Colonial Rule of the Dominican Republic

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In The Beginning

The first instance of colonialism forced upon the inhabitants of the Dominican Republic was the “discovery” by Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492. Ernesto Sagas and Orlando Inoa presented the interaction in their book The Dominican People: A Documentary History. The confrontation between these two diametrically opposed cultures proved to be “far from equal; the Amerindians’ Stone Age culture was no match for European military technology. The initial encounter took place on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, part of which is now the Dominican Republic” (Inoa pg. 1). This was the first step in a trek through five and a half centuries of Dominican Republic history, and unfortunately much of it was filled with the horror of colonialism. In fact, the Dominican Republic became the “hub” for the colonization of the America’s, and acted as the stepping-stone for European colonizers into a vast, never before exploited goldmine for both natural and human resources. As Sagas and Inoa discuss, the island of Hispaniola, "became the center of the Spanish colonial enterprise in the New World. It was in Hispaniola where the first major contacts between Europeans and Amerindians took place, where the first exploitative economic activities in the New World were developed, where Europeans first established permanent settlements and colonial institutions, and where the stage was set for the colonization of the rest of the New World (Inoa pg. 1.)." Thus the groundwork was established for colonialism not only for the Dominican Republic, but for the entire hemisphere. According to Sagas and Inoa, colonization was inevitable because interaction with Europeans was predictable. They wrote, “[i]f Christopher Columbus had...

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...l developments taking place in the Eurasian land mass. The encounter was far from equal;” (Inoa pg. 1). It began as an unequal interaction, and has remained to this day a relationship of aggressor versus defender.


The Center for Strategic Studies. Dominican Action—1965: Intervention or Cooperation?. Washington, D.C.: The Center for Strategic Studies, 1966.

Chester, Eric Thomas. The U.S. Intervention in the Dominican Republic, 1965-66: Rag-Tags, Scum, Riff-Raff, and Commies. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2001

Inoa, Orlando, and Sagas, Ernesto. The Dominican People: A Documentary History. Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2003.

Lundahl, Mats, and Lundius, Jan. Peasants and Religion: A socioeconomic study of Dios Olivorio and the Palma Sola Movement in the Dominican Republic. New York: Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group, 2000.
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