General information about the Dominican Republic
The official name is the Dominican Republic.
Located in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic occupies the eastern part of the island of Haiti, the second largest in the Greater Antilles. The area is 48.73 thousand km2, the population is 8.9 million people. (2002). The official language is Spanish. The capital is Santo Domingo (2.7 million people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day February 27 (1844). The monetary unit is the Dominican peso.
Member of the UN (since 1945), OAS (since 1948), Leningrad NPP (since 1975), Association of Caribbean States (since 1995), etc.
Geography of the Dominican Republic
According to Bridgat, Dominican Republic is located between 68°19′ and 72°31′ west longitude and 17°36′ and 19°56′ north latitude. It is washed from the south by the Caribbean Sea, from the north by the Atlantic Ocean, from the east by the Mona Strait. The coast is strongly indented, replete with bays and bays. In the west it borders on the Republic of Haiti. The relief is rugged, mountain ranges alternate with depressions and lowlands. In the mountains of the Cordillera Central are the highest point of the West Indies – Mount Duarte (3175 m), as well as the mountains Tina (3140 m) and Yaque (2995 m). Minerals: bauxites, nickel, copper and iron ores, gold, silver. The soils are red-yellow ferralitic, brown-red lateritic. The climate is tropical trade wind. Hurricanes are not uncommon in autumn. The largest rivers are Yaque del Norte (length – 296 km), Yuna (209 km), Yaque del Sur (183 km).
Vegetation: on the wet slopes of the mountains mixed evergreen tropical forests, in drier areas – deciduous forests, savannahs and shrubs. On the slopes of low mountains and in the valleys, the natural vegetation has been cleared for pastures, irrigated plantations and orchards of tropical crops. Animal world: different kinds of birds, rodents, lizards, crocodiles, bats.
Population of the Dominican Republic
Birth rate 24.4%, mortality 4.7%, natural increase 19.7%. The balance of migration -3.59%. Most of the emigrants go to the USA. Infant mortality 33.4 pers. per 1000 newborns. Average life expectancy is 73.7 years, incl. men 71.6, women 75.9. Men 4.3 million people, women 4.6 million people. In the age structure, the share of persons 0-14 years old is 34.1%, 15-64 years old – 61.0%, 65 years and older – 4.9%. Urban population – 65%. The right to an old-age pension is given to persons who have reached the age of 60, provided that they have worked for at least 360 months. 17.9% of the adult population is illiterate.
73% of the population are mulattoes, 16% are whites and 11% are blacks.
The language is Spanish, in the local spoken dialect there are borrowings from Indian and African languages. Most blacks, in addition to Spanish, speak Kriol, which originates from French.
The overwhelming majority of Dominicans (over 95%) professes Catholicism.
History of the Dominican Republic
The territory of the Dominican Republic, discovered by H. Columbus in 1492, until 1795 under the name of Santo Domingo was a colony of Spain. In 1795-1808 it belonged to France, in 1808-21 – again to Spain. The independent Republic of Santo Domingo, proclaimed in 1821, lasted only a year and was annexed by Haiti. In 1844, as a result of an anti-Haitian uprising, the Dominican Republic was formed, but in 1861 it was captured by Spain. It finally gained independence in 1865.
In 1916–24 the Dominican Republic was occupied by the USA. In 1930, the protege of the United States, R.L. Trujillo. Performances against the dictatorship established by him, incl. armed, brutally suppressed by the troops. After the assassination of Trujillo (1961) and the change of several governments in 1965, power in the country passes into the hands of leftist rebels. The United States responded by armed intervention in the Dominican Republic. In 1966, in elections held under conditions of occupation, J. Balaguer, the leader of the Reformist Party, was elected president. After he came to power in the same year, American troops were withdrawn from the country, and a new Constitution was adopted. The following years are characterized by a confrontation between the political forces of the center-right and the social democratic orientation.