Dominican Republic: History


  1. 1492

    Christopher Columbus visits the island and names it Hispaniola.

  2. 1496

    Spaniards establish a colony at Santo Domingo, which becomes the capital of all the Spanish colonies in America.

  3. 1503

    Spaniards start bringing African slaves to the island.

  4. 1697

    The Treaty of Ryswick gives the western part of Hispaniola to France and the eastern part (present-day Dominican Republic) to Spain.

  5. 1795

    Spain gives its portion of Hispaniola to France.

  6. 1804

    The western part of the island becomes the Republic of Haiti.

  7. 1808

    A revolt by Spanish Creoles is successful, returning Santo Domingo to Spain.

  8. 1822

    Santo Domingo is conquered and reclaimed by Haiti in 1822.

  9. 1844

    Another revolt overthrows the Haitian president and Santo Domingo gains independence, becoming the Dominican Republic.

  10. 1861

    The Dominican Republic returns to the Spanish Empire.

  11. 1864

    Spain withdraws from the Dominican Republic after a revolt.

  12. 1865

    Independence is restored to the country, and the second Dominican Republic is declared.

  13. 1906

    A treaty is signed between the United States and the Dominican Republic, causing the US to take over the Republic's customs in exchange for purchasing its debts.

  14. 1916

    The US occupies the Dominican Republic and establishes a military government.

  15. 1924

    The US leaves and the Dominican Republic establishes a democratically elected constitutional government.

  16. 1960

    The Organization of American States (OAS) calls for a severance of diplomatic ties with the Dominican Republic.

  17. 1985

    The government establishes economic recovery legislation, which includes an austerity program that raises prices for food and petrol. These measures lead to riots.

  18. 1988

    The Dominican Republic goes into an economic depression.

  19. 2004

    The Dominican Republic becomes part of a free trade agreement between the US and five other Central American countries known as CAFTA-DR.

Glossary