Dominican Republic: History

A Land of Contrasts

Dominican Republic History

What is now known as the Dominican Republic has a long, diverse, bloody and fascinating history.First settled by tribes that had migrated from other areas, the island played host to Christopher Columbus in 1492. After the subsequent European settlement, the Dominican Republic became a Spanish colony. The colony was used as a major stopping point for Spanish excursions in the Caribbean and was a major trading post. Eventually the Spanish ceded the colony to France in 1795. French rule lasted for only a short time, however, as the Haitians conquered the territory in 1801.

In 1808 there was a revolution amongst the populace, but in 1814, however, the Spanish regained control of the territory. Following another brief exchange of power between the Spanish and the Haitians, the second (though first successful) fully functioning Dominican Republic was created. The country then faced a tumultuous period of unrest that lasted until the late 20th Century. Recently it has enjoyed a strong democracy and a growing economy, though power outages are common and cause widespread consternation and unrest.