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I have not been on the site for quite a while and cant believe how many new comments have been posted. The Dominican Republic became a nation on 27 February 1844 when a group of revolutionaries seized power from the Haitian rulers of the island of Hispaniola.France gained a foothold on the western end of the island, which became prosperous, and by 1795 Spain ceded the entire island to France.By 1804 the black African slaves in the western portion of the island (now Haiti) rebelled against the French and ruled the entire island.The highest point in the Caribbean is Pico Duarte, which reaches an elevation of over 10,414 feet (3,175 meters) and has alpine forests near the summit.The Caribbean coastal plain includes a series of limestone terraces that gradually rise to a height of about 328 feet (100 meters) and has sugarcane plantations.The complex heritage of Arawak, Spanish, African, and French traditions, plus an early independence, set the Dominican Republic apart from other Caribbean islands.Independence was won before slavery was abolished in the Spanish Caribbean and a century before the decolonization of the other islands.
In addition, they retain close ties with the United States, which occupied the island in the early twentieth century.The capital, Santo Domingo, was the first permanent European settlement in the New World and was established by Spain in 1496.The Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo is one of the great treasures of Spanish America today, with many original buildings intact and restored. The population of the Dominican Republic is about 8.4 million (2000 estimate) and is increasing at a rate of 1.6 percent per year.French troops eventually reclaimed the island, but were able to occupy only the western end.In 1838 a small group of Spanish-speaking Dominican intellectuals from Santo Domingo organized a secret society called La Trinitaria to overthrow the Haitian rule.
Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Jamaica are referred to as the Greater Antilles.