Dominican Republic History

By | January 9, 2023

Dominican Republic – national flag

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 freedom.

  • Countryaah: 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.

  • AbbreviationFinder: Check three-letter abbreviation for each country in the world, such as DOM which represents the official name of Dominican Republic.

According to a2zgov, 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.

Presidents (committees)
1821-22 José Núñez de Cáceres
1822-44 Juan Pablo Duarte (Haiti)
1844-48 Pedro Santana
1849 Pedro Santana
1849-53 Buenaventura Báez
1853-56 Pedro Santana
1856-58 Buenaventura Báez
1859-61 Pedro Santana
1865-66 Buenaventura Báez
1868-73 Buenaventura Báez
1876-78 Buenaventura Báez
1882-84 Ulises Heureaux
1887-99 Ulises Heureaux
1924-30 Horacio Vásquez
1930-38 Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina
1942-52 Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina
1952-60 Hector Trujillo Molina
1960-62 Joaquín Balaguer
1962-63 Rafael Bonelly
1963 Juan Bosch Gavino
1963-65 Donald Reid Cabral
1965 José Molina Urena
1965-66 Hector García-Godoy
1966-78 Joaquín Balaguer
1978-82 Antonio Guzmán Fernández
1982 Jacobo Majluta Azar
1982-86 Salvador Jorge Blanco
1986-96 Joaquín Balaguer
1996-2000 Leonel Fernández Reyna
2000-04 Hipólito Mejía Dominguez
2004- 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.