Dominican Republic Facts

Dominican Republic Facts and History

North America

The Dominican Republic, also known as Dom Rep for short, is located on the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola and is one of the most popular holiday areas in the Caribbean. On the other part of the island is Haiti.

The dream island is characterized by a very beautiful and very different nature. White beaches with palm trees and turquoise water await the visitor as well as the 3,000 meter mountains of the Cordilleras.

The country is still culturally influenced by Spanish. Since the discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus in 1492, Spanish has been spoken, albeit with its own dialect. Even old colonial buildings still bear witness to the settlement of the island by the Spaniards. Above all, the country offers visitors a colorful and cheerful backdrop.

Name of the country Dominican Republic
Form of government Presidential Democracy
Geographical location Eastern part of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean
National anthem Quisqueyanos valientes
Population approx. 10.8 million (Credit: Countryaah: Dominican Republic Population)
Ethnicities approx. 60% mulattos, 28% white and 12% black
Religions about 90% Catholics and minorities of Protestants, Baha’i and Jews.
Languages Spanish
Capital Santo Domingo
Surface 48,700 km²
Highest mountain Pico Duarte with a height of 3,175 m
Longest river Yaque del Norte, Yaque del Sur, Ozama, Yuna, Artibonito
Largest lake Lake Enriquillo
International license plate DOM
National currency Dominican Peso = 100 Centavos
Time difference to CET – 6 h
International phone code +1809
Mains voltage, frequency 110-120 volts, 60 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .do

Dominican Republic: history

From the year 1000 to the 17th century

The Carib tribe dominated the island until 1492. They had come to the island from Guyana in the 13th century and made life difficult for the native Tainos.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, on December 5, 1492, Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot on the island and named it Hispaniola (Little Spain). Until 1500 the cities of La Navidad in what is now Haiti, La Isabela and Santo Domingo were founded. In 1502 the so-called “Encomedia System” was introduced, which provided for Indian forced labor in the island’s gold mines. In 1533 there was the only major uprising of the Indians against the occupiers, but it was suppressed. The Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas fought for the rights of the native Indians from 1542 and achieved the implementation of new laws that forbade the Indians to be inherited as forced laborers when land was awarded. The result was that slaves were imported from Africa. In 1550 the last Tainos died out. After the gold mines were largely exhausted, the Spaniards moved on to the Central and South American mainland. The island of Hispaniola was almost completely depopulated as a result.

English and French pirates established themselves on the island in the 17th century. In 1697 the western part of Hispaniola (today’s Haiti) fell to France.

In the 18th and 19th centuries

In 1795 the eastern part of the island (today’s Dominican Republic) was ceded to France.

In 1801 Francois Dominique Toussant l´Ouverture proclaimed the island’s independence, but was arrested by the French.

Uprisings broke out again three years later. On December 8th, 1804, Jean Jaques Dessalines proclaimed himself Emperor Jacob I of Haiti and forced the French to withdraw from the island. In 1809 East Hispaniola was recaptured by the Spaniards, but in 1822 the Haitian President occupied the eastern part and united the island parts into one state.

From 1835, however, came an independence movement in the eastern part of the island, which advocated an independent republic. On February 27, 1844, independence fighters stormed Santo Domingo and proclaimed the first Dominican Republic. Between 1861 and 1865, Spain was the protecting power of the Dominican Republic, but it was fought in the so-called Restoration Wars. In 1865 the second republic was proclaimed after the Spaniards were expelled. A motion by the Dominican government to make the Dominican Republic a US state was rejected by the American Senate. In the following years, however, there was a high level of debt with the USA, so that the latter took over customs sovereignty over the Dominican Republic in 1905.

In the 20th and 21st centuries

A treaty of 1907 provided for US absolute financial control over the republic. American troops occupied the Dominican Republic from 1916 to 1924, but eventually withdrew peacefully. From 1924 the period of the third republic began. It was not until 1962 that there were free elections with the first freely elected President of the Dominican Republic.

Just a year later, the military staged a coup, which resulted in a civil war that lasted until 1965. In 1965 the situation calmed down and a new government could be elected. Since then, the Dominican Republic has been a stable state.

Dominican Republic Facts