Captaincy General of Santo Domingo
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The Captaincy General of Santo Domingo ( es, Capitanía General de Santo Domingo ) was the first colony in the
New World The term ''New World'' is often used to mean the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 3 ...

New World
, established by
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
in 1492 on the island of
Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin and french: Hispaniola; ht, Ispayola; tnq, Ayiti or Quisqueya) is an island in the Caribbean that is part of the Greater Antilles. Hispaniola is the most populous island in the West Indies, and th ...
. The colony, under the jurisdiction of the
Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo The Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo was the first court of the Crown of Castile, Spanish crown in America. It was created by Ferdinand II of Aragon, Ferdinand V of Castile in his decree of 1511, but due to disagreements between the governor of ...
, was granted administrative powers over the Spanish possessions in the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ) ( es, El Caribe; french: la Caraïbe; ht, Karayib; nl, De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean ...
and most of its mainland coasts, making Santo Domingo the principal political entity of the early colonial period. Due to its strategic location, the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo served as headquarters for
Spanish conquistadors
Spanish conquistadors
on their way to the mainland and was important in the establishment of other European colonies in the Western Hemisphere. It is the site of the first European city in the Americas,
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST (UTC −4) , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Dist ...

Santo Domingo
, and of the oldest castle, fortress, cathedral, and monastery in the region. The colony was a meeting point of European explorers, soldiers, and settlers who brought with them the culture, architecture, laws, and traditions of the
Old World The "Old World" is a term for Afro-Eurasia that originated in Europe , after Europeans became aware of the existence of the Americas. It is used to contrast the continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia, which were previously thought of by thei ...
. The colony remained a military stronghold of the Spanish Empire for over a century, successfully defending against British, Dutch, and French expeditions into the region until the early 17th century. After pirates working for the
French colonial empire The French colonial empire () comprised the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. A distinction is generally made between the "First French Colonial Empire", that exis ...
took over part of the west coast, French settlers arrived and decades of armed conflict ensued. Spain finally ceded the western third of Hispaniola to
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
in the 1697
Peace of Ryswick The Peace of Ryswick, or Rijswijk, was a series of treaties signed in the Dutch city of Rijswijk between 20 September and 30 October 1697. They ended the 1688 to 1697 Nine Years' War between France France (), officially the French R ...
, thus establishing the basis for the future nations of the
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles The Greater Antilles ( es, Grandes Antillas or Antillas Mayores; french: Grandes Antilles; ht, Gwo Zant ...

Dominican Republic
and
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba and Jamaica, and ...

Haiti
.


History


Pre-Columbian era

Prior to the arrival of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...

Christopher Columbus
and the Spanish in 1492, the native
Taíno people The Taíno were a historic Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, indigenous people of the Caribbean whose culture has been continued today by Taíno descendant communities and Taíno revivalist communities. At the time of European contact in the ...
populated the island which they called ''Ayiti'' (land of high mountains) or "Quisqueya" (from Quizqueia), meaning "great thing" or "big land" (mother of all lands), and which the Spanish later named
Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin and french: Hispaniola; ht, Ispayola; tnq, Ayiti or Quisqueya) is an island in the Caribbean that is part of the Greater Antilles. Hispaniola is the most populous island in the West Indies, and th ...
. At the time, the island's territory consisted of five chiefdoms: Marién, Maguá, Maguana, Jaragua, and Higüey. These were ruled respectively by ''
cacique A ''cacique'' (Latin American ; ; feminine form: ''cacica'') was a tribal chieftain of the Taíno people, the indigenous inhabitants at European colonization of the Americas, European contact of the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the north ...

cacique
s'' (chiefs) Guacanagarix, Guarionex,
Caonabo Caonabo (died 1496) was a Taíno ''cacique A ''cacique'' (Latin American ; ; feminine form: ''cacica'') was a tribal chieftain of the Taíno people, the indigenous inhabitants at European colonization of the Americas, European contact of t ...
, Bohechío, and Cayacoa.


Arrival of the Spanish

On his first voyage the navigator
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...

Christopher Columbus
, arrived in 1492 under the Spanish Crown as he landed on a large island in the region of the western Atlantic Ocean that later came to be known as the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ) ( es, El Caribe; french: la Caraïbe; ht, Karayib; nl, De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean ...
. Columbus promptly claimed the island for the
Spanish Crown , coatofarms = File:Coat_of_Arms_of_Spanish_Monarch.svg , coatofarms_article = Coat of arms of the King of Spain , image = Felipe_VI_in_2020_(cropped).jpg , incumbent = Felipe VI , incumbentsince = 19 Ju ...

Spanish Crown
, naming it La Isla Española ("the Spanish Island"), later Latinized to
Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin and french: Hispaniola; ht, Ispayola; tnq, Ayiti or Quisqueya) is an island in the Caribbean that is part of the Greater Antilles. Hispaniola is the most populous island in the West Indies, and th ...
. He established a settlement in the northern part of the island, which later came under attack by the people of the area. The native Taínos' egalitarian social system clashed with the Europeans' feudalist system, which had more rigid class structures. The Europeans believed the Taínos to be misled, and they began to treat the tribes with violence.


Conquest and settlements

After the sinking of the '' Santa María'' ship Columbus established a military fort to support his claim to the island. The fort was called
La Navidad La Navidad ("The Nativity", i.e. Christmas) was a settlement that Christopher Columbus and his men established on the northeast coast of Haiti (near what is now Caracol, Nord-Est, Caracol, Nord-Est (department), Nord-Est Department, Haiti) in 149 ...

La Navidad
because the shipwrecking and the founding of the fort occurred on Christmas Day. While Columbus was away, the garrison manning the fort was wracked by divisions that evolved into conflict. The more rapacious men began to terrorize the Taíno, the Ciguayo, and the Macorix peoples. The powerful
Cacique A ''cacique'' (Latin American ; ; feminine form: ''cacica'') was a tribal chieftain of the Taíno people, the indigenous inhabitants at European colonization of the Americas, European contact of the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the north ...

Cacique
Caonabo of the Maguana Chiefdom attacked the Europeans and destroyed La Navidad. In 1493, Columbus returned to the island on his second voyage and founded the first Spanish colony in the New World, the city of Isabella. In 1496, his brother
Bartholomew Columbus Bartholomew Columbus ( lij, label=Genoese dialect, Genoese, Bertomê Corombo; pt, Bartolomeu Colombo; es, Bartolomé Colón; it, Bartolomeo Colombo; – 1515) was an Italians, Italian explorer from Genoa and the younger brother of Christophe ...

Bartholomew Columbus
established the settlement of
Santo Domingo de Guzmán
Santo Domingo de Guzmán
on the southern coast, which became the new capital. An estimated 400,000 Tainos living on the island were soon enslaved to work in gold mines. By 1508, their numbers had decreased to around 60,000 because of forced labor, hunger, disease, and mass killings. By 1535, only a few dozen were still alive. Dating from 1496, when the Spanish settled on the island, and officially from 5 August 1498, Santo Domingo became the first European city in the Americas.
Bartholomew Columbus Bartholomew Columbus ( lij, label=Genoese dialect, Genoese, Bertomê Corombo; pt, Bartolomeu Colombo; es, Bartolomé Colón; it, Bartolomeo Colombo; – 1515) was an Italians, Italian explorer from Genoa and the younger brother of Christophe ...

Bartholomew Columbus
founded the settlement and named it La Nueva Isabela, after
an earlier settlement in the north
an earlier settlement in the north
named after the Queen of Spain
Isabella I Isabella I ( es, Isabel I; 22 April 1451 – 26 November 1504), also called Isabella the Catholic (Spanish: ''la Católica''), was Queen of Castile from 1474 until her death in 1504, as well as List of Aragonese royal consorts, Queen consort ...
. In 1495 it was renamed "Santo Domingo", in honor of
Saint Dominic Saint Dominic ( es, Santo Domingo; 8 August 1170 – 6 August 1221), also known as Dominic de Guzmán (), was a Castilians, Castilian Catholic priest, Mysticism, mystic, the founder of the Dominican Order and is the patron saint of astronomers ...
, the patron saint of
astronomy Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Objects of interest ...
.


Establishment of Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo came to be known as the "Gateway to the New World" and the chief city and capital of all Spanish colonies in the Americas during the colonization era. Spanish Expeditions which led to
Ponce de León
Ponce de León
's colonization of
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico), is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
,
Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar Diego Velázquez de CuéllarPronounced: (1465 – c. June 12, 1524) was a Spanish conquistador and the first governor of Governorate of Cuba, Cuba. In 1511 he led the successful conquest and colonization of Cuba. As the first governor of t ...
's colonization of
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is an island country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called ...

Cuba
, Hernando Cortes' conquest of
Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; to the so ...

Mexico
, and
Vasco Núñez de Balboa Vasco Núñez de Balboa (; c. 1475around January 12–21, 1519) was a Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador. He is best known for having crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513, becoming the first European to lead an e ...

Vasco Núñez de Balboa
's discovery of the Pacific Ocean were all launched from Santo Domingo. A large discovery of gold was also found in the island, in the Cordillera Central mountain region, which led to a mining boom and a
gold rush A gold rush or gold fever is a discovery of gold—sometimes accompanied by other precious metals and rare-earth minerals—that brings an onrush of miners seeking their fortune. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, New Ze ...

gold rush
that lasted from 1500 until 1508.
Ferdinand II of Aragon Ferdinand II ( an, Ferrando; ca, Ferran; eu, Errando; it, Ferdinando; la, Ferdinandus; es, Fernando; 10 March 1452 – 23 January 1516), also called Ferdinand the Catholic (Spanish: ''el Católico''), was King of Aragon and List of Sardin ...
"ordered gold from the richest mines reserved for the Crown." The total sum of gold extracted during the first two decades in the Island was estimated at 30,000 kilos, an amount greater than the totality of production in Europe in those years and above the total gold collected by the Portuguese in Africa. The colony's Spanish leadership changed several times, when Columbus departed on another exploration,
Francisco de Bobadilla Francisco Fernández de Bobadilla (c. 1448 – 1 July 1502) was an official under the Crown of Castile and a knight of the Order of Calatrava. He was also the brother of Beatriz de Bobadilla, marquess, marchioness (''marquesa'') of Moya and of Pe ...

Francisco de Bobadilla
became governor. Settlers' allegations of mismanagement by Columbus helped create a tumultuous political situation. In 1502,
Nicolás de Ovando Frey Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres (1460 – 29 May 1511 or 1518) was a Spanish soldier from a noble family and a Knight of the Order of Alcántara, a military order of Spain. He was Governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) from 1502 until 1509, sent ...

Nicolás de Ovando
replaced de Bobadilla as governor, it was he who dealt most brutally with the Taíno people. In June 1502, Santo Domingo was destroyed by a major hurricane, and the new Governor
Nicolás de Ovando Frey Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres (1460 – 29 May 1511 or 1518) was a Spanish soldier from a noble family and a Knight of the Order of Alcántara, a military order of Spain. He was Governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) from 1502 until 1509, sent ...

Nicolás de Ovando
had it rebuilt on a different site on the other side of the
Ozama River The Ozama River () is a river in the Dominican Republic. It rises in the Loma Siete Cabezas mountain in the Sierra de Yamasá mountain range, close to the town of Villa Altagracia. History In 1498, Bartolome Colon had a fort built on the Ozama R ...
. In 1503 the Hospital San Nicolás de Bari, first hospital in the Americas, begins construction at the behest of governor (and namesake of the hospital)
Nicolás de Ovando Frey Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres (1460 – 29 May 1511 or 1518) was a Spanish soldier from a noble family and a Knight of the Order of Alcántara, a military order of Spain. He was Governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) from 1502 until 1509, sent ...

Nicolás de Ovando
. This grand project was in keeping with the desire to emulate European princely courts, and looked to
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...

Renaissance
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...

Italy
for inspiration. At the time of its completion, the wards could accommodate up to 70 patients, comparable to the most advanced churches of Rome. In 1509, the Reales Atarazanas (Royal Shipyards), a waterside building that housed the shipyards, warehouses, customs house and tax offices in the port of
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST (UTC −4) , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Dist ...

Santo Domingo
, began construction. In addition to serving as warehouses, the complex also housed the Santo Domingo office of the Casa de la Contratación, headquartered in
Seville Seville (; es, Sevilla, ) is the capital and largest city of the Spain, Spanish autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville. It is situated on the lower reaches of the Guadalquivir, River Gua ...

Seville
. Thus, the Atarazanas also served as the first customs and tax house of the
New World The term ''New World'' is often used to mean the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 3 ...

New World
. Management was contracted by the Crown to the powerful Welser banking family, which had a slave trading empire.


Enslavement of Africans

The Spanish monarchs,
Ferdinand I Ferdinand I or Fernando I may refer to: People * Ferdinand I of León, ''the Great'' (ca. 1000–1065, king from 1037) * Ferdinand I of Portugal and the Algarve, ''the Handsome'' (1345–1383, king from 1367) * Ferdinand I of Aragon and Sicily, ''o ...
and Isabella granted permission to the colonists of the Caribbean to import
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ...

Africa
n
slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as property. Slavery typically involves slaves being made to perf ...
, and in 1510 the first sizable shipment consisting of 250 Black Ladinos arrived in Hispaniola from Spain. Eight years later African-born slaves arrived in the
West Indies The West Indies is a Subregion#North America, subregion of North America, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that includes 13 independent island country, island countries and 18 dependent territory, ...

West Indies
.
Sugar cane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, Perennial plant, perennial grass (in the genus ''Saccharum'', tribe Andropogoneae) that is used for sugar Sugar industry, production. The plants are 2–6 m (6–20 ft) tall with ...

Sugar cane
was introduced to Hispaniola from the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish autonomous community and archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster, or collecti ...
, and the first sugar mill in the New World was established in 1516. The need for a labor force to meet the growing demands of sugar cane cultivation led to an exponential increase in the importation of slaves over the following two decades. The sugar mill owners soon formed a new colonial elite, and initially convinced the Spanish king to allow them to elect the members of the ''
Real Audiencia A ''Real Audiencia'' (), or simply an ''Audiencia'' ( ca, Reial Audiència, Audiència Reial, or Audiència), was an appellate court in Spain and Spanish Empire, its empire. The name of the institution literally translates as Royal Audience. The ...
'' from their ranks. Diego Colon arrived in 1509, assuming the powers of Viceroy and admiral. In 1512, Ferdinand established a
Real Audiencia A ''Real Audiencia'' (), or simply an ''Audiencia'' ( ca, Reial Audiència, Audiència Reial, or Audiència), was an appellate court in Spain and Spanish Empire, its empire. The name of the institution literally translates as Royal Audience. The ...
with
Juan Ortiz de Matienzo Juan Ortiz de Matienzo was a Spanish colonial judge and an original member of the first Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo The Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo was the first court of the Crown of Castile, Spanish crown in America. It was created ...
, Marcelo de Villalobos, and Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon appointed as judges of appeal. In 1514, Pedro Ibanez de Ibarra arrived with the Laws of Burgos. Rodrigo de Alburquerque was named ''repartidor de indios'' and soon named '' visitadores'' to enforce the laws. The first major slave revolt in the Americas occurred in
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST (UTC −4) , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Dist ...

Santo Domingo
on 26 December 1522, when enslaved
Muslims Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
of the Wolof nation led an uprising in the sugar plantation of admiral Don Diego Colon, son of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...

Christopher Columbus
. Many of these insurgents managed to escape to the mountains where they formed independent
maroon Maroon (American English, US/British English, UK , Australian English, Australia ) is a brownish crimson color that takes its name from the French language, French word ''marron'', or chestnut. "Marron" is also one of the French translati ...
communities in the south of the island, but the Admiral also had a lot of captured rebels hanged. Another rebel also fought back, the native Taino
Enriquillo Enriquillo, also known as "Enrique" by the Spaniards, was a Taíno people, Taíno cacique who rebelled against the Spaniards between 1519 and 1533. Enriquillo's rebellion is the best known rebellion of the early Caribbean period. He was born on ...
led a group who fled to the mountains and attacked the Spanish repeatedly for fourteen years. The Spanish ultimately offered him a peace treaty and gave Enriquillo and his followers their own city in 1534. By 1545, there were an estimated 7,000 maroons beyond Spanish control on Hispaniola. The Bahoruco Mountains in the south-west were their main area of concentration, although Africans had escaped to other areas of the island as well. By the 1540s, the
Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lanmè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico ...
had become overrun with European pirates from England, France, and the Netherlands. In 1541, Spain authorized the construction of Santo Domingo's fortified wall, and decided to restrict sea travel to enormous, well-armed convoys. In another move, which would destroy
Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin and french: Hispaniola; ht, Ispayola; tnq, Ayiti or Quisqueya) is an island in the Caribbean that is part of the Greater Antilles. Hispaniola is the most populous island in the West Indies, and th ...
's sugar industry,
Havana Havana (; Spanish: ''La Habana'' ) is the capital and largest city of Cuba. The heart of the La Habana Province, Havana is the country's main port and commercial center.
, more strategically located in relation to the
Gulf Stream The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension the North Atlantic Current, North Atlantic Drift, is a warm and swift Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and flows through the Straits of Florida a ...
, was selected as the designated stopping point for the merchant ''flotas'', which had a royal monopoly on commerce with the Americas. With the conquest of the
Spanish Main During the Spanish colonization of America, the Spanish Main was the collective term for the parts of the Spanish Empire that were on the mainland of the America, Americas and had coastlines on the Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico. The term was u ...
, Hispaniola slowly declined. Many Spanish colonists left for the silver-mines of the American mainland, while new immigrants from Spain bypassed the island. Agriculture dwindled, new imports of slaves ceased, and white colonists, free blacks, and slaves alike lived in poverty, weakening the racial hierarchy and aiding ''intermixing'', resulting in a population of predominantly mixed Spaniard, Taíno, and African descent. Except for the city of Santo Domingo, which managed to maintain some legal exports, Dominican ports were forced to rely on contraband trade, which, along with livestock, became the sole source of livelihood for the island dwellers.


British and French incursions

In 1586,
Francis Drake Sir Francis Drake ( – 28 January 1596) was an English Exploration, explorer, sea captain, Privateering, privateer, Atlantic slave trade, slave trader, Officer (armed forces), naval officer, and politician. Drake is best known for Franci ...
captured the city and held it for ransom. Drake's invasion signaled the decline of Spanish dominion over the Caribbean region, which was accentuated in the early 17th century by policies that resulted in the depopulation of most of the island outside of the capital. An expedition sent by
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in History of England, English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 ...
in 1655 attacked the city of Santo Domingo, but was defeated. The English troops withdrew and took the less guarded colony of
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Jamaica lies about south of Cuba, and west of Hisp ...
, instead. In 1697, the
Treaty of Ryswick The Peace of Ryswick, or Rijswijk, was a series of treaties signed in the Dutch city of Rijswijk between 20 September and 30 October 1697. They ended the 1688 to 1697 Nine Years' War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War o ...
included the acknowledgement by Spain of France's dominion over the Western third of the island, now
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba and Jamaica, and ...

Haiti
. In 1605, Spain, unhappy that Santo Domingo was facilitating trade between its other colonies and other European powers, attacked vast parts of the colony's northern and western regions, forcibly resettling their inhabitants closer to the city of Santo Domingo. This action, known as the '' devastaciones de Osorio'', proved disastrous; more than half of the resettled colonists died of starvation or disease. The city of Santo Domingo was subjected to a
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by variola virus (often called smallpox virus) which belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus. The Ali Maow Maalin#Maalin's case, last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977, and the World ...
epidemic, cacao blight, and hurricane in 1666; another storm two years later; a second epidemic in 1669; a third hurricane in September 1672; plus an earthquake in May 1673 that killed two dozen residents. San José de Ocoa, the best-known maroon settlement in Santo Domingo, was subjugated by the Spanish in 1666. In the 17th century, the French began occupying the unpopulated western third of Hispaniola. In 1625, French and English pirates arrived on the western side of the island. The pirates were attacked in 1629 by Spanish forces commanded by Don Fadrique de Toledo, who fortified the island, and expelled the French and English. In 1654, the Spanish re-captured the west side the island. In 1655 the west of Hispaniola was reoccupied by the English and French. In 1660 the English appointed a Frenchman as Governor who proclaimed the King of France, set up French colours, and defeated several English attempts to reclaim the island. In 1665, French colonization of the island was officially recognized by King Louis XIV. The French colony was given the name
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colonization of the Americas, French colony in the western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the area of modern-day Haiti, from 1659 to 1804. The name derives from the Spanish main city in the islan ...
. By 1670 a Welsh privateer named
Henry Morgan Sir Henry Morgan ( cy, Harri Morgan; – 25 August 1688) was a privateer, plantation owner, and, later, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. From his base in Port Royal, Port Royal, Jamaica, he raided settlements and shipping on the Spanish Main, ...
invited the pirates on the island of Tortuga to set sail under him. They were hired by the French as a striking force that allowed France to have a much stronger hold on the Caribbean region. Consequently, the pirates never really controlled the island and kept Tortuga as a neutral hideout. The capital of the French Colony of
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colonization of the Americas, French colony in the western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the area of modern-day Haiti, from 1659 to 1804. The name derives from the Spanish main city in the islan ...
was moved from Tortuga to Port-de-Paix on the mainland of
Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin and french: Hispaniola; ht, Ispayola; tnq, Ayiti or Quisqueya) is an island in the Caribbean that is part of the Greater Antilles. Hispaniola is the most populous island in the West Indies, and th ...
in 1676. In 1680, new Acts of
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, and overseeing ...
forbade
sailing Sailing employs the wind—acting on sails, wingsails or kites—to propel a craft on the surface of the ''water'' (sailing ship, sailboat, raft, Windsurfing, windsurfer, or Kitesurfing, kitesurfer), on ''ice'' (iceboat) or on ''land'' (Land s ...
under foreign
flag A flag is a piece of fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an ide ...
s (in opposition to former practice). This was a major legal blow to the Caribbean pirates. Settlements were made in the Treaty of Ratisbon of 1684, signed by the European powers, that put an end to piracy. Most of the pirates after this time were hired out into the Royal services to suppress their former buccaneer allies. In the 1697
Treaty of Ryswick The Peace of Ryswick, or Rijswijk, was a series of treaties signed in the Dutch city of Rijswijk between 20 September and 30 October 1697. They ended the 1688 to 1697 Nine Years' War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War o ...
, Spain formally ceded the western third of the island to France. It was an important port in the Americas for goods and products flowing to and from France and Europe. Intermittent clashes between French and Spanish colonists followed, even after the 1697
Treaty of Ryswick The Peace of Ryswick, or Rijswijk, was a series of treaties signed in the Dutch city of Rijswijk between 20 September and 30 October 1697. They ended the 1688 to 1697 Nine Years' War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War o ...
recognized the de facto occupations of
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
and Spain around the globe. Periodic confrontations also continued despite a 1731 agreement that partially defined a border between the two colonies along the Massacre and Pedernales rivers. In 1777, the Treaty of Aranjuez established a definitive border between what Spain called Santo Domingo and what the French named
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colonization of the Americas, French colony in the western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the area of modern-day Haiti, from 1659 to 1804. The name derives from the Spanish main city in the islan ...
, thus ending 150 years of local conflicts and imperial ambitions to extend control over the island.


Economic revival

The
House of Bourbon The House of Bourbon (, also ; ) is a European dynasty of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, the royal House of France. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Kingdom of Navarre, Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, memb ...
replaced the
House of Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in Englishgerman: Haus Habsburg, ; es, Casa de Habsburgo; hu, Habsburg család, it, Casa di Asburgo, nl, Huis van Habsburg, pl, dom Habsburgów, pt, Casa de Habsburgo, la, Domus Hab ...
in Spain in 1700 and introduced economic reforms that gradually began to revive trade in Santo Domingo. The crown progressively relaxed the rigid controls and restrictions on commerce between Spain and the colonies and among the colonies. The last ''flotas'' sailed in 1737; the monopoly port system was abolished shortly thereafter. Many Spaniards and Hispaniola-born Creoles also then became pirates and privateers. By the middle of the century, the population was bolstered by emigration from the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish autonomous community and archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster, or collecti ...
, resettling the northern part of the colony and planting tobacco in the Cibao Valley, and importation of slaves was renewed.


Age of Piracy

Santo Domingo's exports soared and the island's agricultural productivity rose, which was assisted by the involvement of
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
in the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict that involved most of the European Great Powers, and was fought primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Other concurrent conflicts include the French and Indian War (1754–1 ...
, allowing
privateer A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. Since robbery under arms was a common aspect of seaborne trade, until the early 19th century all merchant ships carried arms. A sovereign or deleg ...
s operating out of Santo Domingo to once again patrol surrounding waters for enemy merchantmen. Dominican pirates captured British, Dutch, French and Danish ships throughout the eighteenth century. Dominicans constituted one of the many diverse units which fought under Bernardo de Gálvez during the conquest of British West Florida (1779–1781). Dominican privateers had already been active in the Guerra del Asiento decades prior, and they sharply reduced the amount of enemy trade operating in
West Indian A West Indian is a native or inhabitant of the West Indies The West Indies is a Subregion#North America, subregion of North America, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that includes 13 independen ...
waters. The
prizes A prize is an award An award, sometimes called a distinction, is something given to a recipient as a token of recognition of excellence in a certain field. When the token is a medal A medal or medallion is a small portable artistic ...
they took were carried back to Santo Domingo, where their cargoes were sold to the colony's inhabitants or to foreign merchants doing business there. During this period, Spanish privateers from Santo Domingo sailed into enemy ports looking for ships to plunder, thus disrupting commerce between Spain's enemies in the
Atlantic The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is known to separate the " Old World" of Africa, Europe ...
. As a result of these developments, Spanish privateers frequently sailed back into Santo Domingo with their holds filled with captured plunder which were sold in Hispaniola's ports, with profits accruing to individual sea raiders. The revenue acquired in these acts of piracy was invested in the economic expansion of the colony and led to repopulation from Europe. The enslaved population of the colony also rose dramatically, as numerous captive Africans were taken from enemy
slave ship Slave ships were large cargo ships specially built or converted from the 17th to the 19th century for transporting Slavery, slaves. Such ships were also known as "Guineamen" because the trade involved human trafficking to and from the Guinea ...
s in West Indian waters. The author of ''Idea del valor de la Isla Española'' emphasized the activities of Dominican privateer Lorenzo Daniel (also known as Lorencín Daniel), and noted that in his career as a privateer, Daniel captured more than 60 enemy ships, including "those used for trade as well as war”. The population of Santo Domingo grew to approximately 125,000 in the year 1791. Of this number, 40,000 were white landowners, about 70,000 were mulatto freedmen, and some 15,000 were black slaves. This contrasted sharply with neighboring
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colonization of the Americas, French colony in the western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the area of modern-day Haiti, from 1659 to 1804. The name derives from the Spanish main city in the islan ...
(Haiti), which had an enslaved population of over 500,000, representing 90% of the French colony's population, and overall seven times as numerous as the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo. The French had become the wealthiest colonists in the Western Hemisphere due to the exploitation of their massive slave population. As restrictions on colonial trade were relaxed, the colonial French elites of St. Domingue offered the principal market for Santo Domingo's exports of beef, hides, mahogany and tobacco. The 'Spanish' settlers, whose blood by now was mixed with that of Taínos, Africans, and Canary Guanches, proclaimed: 'It does not matter if the French are richer than us, we are still the true inheritors of this island. In our veins runs the blood of the heroic ''conquistadores'' who won this island of ours with sword and blood.'.


Later years

With the outbreak of the
Haitian Revolution The Haitian Revolution (french: révolution haïtienne ; ht, revolisyon ayisyen) was a successful insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, now the sovereign state of Haiti. The revolt began on ...
, the rich urban families linked to the colonial bureaucracy left the island, while most of the rural (cattle ranchers) remained, even though they lost their principal market. Nevertheless, the
Spanish crown , coatofarms = File:Coat_of_Arms_of_Spanish_Monarch.svg , coatofarms_article = Coat of arms of the King of Spain , image = Felipe_VI_in_2020_(cropped).jpg , incumbent = Felipe VI , incumbentsince = 19 Ju ...
back in Europe saw in the unrest an opportunity to seize all, or part, of the western region of the island in an alliance of convenience with the rebellious slaves. The Spanish governor of Santo Domingo purchased the allegiance of mulatto and black rebel leaders and their personal armies. In July 1793, Spanish forces, including former slaves, crossed the border and pushed back the disheveled French forces before them. Although the Spanish and Dominican soldiers had been successful in the island during their battles against the French, such had not been the case in the European front, as Spain and Portugal lost the
War of the Pyrenees The War of the Pyrenees, also known as War of Roussillon or War of the Convention, was the Pyrenean front of the First Coalition's war against the First French Republic In the history of France, the First Republic (french: Première Rép ...
, and on July 22, 1795, the French Republic and Spanish crown signed the Treaty of Basel. Frenchmen were to return to their side of the Pyrenees in Europe and Spanish Santo Domingo was to be ceded to France. This period called the ''
Era de Francia In the history of the Dominican Republic, the period of ''Era de Francia'' ( "Era of France", "French Era" or "French Period") occurred in 1795 when First French Republic, France acquired the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, annexed it into Sa ...
'', lasted until 1809 until being recaptured by the Dominican general Juan Sanchez Ramirez in the reconquest of Santo Domingo.


Cities and towns


Society


Education

The St. Thomas Aquinas University, today the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, is the first institution of higher education in the
Americas The Americas, which are sometimes collectively called America, are a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. ...
. It was founded by papal bull in 1538 in
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST (UTC −4) , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Dist ...

Santo Domingo
. The headquarters of the university was the Church and Convent of los Dominicos. Founded during the reign of
Charles I of Spain Charles V, french: Charles Quint, it, Carlo V, nl, Karel V, ca, Carles V, la, Carolus V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria from 1519 to 1556, King of Spain (Crown of Castile, Castil ...
, it was originally a seminary operated by
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
monks of the
Dominican Order The Order of Preachers ( la, Ordo Praedicatorum) abbreviated OP, also known as the Dominicans, is a Catholic mendicant order of Pontifical Right for men founded in Toulouse, France, by the Spanish priest, saint and Mysticism, mystic Saint ...
. Later, the institution received a university charter by
Pope Paul III Pope Paul III ( la, Paulus III; it, Paolo III; 29 February 1468 – 10 November 1549), born Alessandro Farnese, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 13 October 1534 to his death in November 1549. He came to ...
's papal bull ''In Apostulatus Culmine'', dated October 28, 1538. In its structure and purpose the new university was modeled after the University of Alcalá in the city of Henares, Spain. In this capacity it became a standard-bearer for the medieval ideology of the
Spanish Conquest The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) was a colonial empire governed by Spain and its History ...
, and gained its royal charter in 1558. In this royal decree, the university was given the name University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino). The university was closed in 1801 under the French, but reopened in 1815 as a secular institution.


Religion

The Archdiocese of Santo Domingo is considered the first episcopal seat in America. Of all the dioceses in the north and south of the American continent, only the archbishop of Santo Domingo corresponds to the title of first of the Indies. It is the oldest of the surviving dioceses in the Americas, the Diocese of Santo Domingo was created on August 8, 1511 by Pope Julius II's bull Romanus Pontifex of August 8, 1511. In those days, the diocese of Concepción (today in La Vega, Dominican Republic). In 1527 the diocese of Concepción de la Vega was abolished, leaving the entire island of Hispaniola under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Santo Domingo. It was elevated to Metropolitan Archdiocese on February 12, 1546, through the bull Super universas orbis ecclesiae of Pope Paul III, being its first archbishop Alonso de Fuenmayor. The Diocese of Puerto Rico, the Diocese of Venezuela (with headquarters in Coro, founded in 1531; today the Archdiocese of Caracas), the Diocese of Cuba (with headquarters in Santiago de Cuba, initially founded in Baracoa in 1518; today Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba), the Diocese of Honduras (based in Comayagua, initially founded in Trujillo in 1531; today Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa) and the territorial abbey of Jamaica (suppressed in 1655).


Government and Laws

The
Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo The Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo was the first court of the Crown of Castile, Spanish crown in America. It was created by Ferdinand II of Aragon, Ferdinand V of Castile in his decree of 1511, but due to disagreements between the governor of ...
was the first court of the
Spanish crown , coatofarms = File:Coat_of_Arms_of_Spanish_Monarch.svg , coatofarms_article = Coat of arms of the King of Spain , image = Felipe_VI_in_2020_(cropped).jpg , incumbent = Felipe VI , incumbentsince = 19 Ju ...
in America. It was created by
Ferdinand V of Castile Ferdinand II ( an, Ferrando; ca, Ferran; eu, Errando; it, Ferdinando; la, Ferdinandus; es, Fernando; 10 March 1452 – 23 January 1516), also called Ferdinand the Catholic (Spanish: ''el Católico''), was King of Aragon This is a l ...
in his decree of 1511, and was implemented by
Charles V Charles V may refer to: * Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1500–1558) * Charles V of Naples (1661–1700), better known as Charles II of Spain * Charles V of France (1338–1380), called the Wise * Charles V, Duke of Lorraine (1643–1690) * Infant ...
in his decree of September 14, 1526. This '' audiencia'' would become part of the
Viceroyalty of New Spain New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain ( es, Virreinato de Nueva España, ), or Kingdom of New Spain, was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Amer ...
upon the creation of the latter two decades later. The ''audiencia'' president was at the same time governor and
captain general Captain general (and its literal equivalent in several languages) is a high military rank of general officer grade, and a Governor, gubernatorial title. History The term "Captain General" started to appear in the 14th century, with the meaning o ...
of the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, which granted him broad administrative powers and autonomy over the Spanish possessions of the Caribbean and most of its mainland coasts. This combined with the judicial oversight that the ''audiencia'' judges had over the region meant that the Santo Domingo ''Audiencia'' was the principal political entity of this region during the colonial period.


Native rights

In 1501 Queen Isabella declared Native Americans as subjects to the crown, this implied that enslaving them was illegal except on very specific conditions. This would lead to the necessity of importing
African slaves Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa in ancient times, as they were in much of the rest of the Ancient history, ancient world. When the trans-Saharan slave trade ...
to the island in the years to come. Native chiefs were responsible for keeping track of the laborers in their community. The ''encomienda'' system did not grant people land, but it indirectly aided in the conquistadors and settlers' acquisition of land with the intent of establishing new towns and populations. As initially defined, the ''encomendero'' and his heirs expected to hold these grants in perpetuity. The ''encomiendas'' became very corrupt and harsh. In the neighborhood of La Concepción, north of Santo Domingo, the ''
adelantado ''Adelantado'' (, , ; meaning "advanced") was a title held by Spanish nobles in service of their respective kings during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th ...
'' of Santiago heard rumors of a 15,000-man army of Tainos planning to stage a rebellion. Upon hearing this, the adelantado captured the ''
cacique A ''cacique'' (Latin American ; ; feminine form: ''cacica'') was a tribal chieftain of the Taíno people, the indigenous inhabitants at European colonization of the Americas, European contact of the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the north ...

cacique
s'' involved and had most of them hanged. Later, a chieftain named Guarionex laid havoc to the countryside before an army of about 3,090 routed the Ciguana people under his leadership. Although expecting Spanish protection from warring tribes, the islanders sought to join the Spanish forces. They helped the Spaniards deal with their ignorance of the surrounding environment. The change of requiring the ''encomendado'' to be returned to the crown after two generations was frequently overlooked, as the colonists did not want to give up the labor or power.


Gallery

File:Hispaniola Treaty of Aranjuez 1777.jpg, Contemporary map showing the border situation on Hispaniola following the Treaty of Aranjuez File:Iglesia y Convento Dominicos CCSD 07 2018 0522.jpg


See also

* List of colonial governors of Santo Domingo * Timeline of Santo Domingo *
History of the Dominican Republic The recorded history of the Dominican Republic began in 1492 when the Republic of Genoa, Genoa-born navigator Christopher Columbus, working for the Crown of Castile, happened upon a large island in the region of the western Atlantic Ocean that la ...
*
Spanish colonization of the Americas Spain began colonization of the Americas, colonizing the Americas under the Crown of Castile and was spearheaded by the Spanish . The Americas were invaded and incorporated into the Spanish Empire, with the exception of Colonial Brazil, Braz ...
* Spanish occupation of the Dominican Republic * French Colony of Saint-Domingue


Notes


References


Further reading

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Captaincy General Of Santo Domingo . Spanish West Indies Colonial government in the West Indies Santo Domingo, Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, Captaincy General of . History of New Spain
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST (UTC −4) , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Dist ...
1490s in the Caribbean . . . States and territories established in 1493 States and territories disestablished in 1795 1493 establishments in the Spanish West Indies 1795 disestablishments in the Spanish West Indies Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo Spanish-speaking countries and territories