Not to be confused with the Caribbean island country of Dominica.
The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country that occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The western one-third of Hispaniola is occupied by the country of Haiti. To the north lies the North Atlantic Ocean, while the Caribbean Sea lies to the south.
Explored and claimed by Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, the island of Hispaniola became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland.
The island was first inhabited by the Taínos, an Arawakan-speaking people who had arrived around A.D. 600. Within a few short years following the arrival of European explorers the population of Tainos had significantly declined.
In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821, but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844.
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(SDQ) Santo Domingo Americas
(STI) Santiago Municipal