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Dominican Republic Old History

 

The indigenous people of taino were obliterated after the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th century. Instead, slaves were brought from Africa to the sugarcane farms that were built. The area was initially Spanish but France and Haiti, which became its own state in 1804, controlled it in turns. The Dominican Republic was proclaimed in 1844 as independent from Haiti. An unpaid foreign debt contributed to the US occupying the country in 1916-1924. A military coup by General Trujillo in 1930 became the prelude to 30 years of dictatorship.

The indigenous people, taino, who spoke an Arabic language, are believed to have populated the Caribbean island world from South America beginning before our era. When the European sailor Christofer Columbus reached the island in 1492 he named his Hispaniola, there were an estimated half a million inhabitants. During the first half of the Spanish colonization, the urinals were exterminated by violence, forced labor and new diseases that the settlers brought from Europe. In the first decades after the arrival of the Spaniards, gold production was important. At the beginning of the 16th century, sugar cane plantations were built on the island. As labor, slaves were imported from Africa.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Dominican Republic, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

The Spanish conquests of new and richer areas of Central and South America transformed Hispaniola from center to periphery of the Spanish empire. During the 1700s, French trading companies and pirates took control of western Hispaniola. In 1697, Spain surrendered the western part of the island to France.

In 1804, western Hispaniola proclaimed their independence as Haiti, becoming the first free black republic in the world. It happened after the slaves had revolted.

In 1822 Haiti occupied the Spanish part of the island. The underground organization La Trinitaria drove the Haitians out in 1844 and proclaimed the independent Dominican Republic. However, Haiti continued with its invasion attempts, while the Dominican Republic was weakened by internal divisions. Several local leaders, caudillos, fought for power. One of them, President Pedro Santana, offered Spain part of the Dominican Republic in exchange for protection against Haiti, and in 1861 the country came back under Spanish domination. It aroused strong resistance and led to civil war. In 1865, the Dominican Republic became independent for the second time.

Old History of Dominican Republic

The following 50 years were characterized by economic and political instability. Powerful and corrupt caudillos led the country and unabashedly borrowed large amounts of dollars in North American and European banks. When the Dominican Republic was unable to pay the foreign debt, the United States took over its customs system in 1905. It became the prelude to an American occupation of the country in 1916-1924. The United States built a new Dominican army under the leadership of General Rafael Leónidas Trujillo.

Towards the end of the occupation, Horacio Vásquez was elected president. He was overthrown in 1930 in a coup, supported by Trujillo. Then elections were announced, which Trujillo won after extensive electoral fraud, and a more than 30-year dictatorship began. Periodically, Trujillo ruled the country indirectly through his brother Héctor and later through his confidant, Joaquín Balaguer. He had his capital renamed Ciudad Trujillo, Trujillo City.

Trujillo was running a terror. He tortured and murdered his political opponents. In 1937, he ordered a massacre of Haitian farmers in the country in revenge for the execution of a Dominican spy in Haiti. Between 15,000 and 30,000 people were killed.

Thanks to the high sugar price during World War II, Trujillo was able to pay off the country's foreign debt. He accelerated industrialization and increased public investment. Trujillo, who was called the Beneficiary (el Benefactor), ruled the country as a family business and seized many businesses and land. His family eventually owned two-thirds of the country's assets.

In 1961, the dictator was assassinated by a group of soldiers and businessmen. The action was supported by the United States, which feared that Trujillo, like Cuba's dictator Batista, would be overthrown by revolutionaries. Trujillo's life and death are depicted in the book Bockfesten by Peruvian Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.

 
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