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Dominican Republic Map

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 on december 5th, 1492, the island of Ayiti and named by Columbus as La Hispaniola became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland.

The island was first inhabited by the Tainos and Caribes, the first ones very friendly and the second ones was cannibals, an Arawakan-speaking people who had arrived around B.C. 10,000. Within a few short years following the arrival of European explorers the population of Tainos had significantly assassinated by the Spanish conquerors. Based on Fray Bartolom¨¦ de las Casas (Tratado de las Indias) between 1492 and 1498 the Spanish conquerors killed around 100,000 tainos.

The first European settlement founded in America Continent was located in La Isabela, founded in The Grace year of 1493 using a XV century style located in La Isabela, Puerto Plata (19o53'15.08" N 71o04'48.41" W). The City of Santo Domingo was founded by Bartolome Colon, on august 5, 1496 and later that was moved by Frey Nicolas de Ovando at the west side of Ozama river in 1502.

In 1606 they Royal crown of Spain order the depopulate the west part of the island due to the high piracy and contraband. That measurement taken was the cause of French invasion and after that the raise of the Republic of Haiti

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.

A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative, rule for much of its subsequent history was brought to an end in 1966 when Joaquin Balaguer became president. He maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. The Dominican economy has had one of the fastest growth rates in the hemisphere.