Yet the U.S. benefited greatly from the colonial strife next door. Broke after its Haitian defeat. France sold a large region to the U.S. for $15 million. The Louisiana Purchase would prove to be one of the most profitable real estate transactions ever made. Napoleon would not have sold his claims" except for the courage and obstinate resistance of Haitian inhabitants.
It would take six decades for the U.S. to acknowledge Haiti's independence. Meanwhile, Haiti, burdened by its post, independence isolation and the too million francs in payment it was forced to give France for official recognition, began its perilous slide toward turmoil and dependency, resulting in a 19-year U.S. occupation and two subsequent interventions in the past 100 years. Jefferson once presented dire warnings about what might happen to the U.S. political system in a worst-case scenario, but his words turned out to be a more accurate prophecy for America's plundered neighbor: "The spirit of the times ... will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt ... The shackles ... which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of war will remain on tong, will be made heavier." Given a fair chance. Haiti could have flourished and prospered, If that had been the case, this year Haiti would be celebrating the bicentennial of its independence with fewer and lighter shackles.