Dominican Republic

Events

Christopher Columbus' First Voyage

1492 - 1493

Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Hispaniola, and named it "Little Spain", or Hispaniola.

1st Spanish Colony

1496

Spaniard set up the first Spanish colony in the Western hemisphere at Santo Domingo, which subsequently serves as the capital of all the Spanish colonies in America.

Santo Domingo Enters Decline

1602

Colony of Santo Domingo is bypassed by immigrants from Spain and enters decline due to depopulation.

French Colony Founded on Caribbean Island

1659

The French colony of Saint-Domingue was founded on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and continued to 1804.

Treaty of Ryswick

1697

Treaty of Ryswick gives western part of Hispaniola island (Haiti) to France and eastern part (Santo Domingo - the present Dominican Republic) to Spain.

Spain Cedes Hispaniola

1795

Spain cedes its portion of Hispaniola island to France.

Spain Retakes Santo Domingo

1808

Spain retakes Santo Domingo following revolt by Spanish Creoles

Santo Domingo's Independence

1844

Santo Domingo declares its independence and becomes the Dominican Republic

Independence Day

February 27, 1844

Spain Withdraws

1863 - 1864

Spain withdraws from, and annuls its annexation of, the Dominican Republic following a popular revolt.

Dominican Republic & US sign 50-year Treaty

1906

The Dominican Republic and the US sign 50-year treaty according to which the US takes over the republic's customs department in return for buying its debts.

Silvestre Antonio Guzman Elected President

1978

Silvestre Antonio Guzman (PRD) is elected president and proceeds to release some 200 political prisoners, ease media censorship and purge the armed forces of Balaguer supporters.

Disaster of the Hurricanes

1979

Two hurricanes leave more than 200,000 people homeless and cause damage worth 1 billion dollars as the economy continues to deteriorate due to high fuel prices and low sugar prices.

Clashes Between Police & Protesters

2003

Deadly clashes between police and protesters during demonstrations against high prices, power cuts. Two months later, demonstrations about economic policies leave at least five dead.

A Close Win

2012

Governing Dominican Liberation Party candidate Danilo Medina wins close presidential election over former president Hipolito Mejia