A popular Caribbean island, the Dominican Republic offers cyrstal clear sea, beaches, resorts, diving, great eating and if you fancy rainforests, jungle adventures await. Santo Domingo Old Town is a historic 16th century city and you can even visit the Christopher Columbus palace. You can feel Spanish colonial rule and imagine the privateers of Sir Francis Drake just over the horizon.
History of the Dominican Republic
The island of Hispaniola is shared between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Originally inhabited by the Taino people, Christopher Columbus had something to say about that when he happened upon it in 1492 and made it the first permanent European settlement in the New World and a seat of Spanish colonial rule.
After twenty-five years of Spanish occupation, the Taíno population had shrunk due to disease. starvation and ill treatment but the survivors intermixed with the Spanish and Africans to give the population we see today. The Spanish introduced sugar plantations
In 1697, Spain acknowledged French control over what is now Haiti, which became independent in 1804. The Dominican Republic sought its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by Haiti for 22 years; finally attaining independence in 1843. After the Dominican War of Independence civil wars dominated, with independence temporarily interrupted by two years of Spanish rule.
Since then there has been a period of US occupation due to the threat of the DR defaulting on debt, dictatorship, military rule, conflict with Haiti, and now a democracy.