate of 6.9 million to 7.2 million in 2000.

Haiti is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

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