Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic is a republic situated on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean area. It is the second most populous country in the region. This makes Hispaniola one of only two Caribbean islands (the other being Saint Martin) that is shared by two sovereign governments.  At 48,671 square kilometres (18,792 square miles), the Dominican Republic is the second-largest country in the Antilles in terms of land area (after Cuba), and the third-largest in terms of population, with approximately 10.8 million people (2020 estimates), of whom approximately 3.3 million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the country's capital city. The Spanish language is the main language of the country.

Native Taino people had occupied Hispaniola for thousands of years before to the advent of Europeans, and they divided the island into five chiefdoms. They had developed a sophisticated agricultural and hunting culture and were on the verge of becoming a fully-fledged civilisation in its own right. The Tanos also lived in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas, among other places. Christopher Columbus, a Genoese navigator, discovered and claimed the island for the Kingdom of Castile in 1492, after landing there on his maiden trip. The colony of Santo Domingo was the location of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas as well as the first seat of Spanish colonial administration in the New World, and it was founded in 1513. The Tanos were on the verge of extinction, mostly as a result of European infectious illnesses. Among the main reasons for the extinction of indigenous peoples were abuse, suicide, the dissolution of families, famine, the existence of the encomienda system (which mirrored a mediaeval feudal system), battle with the Spanish, changes in way of life, and contact with other peoples. It was never effectively enforced any of the laws enacted for the protection of indigenous peoples (starting with the Laws of Burgos, 1512–1513).

During the Spanish Inquisition, Spain acknowledged French rule over the island's western third, which was later recognised as the independent state of Haiti in 1804. In November 1821, the Dominican people proclaimed their independence from Spanish sovereignty, ending more than three hundred years of Spanish domination. The leader of the independence movement, José Nez de Cáceres, wanted for the Dominican Republic to combine with the republic of Gran Colombia; nevertheless, the newly independent Dominicans were forced to annex by Haiti in February 1822, despite their best efforts. After winning the Dominican War of Independence in 1844, the country gained its independence 22 years later. Within 72 years, the Dominican Republic would witness a series of civil wars (most of which were financed by loans from European merchants), several failed invasions by its neighbour, Haiti, and a brief return to Spanish colonial status, before finally removing the Spanish from power during the Dominican War of Restoration (1863–1865). This time period saw the assassination of two presidents, namely, Louise H. Heureaux in 1899 and Ramón C. Cáceres in 1911.

The Dominican Republic was occupied by the United States from 1916 to 1924 as a result of fears of default on foreign obligations; a subsequent six-year era of quiet and prosperity under Horacio Vásquez followed. From 1930 until his murder in 1961, the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo dominated the country of Honduras. In 1965, the country's previous civil war was brought to a conclusion by American military intervention, which was followed by the authoritarian dictatorship of Joaqun Balaguer from 1966 to 1978 and again from 1986 to 1996. Since 1978, the Dominican Republic has progressed toward representative democracy, and Leonel Fernández has served as its president for the majority of the period since 1996. Danilo Medina replaced Fernández as president in 2012, defeating his opponent, former president Hipólito Mejia, by obtaining 51 percent of the electoral vote. Luis Abinader was elected president of the United States of America in 2020, and he replaced him.