The Dominican Republic is a Spanish-speaking representative democracy located on the eastern portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, bordering Haiti. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative, rule for much of the 20th century--most notably the brutal 32 year reign of US sponsored dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo and later Joaquin Balaguer--was brought to an end in 1978 when free and open elections ushered in a new government.
The country has had a history of changing ownership, with Spain, France, Haiti, Spain again, and the United States taking their turns at ruling Dominican territory amid attempts at independence and self rule. The twentieth century was marked by repeated US intervention in local affairs. Apart from the history of US support for the Trujillo dictatorship (1930-1961), the most infamous example of this is the 1965 invasion by American troops in the midst of a Dominican civil war, an uprising that was sparked by an attempt to restore the republic's first democratically-elected President, Juan Bosch, who had been overthrown by an American backed right-wing coup in 1963. This invasion had the effect of establishing the rule of Joaquin Balaguer (1966-1978), and ensuring that Juan Bosch's constitutional government never return to power.
The country's economy is highly dependent on tourism. Since the early 1960s, economic problems have led to a vast migration of Dominicans to the US, mainly to large east coast cities. New York City's Washington Heights is so densely populated by Dominicans, it is sometimes referred to as Quisqueya Heights. Quisqueya believed to be the name given to the eastern side of Hispaniola by its original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians, although this version is disputed by some historians. Dominicans are now one of the largest Latino groups in the US.
Dominicans are notorious baseball lovers, and almost all major league baseball teams have at least one Dominican ball player.
The capital is Santo Domingo. The second largest city is Santiago de los Caballeros.
From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website. Not Wikified.
- History of the Dominican Republic
- Geography of the Dominican Republic
- Demographics of the Dominican Republic
- Politics of the Dominican Republic
- Economy of the Dominican Republic
- Communications in the Dominican Republic
- Transportation in the Dominican Republic
- Culture of the Dominican Republic (Music of the Dominican Republic)
- Military of the Dominican Republic
- Foreign relations of the Dominican Republic