The Dominican Republic is a sovereign state that occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Haiti occupies the western third of the island, making Hispaniola one of only two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two nations. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean country in terms of size (after Cuba), with 48,445 square kilometers (18,705 square miles), and third in terms of population, with 10.08 million inhabitants, roughly three million of whom reside in the capital city’s metropolitan region.
In December 6, 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived on the western portion of Hispaniola, in what is now Haiti, which had been inhabited by the Tano people since the seventh century. The island was home to the first permanent European colony in the Americas, as well as the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city and the first seat of Spanish colonial authority in the New World. In November 1821, the Dominican people proclaimed independence from Spain after more than 300 years of Spanish domination. José Nez de Cáceres, the head of the independence movement, desired to join with Gran Colombia. However, after liberated from Spanish control, the newly independent Dominicans were forcibly annexed in February 1822 by their more powerful neighbor Haiti. Following the Dominican War of Independence triumph against Haitian authority in 1844, the nation came back under Spanish colonial administration. During the Dominican War of Restoration in 1865, the crown was definitively deposed.
Until 1916, the Dominican Republic was mostly consumed by internal conflict (Second Republic). Between 1916 to 1924, the United States occupied the country for eight years, and a following six-year period under Horacio Vásquez Lajara was followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina until 1961. A civil war in 1965, the country’s last, was terminated by another US military intervention and was succeeded by Joaqun Balaguer’s dictatorial reign from 1966 to 1978. Since then, the Dominican Republic has progressed toward representative democracy, with Leonel Fernández serving as President for the majority of the period since 1996. Danilo Medina, the Dominican Republic’s current president, replaced Fernandez in 2012, defeating ex-president Hipólito Meja with 51% of the vote.
The Dominican Republic is Latin America’s ninth biggest economy and the largest in the Caribbean and Central America area. Though it was formerly renowned for agriculture and mining, the economy has shifted to a service-based economy. The Dominican Republic has consistently been one of the fastest-growing economies in the Americas during the past two decades, with an average real GDP growth rate of 5.4 percent between 1992 and 2014. GDP growth was 7.3 percent in 2014 and 7.0 percent in 2015, the highest in the Western Hemisphere. The Dominican economy expanded 7.4 percent in the first half of 2016, maintaining its record of strong economic development.
Construction, industry, and tourism have all contributed to recent development. Private spending has been robust, owing to low inflation (averaged less than 1% in 2015), job growth, and a high level of remittances. The Dominican Republic’s stock market, Bolsa de Valores de la Republica Dominicana, is thriving (BVRD). The Dominican Republic’s economic advancement is reflected by its sophisticated telecommunications and transportation infrastructure. Nonetheless, unemployment, government corruption, and inconsistency in electric service continue to be serious issues in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, the nation has “significant economic disparity.” International migration has a significant impact on the Dominican Republic, since the country receives and sends huge numbers of migrants. Illegal Haitian immigration in large numbers and the assimilation of Dominicans of Haitian ancestry are significant problems. There is a sizable Dominican diaspora, mostly in the United States. It helps to the growth of the Dominican Republic by providing billions of dollars in remittances to Dominican households.
The Dominican Republic is the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destination. The year-round golf courses are one of the island’s most popular attractions. The Dominican Republic, a physically varied country, is home to both the Caribbean’s highest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, and the Caribbean’s biggest lake and lowest elevation point, Lake Enriquillo. The island has an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit) and a high degree of climatic and ecological variety. Additionally, the nation is home to the world’s first cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress, all of which are situated in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Music and athletics play a significant role in Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata serving as the national dance and music, respectively, and baseball serving as the preferred sport.