According to Countryaah data, the first residents of the island of Quisqueya were the lucayos, ciguayos, taínoos and caribs. They built fishing and collecting societies and practiced simple farming. The indigenous peoples’ emigration between the islands in the Caribbean was always extensive, and trade and exchange were combined with gifts.
In December 1492, Cristóbal Colón (Columbus) arrived on the island of Quisqueya, which he christened Hispaniola. With the remains of one of his ships, he built a fort and thus initiated the European colonialization of America. Colón ruled the island for 8 years. During this relatively short period, the Europeans shared virtually all of the island’s fertile lands, and with this the population. In the 16th century, the hard work of the gold mines, epidemics and repression caused the indigenous population to fall dramatically, and thus the labor force. It was in these circumstances that Bishop Bartolomé de las Casas proposed to retrieve Africans, and in a short time these were retrieved in millions. Not just to Hispaniola but to the entire American continent.
According to thesciencetutor, Dominican history tells that in 1523, 37 and 48 slave revolts took place and that the rebellious slaves fled and created the first free slave communities – the quilombos – on the island. The replacement of the indigenous population by African slaves was followed by a turn in economic activity: from the extraction of gold, the Spaniards went on to sugar production and extensive cattle farming. Historian Pierre Vilar writes that the extraction of gold was of a destructive nature. Not in terms of raw material, but in terms of labor. ” It is a fact that the economic potential of the Dominican Republic in the colonial era could only be compared to Brazil’s. Initially, the island became the Caribbean’s largest producer of gold, then in 1570-1630 one of the largest American producers of sugar and finally reached a stock of cattle equal to 40 oxen per day. resident. A figure first surpassed by Argentina in the late 18th century.
A renowned historian: “Santo Domingo was a microcosm of America’s history. The island’s history has strong developmental features, which in other parts of the continent only emerge more modestly ».
As a major producer of sugar and in a key position for Europe’s trade with Mexico and Peru, the island quickly became a sought-after prey for the colonial powers of the time. In 1586, the British pirate, Francis Drake, ravaged the capital, and in 1697, in accordance with the Ryswick Treaty, France occupied the western part of the island – later Haiti. France later extended its control to the entire island, only partially recaptured by Spain in 1809, after Haiti had detached from France.
In 1822, the black government of Haiti again brought the whole island under its control. However, the resistance of the Creoles – the Spanish descendants – culminated in an uprising in the capital Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic was proclaimed in 1861 and immediately sought integration in Spain, in an attempt to gain foreign support to maintain the Creole dominance over the black population.
But Spain was not very effective in defending its colony, which again became independent in 1865, after a movement of mulattos revolted. Despite the independence, however, the economic structures remained unchanged.
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By this time, the United States was recovering after the Civil War and was now beginning to extend its influence in the Caribbean. In 1907, the Dominican Republic imposed an economic treaty – a prelude to “dollar diplomacy”. Referring to this treaty, the United States invaded the country in 1916 and made it a “protectorate” until 1924. During its occupation, the United States created and trained the nation’s national guard, and in 1930 its chief, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, conducted a coup d’etat and ruled the country with dictatorial power for the next 30 years – with the help and support of Washington. His criminal acts were so numerous and haunting that he eventually became a burden to the United States and the CIA therefore planned the assassination of him that occurred in May 1961. When he died, Trujillo was the owner of 71% of the country’s arable land and 90% of the industry.