Where Is the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation located on the island of Hispaniola, within the Greater Antilles archipelago. The country shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The Dominican Republic occupies an area of 48,445 square km, making it the second biggest Caribbean nation by area, and has a population of approximately 10 million, which is the third highest in the Caribbean.
What Type of Government Does the Dominican Republic Have?
The Dominican Republic is governed as a democratic republic. Power is controlled by three branches of government: executive, legislative, and the judicial. The President of the Dominican Republic serves as both the head of government and head of state. The president, aided by cabinet ministers, carries out the executive functions of government. The legislative branch includes a bicameral legislature, composed of the Chamber of Deputies (178 members) and the Senate (32 members). The Supreme Court is the highest court of the Dominican Republic's judicial branch.
What Is the Capital of the Dominican Republic?
Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic. The city encompasses an area of 104.44 square km, while its metropolitan area covers 2,696.69 square km. The population of the city is 965,040, and its metropolitan population is approximately 2,908,607. Santo Domingo is the Caribbean region’s largest metropolitan area in terms of population. Santo Domingo is located at the mouth of the Ozama River, on Hispaniola's southeast coast of the Caribbean Sea. The city experiences a tropical climate.
History of Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo was founded as Nueva Isabela in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus, Italian explorer and brother of Christopher Columbus. Named after the Spanish Queen Isabella I, the settlement was located on the eastern bank of the Ozama and became the capital of Spain's first colony in the New World. Soon after its establishment, the settlement was destroyed by a hurricane and rebuilt at its present location in 1502. Soon, Santo Domingo became the base of Spanish expeditions, where Spanish ships set out to explore and colonize other parts of the West Indies. The importance of the colony declined once Spain colonized Peru and Mexico. Santo Domingo was later invaded several times by other European powers. Following the independence of the Dominican Republic in 1844, Santo Domingo became the capital of the newly independent country.
Role of Santo Domingo As the Capital of the Dominican Republic
As the Dominican Republic's seat of government, the office of the President, National Congress, Supreme Court of Justice, ministries, and other significant government institutions are located in Santo Domingo. The city is also the nation's financial, commercial, and industrial hub. Santo Domingo is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the New World, and the city's Colonial Zone has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.