The Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic is one of the many Spanish speaking countries in the world. The Dominican Republic, republic of the West Indies, compromising the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola. The word Dominican Republic in Spanish means Republica Dominicana. The capitol of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo. The population of the Dominican Republic is of mixed Spanish and black-African descent. The society is about sixty five percent urban.

The population of the Dominican Republic in 1995 was about seven million, nine hundred and fifteen thousand (7,915,000) people. This gives the country a population density of about one hundred sixty two person per square kilometer. The Dominican Republic is divided into twenty nine provinces plus the Distrito Nacional . It also includes the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo. Each province is subdivided into municipalities and townships.

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Some important cities are Santo Domingo, Santiago de los Caballlereos, San Pedro de Macrois. Santo Domingo is the leading port and has an estimated population of two million and four hundred thousand (2,400,000) persons. Santiago de los Caballeros is a trade and transportation center with a population of half a million people. San Pedro de Macoris, a seaport has a population of seventy eight thousand and five hundred sixty two(78,562) persons. The Dominican Republic consists of mainly Spanish speakers.

Spanish is the official language of the Dominica Republic. English is also spoken and a French dialect is spoken. The religion of the Dominican Republic mostly Roman Catholicism. There is small Protestant community and some are Spiritists. The Dominican Republic has a length of in an east to west direction of about three hundred eighty kilometers and a maximum width, in the west, of about two hundred sixty five kilometers. The frontier with Haiti is about three hundred fifteen kilometers long.

The Dominican also have possession to many islands. Such islands as Beata and Saona. The Dominican Republic is a very fertile land, well watered and very mountainous. About eighty percent of the country is covered with a series of mountain ranges, extending in a northwestern to southeastern direction. The most fertile region is in the Valley of Cibao and the coastal plains are also very fertile. The Dominican Republic has many rivers and streams. The Dominican Republic has a semitropical climate. Temperatures of more than seventy four degrees Fahrenheit are registered in the lowlands throughout the year.

During the summer months temperatures range from eighty to ninety degrees Fahrenheit in the lowlands. The highland are much cooler and receive about sixty inches of precipitation each year. The wet season is from June to November. Tropical Hurricanes occur occasionally. The main resources of the Dominican Republic is mainly agriculture.

The fertile soil is instrumental to farming and many of the mountains are covered with forests. The country also has valuable deposits of nickel, gold and silver. The Dominican Republics vegetation is much like that of the other islands of the West Indies. The vegetation varies and luxuriant. Among the many species of indigenous trees are mahogany, rosewood and pine. Many species of useful plants and fruits are common, including rice, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, yams, banana, pineapple and grapes.

The history of the Dominian Republic starts at the aboriginal inhabitants of Hispaniola were Arawak people, engaged principally in farming and fishing. They eventually became extinct as a result of exploitation by Spanish colonists. Black slaves were later imported to take the place of the Arawak. In time the Spanish migrated from Hispaniola to South America, and for about a century the island was sparsely populated. In 1697, by the Peace of Ryswick, the portion of Hispaniola that had been occupied by French adventurers was formally ceded to France and became known as Saint-Domingue; it is now Haiti. The remaining Spanish section, what is now the Dominican Republic, was called Santo Domingo.

In 1795, Spain finally ceded Santo Domingo to France. During the years that followed, the country was caught up in the convulsions of neighboring Haiti, as well as indigenous mixed-race and black people. When Haiti removed the French in 1804, Santo Domingo remained under French occupation for another five years. Then the French were expelled and Spanish rule restored. After 1814, however, the Spanish administration became increasingly tyrannical, and in 1821 the Dominicans rose in revolt, proclaiming their independence. The following year Haitian President Jean Pierre Boyer led his troops into the country and annexed it to Haiti, thus bringing the entire island under his control. Boyer ruled until overthrown by a revolution in 1844.

A year later Santo Domingo again declared its independence, forming the Dominican Republic. The Trujillo Era was an outstanding political development of the dictatorship established by General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. He was elected to the presidency in 1930. For the next 31 years, although he personally occupied the presidency only half that time, Trujillo presided over one of the tightest dictatorships in the world. With the military as the basis of his power, he and his family directed practically every aspect of the nation’s life.

The national economy, while greatly expanded and modernized. Backed at first by the United States, Trujillo used this support to his own advantage. Discontent and criticism, widespread especially after World War II ended in 1945, were met with terror. The Trujillo era ended with the dictator’s assassination on May 26, 1961. After the assassination, agitation mounted against the continued political dominance of the Trujillo family. Numerous exiles began to return home and political parties were reestablished.

In October 1961 the two brothers of the late dictator left the country, but they returned apparently with the intention of seizing governmental power. President Joaqun Balaguer, reacted to the threat by assuming control of the armed forces. To demonstrate support of Balaguer, the United States stationed warships and planes off the Dominican coast. The show of force speedily induced all members of the Trujillo family to leave the country. Opposition groups, however, rallied against Balaguer; after a wave of strikes and demonstrations, he and his opponents agreed on a plan under which he would retain the presidency until sanctions were lifted. The sanctions were revoked in January 1962, and shortly afterward Rafael Bonnelly was designated president to serve until elections were held.

In December 1962 the Dominican Republic …


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