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History of Dominican Republic

History of Dominican Republic is a tale of Indian island of Kiskea which literally means the “mother of all lands”. Indian tribes that lived on island prior to arrival of Spaniards originated from tribes that came from tropical rainforests of Venezuela, banks of Orinoko river and Central America. Upon the first meeting with Spanish conquistador Indians called themselves as “Taino” which stands for “peaceful people”. This name belongs to them ever since. Having arrived, Spanish seamen thought that they had reached India therefore they called locals as Indians.


Christopher Columbus has discovered this island in 1492 right after his visit to Salvador and Cuba during his first out of 4 expeditions to America. Spaniards have landed at the northern part of the Kiskea and had called island “Hispaniola”. Admired by the beauty of the island Christopher Columbus has written in his diary following words: “If there is a paradise in the world then it must be here”. Primarily Spaniards were attracted by gold that they started to mine there. Subsequently Spaniards have brought very many tropical agricultural crops and sugarcane which became the major export item of Santo Domingo colony. That was a name of colony’s capital. Large amount of slaves have been brought from Africa for harvesting purposes. European countries with no colonies in New World collaborated with pirates in order to reinforce its influence on Spanish territories. Hispaniola has been almost abandoned by Spaniards in 17th century and island became a shelter for pirates and smugglers that lived in northern part. Island was also inhabited by wild hog hunters so called “Bucaneros”.


After island was devastated with almost no Spaniards left in its eastern part French colonists have populated the western part and had started to plant coffee, indigo and tobacco using slaves brought from Martinique. Afterwards it caused island to separate in two colonies: Spanish Santo Domingo and French colony with a same name but in French.


Commonwealth of Haiti has been formed after French colonial regime collapsed in 1802. Haiti became the first country in America that declared liberty for slaves. In 1805 army of Haiti conquered the western part of the island but Spaniards supported by British fleet eventually won the battle. Short period of Dominican independence ended up in December 10, 1821 when “Independent Spanish commonwealth of Haiti” has been formed that was conquered in January of 1822 by army of Haitian President Jean Pierre Boyer who proclaimed island as “one and indivisible”. The history of Dominican Republic has begun in 27 February, 1844 when Haitian regime fell and former colony proclaimed itself as Independent Republic.


Following history of country was a sequence of war fares, seizures, battles for power between different political forces including 2 American invasions, one of which (1916-1925) has leaded to presidency of one of the most odious dictator of a country-Rafael Leonidas Trujillo who ruled the country for 31 years.

Only in 1996 tragic history of Republic has entered a peaceful stage. Nowadays country is governed by Dominican Liberation Party represented by President Danilo Medina.