The Dominican Republic was discovered by Columbus during his initial expedition in 1492. Christopher Columbus declares it be called La Española, Santo Domingo, the capital, was discovered in 1496. It is the eldest European land known to the West. Spain surrendered the settlement to France in 1795, and Haitian blacks beneath Toussaint L'Ouverture dominated it in 1801. During 1808, the citizens fought back and took over Santo Domingo the following year, all along forming the initial republic. Spain retrieved title to the settlement in 1814. In 1821 Spanish law was conquered, but in 1822 the settlement was again taken over by Haitians. In 1844, the Haitians were no longer allowed and the Dominican Republic was stabilized, controlled by Pedro Santana. Revolt and Haitian aggressions built up making Santan name the realm a province of Spain from 1861 to 1865. President Buenaventura Bâez, dealing with a broken economy, tried to have the country seized to the U.S. in 1870, but the U.S. Senate rejected the idea. Chaos was still going on till the tyranny of Ulìses Heureaux; in 1916, when pandemonium struck again, the U.S. brought in a group of marines, who persisted up to 1924. A leader in the Dominican army disciplined by the marines, Rafaél Leonides Trujillo Molina, overturned Horacio Vásquez in 1930 and constituted a monocracy that was endured until his assassination in 1961. Balaguer seized many administration positions throughout Gen. Rafael Trujillo's 30-year dictatorship. Balaguer was vice president beneath Trujillo's sibling Hector and was elected president after Hector resigned. Balaguer's ensuing efforts on independence caused his overturning by the military. In 1962, Juan Bosch was elected president from the left wing Dominican Revolutionist Party. In forty years, Bosch was the first democratically chosen president.
“The only way out is in. And that’s what I guess these stories are all about.” –Lola de León