Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Timeline

1400s - 1600s
  • (1492) Christopher Columbus discovered island, named it Hispaniola or "Little Spain"
  • (1496) Spaniards set up first Spanish colony at Santo Domingo, served as capital of all Spanish colonies in South America
  • (1510) First shipment of Africans to Santo Domingo
  • (1586) Francis Drake attacked heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo in Hispanola, forced governor to pay large ransom
  • (1697) Treaty of Ryswick gave western part of Hispaniola island (Haiti) to France and eastern part (Santo Domingo- present-day Dominican Republic) to Spain
  • (1793) First British soldiers came ashore at St. Domingue
  • (1795) Spain ceded its portion of Hispaniola Island to France
  • (1808) Following revolt by Spanish Creoles, Spain retook Santo Domingo
  • (1810) Napoleon overthrew King of Spain
  • (1821) Brief period of independence followed after uprising against Spanish rule
  • (1822) Haitian Republic born
  • (1844) Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti, Santo Domingo declared independence, became Dominican Republic
  • (1861-63) President Pedro Santana returned Dominican Republic to Spanish rule
  • (1863-64) Following revolt, Spain withdrew, annulled annexation of Dominican Republic
  • (1865) Second Dominican Republic proclaimed
  • (1906) 50-year treaty signed by US and Dominican Republic, US took over the Republic's customs department in return for buying its debts
  • (1916-24) Dominican Republic occupied by US forces after internal disorder
  • (1924) Constitutional government assumed control; US forces withdrew
  • (1930) General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina established personal dictatorship
  • (1937) About 20,000 Haitians living in areas of Dominican Republic adjacent to Haiti massacred by army
  • (1960) Organization of American States adopted resolution, called for severance of diplomatic ties with Dominican Republic
  • (1961) Trujillo assassinated
  • (1962) Founder of leftist Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), Juan Bosch, elected in first democratic elections in nearly four decades
  • (1963) Bosch deposed in military coup, replaced by three-man civilian junta
  • (1965) 30,000 US troops invaded Dominican Republic following pro-Bosch uprising
  • (1966) Joaquin Balaguer (PRSC) elected president
  • (1978) Silvestre Antonio Guzman (PRD) elected president
  • (1982) Jorge Blanco (PRD) elected president
  • (1986) Balaguer (PRSC) re-elected president
  • (1990) Balaguer re-elected, defeated Bosch by small majority
  • (1994) After being accused of fraud, Balaguer agreed to serve a two-year re-election term
  • (1996) Leonel Fernandez Reyna (PLD) elected president
  • (1998) Hurricane George caused widespread devastation
  • (2000) Hipolito Mejia (PRD) elected president
  • (2001) Appeals court annulled conviction of corruption charges against former president, Salvador Jorge Blanco; US jet bound for Santo Domingo crashed in New York, killed all 255 people on board
  • (2002) Former President Joaquin Balaguer died after dominating politics for more than 50 years
  • (2003) Demonstrations about economic policies left at least five dead
  • (2004) Leonel Fernandez, former head of state, defeated incumbent President Hipolito Mejia
  • (2005) Congress approved proposed free trade agreement with US and Central American nations
  • (2007) DR entered the accord
  • (2008) President Leonel Fernandez re-elected
  • (2010) Ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) retained power in congressional elections; Dominican Republic tightened border restrictions to prevent cholera spreading from Haiti

Dominican Republic Photographs

francis drake santo domingo fort rafael trujillo joaquin balaguer hurricane george

Photos used are from public domain sources and from