Dominican Republic - national flag
The flag dates from 1844 and was created by JP Duarte (1813-76), who led the
country's secession from Haiti. It is called La Trinitaria after
Duarte's freedom movement and is based on the Haitian flag with the addition of
a white cross symbolizing the sacrifice of the people in the struggle for
secession. The red color stands for the blood and fire of battle, the blue for
What does the flag of Dominican
Republic look like? Follow this link, then you will see the image in PNG
format and flag meaning description about this country.
Dominican Republic - History
Hispaniola has been inhabited since 5000 BC, first by Ciboney Indians, later
by Taino and Arawak and from approximately year 1000 of Caribbean.
Columbus came to the island in 1492 and founded the fort Navidad, which,
however, was later destroyed by Arawaks. Santo Domingo, founded in 1496 by
Columbus' brother Bartolomé, became the first permanent Spanish settlement and
the starting point for Spain's further conquest of America. Several Spanish
Dominican monks, including Bartolomé de las Casas, preached against the
atrocities of the conquerors, but as early as around 1550, the island's Native
American population was exterminated due to epidemics, mistreatment and forced
labor. The Spanish emigration to the mainland further depopulated the
island. Its economy stalled, and it was often attacked by pirates, Francis
Drake in 1586.
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||José Núñez de Cáceres
||Juan Pablo Duarte (Haiti)
||Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina
||Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina
||Hector Trujillo Molina
||Juan Bosch Gavino
||Donald Reid Cabral
||José Molina Urena
||Antonio Guzmán Fernández
||Jacobo Majluta Azar
||Salvador Jorge Blanco
||Leonel Fernández Reyna
||Hipólito Mejía Dominguez
||Leonel Fernández Reyna
The western part of the island, present-day Haiti, became effectively French
in 1679, after JB Ducasse (1646-1715) had settled there as governor, and in 1697
the Spaniards officially ceded the area. In 1795, Spain ceded the rest of the
island to France. Thus the whole island was involved in the Haitian Revolution
(1791-1804) and was at times led by the French governor FD Toussaint Louverture,
who was a former slave and who in 1802 was deposed by the French. The
Spanish-speaking part of the island, at the independence of France in 1804, was
not incorporated into the new Republic of Haiti, but remained under France, and
gradually fell back under Spanish control in the following years.
The Dominican Republic declared its independence in 1821, but the following
year the country was occupied by Haiti under President JP Boyer
(1776-1850). freed the slaves. In 1844, JP Duarte (1813-76) led an independence
revolt, which led to secession the same year. Duarte's successor, Pedro Santana
(1801-64), annexed the country to Spain in 1861, but regained independence in
1865 with B. Báez (1810-84). He wanted an alliance with the United States; it
was rejected by the US Senate, but the Gulf of Samana was leased to the United
States in 1872.
The development was until 1905 characterized by strong local leaders, caudillos,
by strife between liberals and conservatives, by corruption and by interference
from Haiti. The dictator U. Heureaux (1845-99) came to power in 1882, and under
him the country experienced stability and economic prosperity, with
infrastructure developed by rail, telegraph and telephone. The period was also
marked by foreign investment; US-owned sugar plantations with foreign seasonal
workers reflected the growing influence of the United States.
The assassination of Heureaux in 1899 was followed by a chaotic period, which
in 1916-24 led the United States to intervene militarily. After a military coup
in 1930, the country was until 1961 directly or indirectly ruled by Rafael
Leonidas Trujillo, from 1952-60 with his brother Héctor Trujillo as president.
When Rafael Trujillo was assassinated in 1961, President Balaguer confiscated
his property and allowed a limited democracy. In 1963, Juan Bosch's government
sought to limit US dominance and establish better relations with Europe. It
adopted a number of reforms, but was overthrown by a conservative military coup
later that year. In 1965, this led to a revolt in which Bosch was required to be
reinstated, after which the United States intervened militarily in 1965-66 for
fear of a new Cuba.
Since the 1960's, a tight economic policy has been pursued, yet foreign debt
has grown. At the same time, the Dominican Republic has been plagued by
corruption scandals; President Antonio Guzmán (1911-82) chose to commit suicide
after allegations of fraud and abuse of power, and in 1991 former President SJ
Blanco was sentenced to 20 years in prison for illegal arms purchases.
From 1990, Joaquín Balaguer pursued a tight wage policy. He regained the
presidency in June 1994, but apparently only through electoral fraud. Following
the intervention of the Organization of American States (OAS), the election had
to be rescheduled in May 1996.
In the second half of the 1990's, the country experienced one of the highest
growth rates in Latin America. The state implemented a austerity plan and a tax
reform, and both foreign trade and the financial sector were reformed. The
country's dominant politician through four decades, Joaquín Balaguer, stepped
down as president in 1996, but even in 2000 he was 94 years old 1/4of
the votes. The right-wing Balaguer, who died in 2002, served as president for a
total of 23 years and before that was an adviser to dictator Trujillo for over
30 years. President Leonel Fernández (b. 1953) of the Liberal Party held the
post 1996-2000; he curbed inflation, reduced public spending and boosted
growth. He was succeeded by Hipólito Mejía (b. 1941) of the Social Democratic
Party PRD. During Mejía's term, the country participated in the US-led invasion
of Iraq, but Dominican troops were withdrawn in 2004. Inflation rose sharply,
but is declining again after Fernández took over the presidency in 2004. In
2005, the Dominican Republic acceded to a free trade agreement, CAFTA-DR, with
the United States and a number of Central American states, for which Fernández
had already worked during his first presidency.