History of Dominican Republic
My Destination Dominican Republic has prepared a brief introduction concerning the history of the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean island of Hispaniola is the home of two nations: the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The warm aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean both touch the shores of Hispaniola, which is the second largest island in the Antilles.
In about AD 600, a group of Taino Indians, speakers of the Arawak language, reach this island, which they name Quisqueya. Over many centuries they travel by canoe along the Caribbean island from the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela and Brazil. The Tainos worship the afterlife and nature, and establish villages for their fishing and farming work.
In 1492, during his first voyage, Columbus discovers Quisqueya, which he calls Hispaniola. A discovery that is the first step in a long history of Spanish colonialism, it results in the deaths of nearly 1 million Taino Indians in the short period of 50 years. In 1498 Santo Domingo is established as the first city in the Americas. Beginning in 1503, slaves from Africa are transported to the island in order to supply labor for the plantations.
The main city of Santo Domingo is plundered and pillaged by Sir Francis Drake, the English sea commander. Hispaniola and the other colonies of Spain are endangered by pirates from several nations including England, France and Holland.
A military force made up of former slaves expels Napoleon’s army from Saint Domingue, and after revolting for 13 years, Haitians proclaim independence. After successive invasions, the eastern territory is restored to Spanish hands by 1809. The Spanish colony worries that Haiti will invade, so in 1821 it invades Haiti. However, in 1822 Haiti takes the entire island: Haitian rule continues until 1844.
Independence from Haiti is won in 1838 when a secret organization called La Trinitaria is founded by Juan Pablo Duarte, Ramón Matías Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez. La Trinitaria aids in a successful Haitian attempt to oust the President of Haiti, Jean Pierre Boyer.
After 22 years of control by Haiti, independence is proclaimed by the Trinitarios on February 27, 1844: a distinct and self-governing Dominican Republic is born. An army of farmers assembled by the rich ranch owners forces out the Haitians. Local factions vie for power and Duarte is removed.
For a brief period, from 1861 to 1865, the islanders choose to be restored to the Spanish Empire; however independence is regained in 1865. In 1916 the U.S. occupies the island, due to continuing regional strife, economic problems, and the possibility of invasion from European nations.
After arriving in Santo Domingo, the U.S. troops restore peace in a country troubled by internal conflicts. Because of the U.S. presence, farmers are ejected from their land, and outside nations begin investing in sugar production. Another result of the U.S. presence is the introduction of a national police force: Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, known as The Benefactor, appears from this police force.
Rafael L. Trujillo maintains complete control over the country by 1930, thereby beginning his long dictatorship. Although he helps the country by developing the economy, he and his allies reap huge gains, and human rights are noticeably suppressed. Enormous national economic troubles arise because of fraud and mishandling: Trujillo becomes extremely wealthy and removes all who oppose him. His ego is obvious when he renames the capitol as Ciudad Trujillo. Trujillo is assassinated on Santo Domingo's Malecón: this marks the end of 31 years of merciless rule and moves the country in the direction of democracy. His family escapes to France and Joaquin Balaguer – up until this time serving merely as a puppet-president – takes control of the country.
On January 1, 1962, the U.S. demands that Balaguer rule the country in conjunction with a seven-member Council of State that partly consists of opposition leaders. Balaguer relinquishes power after an attempted overthrow and leaves the country on January 16; he is replaced by Rafael Filiberto Bonnelly as the head of the Dominican government.
Botanical Garden in Santo Domi...
Botanical Garden in Santo Domi...
"People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home" - Dagobert D. Runes