Dominican Republic History
Dominican Republic history is awash with controversy, revolution, and intrigue, factors that have contributed to its lively state today. The first European visitor in Dominican Republic was Christopher Columbus, who visited the island in December of 1492 and promptly wrecked his ship off its Atlantic shore. The island, which the Dominican Republic now shares with Haiti, was named Isla Espanola (the Spanish Island), a name that has pervaded through Dominican Republic history in the slightly altered form of Hispaniola. The capital city of Santo Domingo was founded only a few years later by Columbus' brother Bartholomeo, a significant point in Dominican Republic history given that it remains the oldest continually inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere. The area soon became the hub of Spain's New World economy.
Dominican Republic history experienced some violent and turbulent times during the succeeding centuries of Spanish rule. The country gained its independence in 1865, but revolutions and government upheavals disturbed the peace. The United States has played a significant role in Dominican Republic history, occupying the country between 1916 and 1924, then fighting dictorship there through the twentieth century. The first democratic rule in Dominican Republic history was installed there following an American military landing in 1966. Since then, successive periods of stability in Dominican Republic history have brought about promising economic development, including in the tourist industry. Sugar and fine metals are also important segments of the economy, from which the country's nine million people continue to reap social rewards.
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