Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Dominican Republic

Explored and claimed by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, the island of Hispaniola became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo from 1930-61. Juan Bosch was elected president in 1962 but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the United States led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore Bosch. In 1966, Joaquin Balaguer defeated Bosch in an election to become president. Balaguer maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former President (1996-2000) Leonel Fernandez Reyna won election to a second term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term.

CIA World Factbook: Dominican Republic
Photo by undergraduate Nora Murphy, Stone Center for Latin American Studies

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Carnaval Latino and Parade of the Americas

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Join us for the 19th annual Carnaval Latino festival in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month on October 13 through October 15, 2018.

The Hispanic culture has thrived in New Orleans for almost 300 years, and Spanish influence can be seen all over the city. To celebrate the best of Latin culture, Carnaval Latino returns to the downtown area.

The Hispanic American Musicians and Artists Cultural Association hosts the festival to celebrate the music, food, art and culture of Latin America. Numerous musicians, both locally and from overseas, perform to honor the rich Spanish heritage in New Orleans.

In addition to live music and fantastic food, the Krewe of Quetzal will kick off the celebration with a New Orleans style parade, Desfile de Las Americas, or Parade of the Americas, on Saturday, October 13. See the Hispanic community ride in elaborate costumes, throwing souvenirs to the crowds. After the parade, festival goers will then enjoy Latin music, art, food and drink, during Carnaval Latino’s festival at Generations Hall in the Warehouse District.

For more information on the festival and parade, visit Carnaval Latino’s official website.

Forging a New World: Books & Writing in Early Spanish America, 1492-1821

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On Wednesday, November 14, the Latin American Library at Tulane University will host Dr. Hortensia Calvo, Doris Stone Director of the Latin American Library, for a talk titled, Forging a New World: Books & Writing in Early Spanish America, 1492-1821.

This presentation is part of the Tulane University Women’s Association’s Jane and Herbert Longenecker Lecture Series. The event is dedicated to María García Daly.