Inhabited by the Taino Indians since the seventh century, the Dominican Republic became the site of the first European settlement in the Americas when Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain in 1492. Santo Domingo proudly boasts the first cathedral, fortress, hospital, monastery, university, palace, and streets in the Americas. Once ruled by Spain, France, and Haiti, the country eventually gained its independence in 1844 and modeled its constitution after the U.S. Constitution. A legacy of unsettled, nonrepresentative rule followed, capped by the ironfisted dictatorship of General Rafael Trujillo. Today, the Dominican Republic is a democratic republic with a major railway and an economy based on tourism. Because of the vast inequalities among the rich and the poor, Dominicans still face many hardships, and high unemployment remains a challenge. In The Dominican Republic, explore this island nation's history, culture, peoples, and government.
Full-color photographs and maps. Facts at a glance. History at a glance. Bibliography. Further reading. Index.
About the Author(s)
Series consulting editor and coauthor Charles F. Gritzner is Distinguished Professor of Geography Emeritus at South Dakota State University. Gritzner has served as both president and executive director of the National Council for Geographic Education and has received the council's highest honor, the George J. Miller Award for Distinguished Service to Geographic Education, as well as other honors from the NCGE, Association of American Geographers, and other organizations.
Douglas A. Phillips is an educator, writer, and consultant who has worked and traveled in more than 100 countries on six continents. He is a former president of the National Council for Geographic Education and has received the Outstanding Service Award from the National Council for the Social Studies. Phillips is the author or coauthor of numerous Chelsea House geography books, including Bangladesh, Finland, and Thailand in the Modern World Nations series.