Hispaniola
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Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española;
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
and french: Hispaniola; ht, Ispayola; tnq, Ayiti) is an island in the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Kawayib; nl, Caraïben; Papiamento: ) is a region of the Americas that comprises the Caribbean Sea, its surrounding coasts, and its islands (some ...
that is part of the
Greater Antilles The Greater Antilles ( es, Grandes Antillas or Antillas Mayores; french: Grandes Antilles ht, Gwo Zantiy jam, Grieta hAntiliiz) is a grouping of the larger islands in the Caribbean Sea, including Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the ...

Greater Antilles
. Hispaniola is the most populous island in the
West Indies The West Indies are a 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, dependencies and other ter ...
, and the region's second largest in area, after the main island of Cuba. The island is divided into two separate nations: the Spanish-speaking
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with ...
(48,445 km2, 18,705 sq mi) to the east and the French /
Haitian Creole Haitian Creole (; ht, kreyòl ayisyen, links=no; french: créole haïtien), commonly referred to as simply ''Creole'', is a French-based creole language spoken by 10–12million people worldwide, and is one of the two official languages of Hai ...
-speaking
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin language, Latin and french: Hispan ...

Haiti
(27,750 km2, 10,710 sq mi) to the west. The only other divided island in the Caribbean is
Saint MartinSaint Martin may refer to: People * Saint Martin of Tours (c. 316–397), Bishop of Tours, France * Saint Martin of Braga (c. 520–580), archbishop of Bracara Augusta in Gallaecia (now Braga in Portugal) * Pope Martin I (598–655) * Saint Martin ...
, which is shared between
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
(
Saint MartinSaint Martin may refer to: People * Saint Martin of Tours (c. 316–397), Bishop of Tours, France * Saint Martin of Braga (c. 520–580), archbishop of Bracara Augusta in Gallaecia (now Braga in Portugal) * Pope Martin I (598–655) * Saint Martin ...
) and the
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Dutch Caribbean, Caribbean. It is the largest of four Kingdom of the Netherlands#Constituent countries, cons ...
(
Sint Maarten Sint Maarten () is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands ) when they act as Kingdom Ministers, as for example with "Our Minister of Justice in his capacity as Minister of the Kingdom" ( nl, Onze Minister van Justitie in zi ...

Sint Maarten
). Hispaniola is the site of one of the first European settlements in the Americas,
La Navidad La Navidad ("The Nativity", i.e. Christmas) was a settlement that Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or Cristòfol) Colom * la, Chr ...

La Navidad
(1492–1493), as well as the first proper town,
La Isabela La Isabela in Puerto Plata Province, Dominican Republic was the first Spanish town in the Americas. The site is 42 km west of the city of Puerto Plata (city), Puerto Plata, adjacent to the village of El Castillo. The area now forms a Nation ...

La Isabela
(1493–1500), and the first permanent settlement – the current capital of the Dominican Republic,
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Distrito Naciona ...

Santo Domingo
(est. 1498). These settlements were founded successively in each of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or Cristòfol) Colom * la, Christophorus Columbus (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was ...

Christopher Columbus
's first three voyages.


Etymology

The island was called by various names by its native people, the
Taíno The Taíno were an indigenous people of the Caribbean. At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cub ...
. The Taino had no written language, hence, historical evidence for these names comes through three European historians: the Italian
Peter Martyr d'Anghiera Peter Martyr d'Anghiera ( la, Petrus Martyr Anglerius or ''ab Angleria''; it, Pietro Martire d'Anghiera; es, Pedro Mártir de Anglería; 2 February 1457 – October 1526), formerly known in English as Peter Martyr of Angleria,D'Anghier ...
, and the Spaniards
Bartolomé de las Casas Bartolomé de las Casas ( ; ; 11 November 1484 – 18 July 1566) was a 16th-century Spanish landowner, friar, priest, and bishop, famed as a historian and social reformer. He arrived in Hispaniola as a layman then became a Dominican friar and ...

Bartolomé de las Casas
and Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo. Based on a comprehensive survey and map prepared by Andrés de Morales in 1508, Martyr reported that the island as a whole was called ''Quizquella'' (or ''Quisqueya'') and ''Haiti'' referred to a rugged mountainous region on the eastern end of the island. Diego Álvarez Chanca, a physician on Columbus's second voyage, also noted that ''Haiti'' was the easternmost province of the island. On the other hand, Oviedo and Las Casas both recorded that the entire island was called ''Haití'' by the Taíno. When Columbus took possession of the island in 1492, he named it ''Insula
Hispana
Hispana
'' in Latin and ''La Isla Española'' in Spanish, both meaning "the Spanish island". Las Casas shortened the name to ''Española'', and when Peter Martyr detailed his account of the island in Latin, he rendered its name as ''Hispaniola''. Due to Taíno, Spanish and French influences on the island, historically the whole island was often referred to as ''Haiti'', ''Hayti'', ''Santo Domingo'', or ''
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804, in what is now an island that hosts two countries; the Dominican Republic and Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ); french: Haïti ; officially the ...
''. Martyr's literary work was translated into English and French soon after being written, the name Hispaniola became the most frequently used term in English-speaking countries for the island in scientific and cartographic works. In 1918, the United States occupation government, led by
Harry Shepard Knapp Harry Shepard Knapp (June 27, 1856 – April 6, 1923) was a Vice Admiral of the United States Navy, Military Governor of Dominican Republic#Names and etymology, Santo Domingo, and Military Representative of the United States in Haiti. Biography Bor ...

Harry Shepard Knapp
, obliged the use of the name Hispaniola on the island, and recommended the use of that name to the
National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National M ...
. The name "Haïti" was adopted by Haitian revolutionary
Jean-Jacques Dessalines Jean-Jacques Dessalines (Haitian Creole: ''Jan-Jak Desalin''; ; 20 September 1758 – 17 October 1806) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first ruler of an independent Haiti under the 1805 constitution. Under Dessalines, Haiti becam ...
in 1804, as the official name of independent Saint-Domingue, in tribute to the Amerindian predecessors. It was also adopted as the official name of independent Santo Domingo, as the
Republic of Spanish Haiti The Republic of Spanish Haiti ( es, República del Haití Español), also called the Independent State of Spanish Haiti ( es, Estado Independiente del Haití Español) was the independent state that resulted from the defeat of Spain, Spanish coloni ...
, a state that existed from November 1821 until its annexation by Haiti in February 1822.


History


Pre-Columbian

The primary indigenous group on the island of Hispaniola was the Taíno people. The Arawak tribe originated in the
Orinoco Delta The Orinoco Delta is a vast river delta A river delta is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms together make up a given terrain, and their arrangement in t ...
, spreading from what is now
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many islands and islets in the ...

Venezuela
. They arrived on Hispaniola around 1200 CE. Each society on the island was a small independent kingdom with a lead known as a
cacique A ''cacique'' (Iberian ; Latin American ; ; feminine form: ''cacica'') translates to "king" or "prince" of an indigenous group, derived from the Taíno language, Taíno word ''kasike'' for the pre-Columbian tribal chiefs in the Bahamas, the Grea ...
. In 1492, which is considered the peak of the Taíno, there were five different kingdoms on the island, the Xaragua, Higuey (Caizcimu), Magua (Huhabo), Ciguayos (Cayabo or Maguana), and Marien (Bainoa). Many distinct Taíno languages also existed in this time period. There is still heated debate over the population of Taíno people on the island of Hispaniola in 1492, but estimates range no more than a few tens of thousands, according to a 2020 genetic analysis, to upwards of 750,000. A Taíno home consisted of a circular building with woven straw and palm leaves as covering. Most individuals slept in fashioned hammocks, but grass beds were also used. The cacique lived in a different structure with larger rectangular walls and a porch. The Taíno village also had a flat court used for ball games and festivals. Religiously, the Taíno people were polytheists, and their gods were called Zemí. Religious worship and dancing were common, and medicine men or priests also consulted the Zemí for advice in public ceremonies. For food, the Taíno relied on meat and fish as a primary source for protein; some small mammals on the island were hunted including rats, but ducks, turtles, snakes and bats were a common food source. The Taíno also relied on agriculture as a primary food source. The indigenous people of Hispaniola raised crops in a conuco, which is a large mound packed with leaves and fixed crops to prevent erosion. Some common agricultural goods were
cassava ''Manihot esculenta'', commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names) is a woody shrub A shrub (or bush, but this is more of a gardening term) is a small- to medium-sized perennial woody plant. Unlike herb ...

cassava
, maize, squash, beans, peppers, peanuts, cotton, and tobacco, which was used as an aspect of social life and religious ceremonies. The Taíno people traveled often and used hollowed canoes with paddles when on the water for fishing or for migration purposes, and upwards of 100 people could fit into a single canoe. The Taíno came in contact with the Caribs, another indigenous tribe, often. The Taíno people had to defend themselves using bows and arrows with poisoned tips and some war clubs. When Columbus landed on Hispaniola, many Taíno leaders wanted protection from the Caribs.


Post-Columbian

Christopher Columbus first landed at Hispaniola on December 6, 1492 at a small bay he named San Nicolas, now called Môle-Saint-Nicolas on the north coast of present-day Haiti. He was welcomed in a friendly fashion by the indigenous people known as the Taíno. Trading with the natives yielded more gold than they had come across previously on the other Caribbean islands and Columbus was led to believe that much more gold would be found inland. Before he could explore further, his flagship, the '' Santa Maria'', ran aground and sank in the bay on December 24. With only two smaller ships remaining for the voyage home, Columbus built a fortified encampment,
La Navidad La Navidad ("The Nativity", i.e. Christmas) was a settlement that Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or Cristòfol) Colom * la, Chr ...

La Navidad
, on the shore and left behind 21 crewman to await his return the following year. Colonization began in earnest the following year when Columbus brought 1,300 men to Hispaniola in November 1493 with the intention of establishing a permanent settlement. They found the encampment at Navidad had been destroyed and all the crewmen left behind killed by the natives. Columbus decided to sail east in search of a better site to found a new settlement. In January 1494 they established
La Isabela La Isabela in Puerto Plata Province, Dominican Republic was the first Spanish town in the Americas. The site is 42 km west of the city of Puerto Plata (city), Puerto Plata, adjacent to the village of El Castillo. The area now forms a Nation ...

La Isabela
in present-day
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with ...
. In 1496, the town of Nueva Isabela was founded. After being destroyed by a hurricane, it was rebuilt on the opposite side of the Ozama River and called
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Distrito Naciona ...

Santo Domingo
. It is the oldest permanent European settlement in the Americas. The island had an important role in the establishment of
Latin American Latin Americans ( es, Latinoamericanos; pt, Latino-americanos; ) are the citizenship, citizens of the Latin American countries. Latin American countries are Multiracial, multi-ethnic, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. ...
colonies for decades to come. Due to its strategic location, it was the military stronghold of
conquistador Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the invaders, knights, soldiers, and explorers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and the Portuguese Empires. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to th ...
s of the Spanish empire, serving as a headquarters for the further colonial expansion into the Americas. 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 consists of Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any ...
. Harsh enslavement practiced by Spanish colonists against the Taínos, as well as redirection of food supplies and labor of the indigenous for feeding Spanish settlers, had a devastating impact on both mortality and fertility of the Taíno population over the first quarter century. Colonial administrators and Dominican and Hyeronimite priests observed that the search for gold and agrarian enslavement through the ''
encomienda The ''encomienda'' () was a Spanish labor system that rewarded conquerors with the labor of particular groups of conquered non-Christian people. The laborers, in theory, were provided with benefits by the conquerors for whom they labored, the C ...
'' system were depressing population. Demographic data from two provinces in 1514 shows a low birth rate, consistent with a 3.5% annual population decline. In 1503 the colony began to import
African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** People who are native to Africa, descendants of natives of Africa, or individuals who trace their ancestry to indigenous inhabitants of Africa *** Ethnic groups ...
slaves after a charter was passed in 1501 allowing the import of slaves by Ferdinand and Isabel. The Spanish believed Africans would be more capable of performing physical labor. From 1519 to 1533, the indigenous uprising known as
Enriquillo Enriquillo, also known as "Enrique" by the Spaniards, was a Taíno The Taíno were an indigenous people of the Caribbean. At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba ...
's Revolt, after the Taíno cacique who led them, ensued, resulting from escaped African slaves on the island (
maroons Maroons are descendants of Africans in the Americas who formed settlements away from slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person ...

maroons
) possibly working with the Taíno people. Precious metals played a large role in the history of the island after Columbus's arrival. One of the first inhabitants Columbus came across on this island was "a girl wearing only a gold nose plug". Soon the Taínos were trading pieces of gold for hawk's bells with their cacique declaring the gold came from
Cibao The Cibao, usually referred as "El Cibao", is a region of the Dominican Republic located at the northern part of the country. As of 2009 the Cibao has a population of 5,622,378 making it the most populous region in the country. The region constitut ...
. Traveling further east from Navidad, Columbus came across the
Yaque del Norte River The Yaque Del Norte River ( Spanish, ''Río Yaque del Norte'') is the longest river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the groun ...
, which he named Río de Oro (River of Gold) because its "sands abound in gold dust". On Columbus's return during his second voyage, he learned it was the chief
Caonabo Caonabo (died 1496) was a Taíno '' cacique'' (chieftain) of Hispaniola at the time of Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or Crist ...
who had massacred his settlement at Navidad. While Columbus established a new settlement the village of
La Isabela La Isabela in Puerto Plata Province, Dominican Republic was the first Spanish town in the Americas. The site is 42 km west of the city of Puerto Plata (city), Puerto Plata, adjacent to the village of El Castillo. The area now forms a Nation ...

La Isabela
on Jan. 1494, he sent
Alonso de Ojeda Alonso de Ojeda (; c. 1466 – c. 1515) was a Spanish explorer, governor and conquistador. He travelled through Guyana, Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago Tobago () is an List of islands of Trinidad and Tobago, island within the Trinidad and Toba ...

Alonso de Ojeda
and 15 men to search for the mines of Cibao. After a six-day journey, Ojeda came across an area containing gold, in which the gold was extracted from streams by the Taíno people. Columbus himself visited the mines of Cibao on 12 March 1494. He constructed the Fort of Santo Tomás, present day Jánico, leaving Captain Pedro Margarit in command of 56 men. On 24 March 1495, Columbus, with his ally Guacanagarix, embarked on a war of revenge against Caonabo, capturing him and his family while killing and capturing many natives. Afterwards, every person over the age of fourteen had to produce a hawksbill of gold. Miguel Díaz and
Francisco de GarayFrancisco de Garay (1475 in Sopuerta, Biscay Biscay (; eu, Bizkaia ; es, Vizcaya ) is a province of Spain, lying on the south shore of the eponymous bay. The name also refers to a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancien ...
discovered large
gold nugget :''"Gold nugget" may also refer to the catfish Baryancistrus xanthellus or the mango cultivar Gold Nugget.'' A gold nugget is a naturally occurring piece of native gold. Watercourses often concentrate nuggets and finer gold in placers. Nuggets ...

gold nugget
s on the lower Haina River in 1496. These San Cristobal mines were later known as the Minas Viejas mines. Then, in 1499, the first major discovery of gold was made in the
cordillera A cordillera is an extensive chain of mountains A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust is a thin shell on the outside of Earth, accounting for less than 1% of Earth's volum ...

cordillera
central, which led to a mining boom. By 1501 Columbus's cousin, Giovanni Colombo, had discovered gold near Buenaventura. The deposits were later known as Minas Nuevas. Two major mining areas resulted, one along San Cristobal-Buenaventura, and another in Cibao within the La Vega-Cotuy-
Bonao Bonao is the capital of Monseñor Nouel province, Dominican Republic. It is located in the center of the country, to the northwest of the national capital Santo Domingo. The city is known as "Villa De Las Hortensias" - the town of hydrangeas. The ...
triangle, while
Santiago de los Caballeros Santiago de los Caballeros (; en, ' Saint James of the Knights'), or simply Santiago, is the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of His ...

Santiago de los Caballeros
, Concepción, and Bonao became mining towns. The gold rush of 1500–1508 ensued, and Ovando expropriated the gold mines of Miguel Díaz and Francisco de Garay in 1504, as pit mines became royal mines for
Ferdinand II of Aragon Ferdinand II of Aragon ( an, Ferrando; ca, Ferran; eu, Errando; es, Fernando; 10 March 1452 – 23 January 1516), also called ''Ferdinand the Catholic'', was King of Aragon This is a list of the kings and queens of Aragon. The Kingdom ...
, who reserved the best mines for himself, though placers were open to private prospectors. Furthermore, Ferdinand kept 967 natives in the San Cristobal mining area, supervised by salaried miners. Under ' governorship, the Indians were made to work in the gold mines. By 1503, the Spanish Crown legalized the distribution of Indians to work the mines through the encomienda system. Once the Indians entered the mines, they were often wiped out by hunger and difficult conditions. By 1508, the Taíno population of about 400,000 was reduced to 60,000, and by 1514, only 26,334 remained. About half resided in the mining towns of Concepción, Santiago, Santo Domingo, and Buenaventura. The
repartimiento The ''Repartimiento'' () (Spanish, "distribution, partition, or division") was a colonial labor system imposed upon the indigenous population of Spanish America and the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), offi ...
of 1514 accelerated emigration of the Spanish colonists, coupled with the exhaustion of the mines. The first documented outbreak of
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious a ...

smallpox
, previously an Eastern hemisphere disease, occurred on Hispaniola in December 1518 among enslaved African miners. Some scholars speculate that European diseases arrived before this date, but there is no compelling evidence for an outbreak. The natives had no acquired immunity to European diseases, including
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious a ...

smallpox
. By May 1519, as many as one-third of the remaining Taínos had died. In the century following the Spanish arrival on Hispaniola, the Taino population fell by up to 95% of the population, out of a pre-contact population estimated from tens of thousands to 8,000,000. Many authors have described the treatment of Tainos in Hispaniola under the Spanish Empire as genocide.
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 w ...

Sugar cane
was introduced to Hispaniola by settlers from the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a ...
, and the first sugar mill in the New World was established in 1516, on Hispaniola. 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. The first major slave revolt in the Americas occurred in
Santo Domingo , total_type = Total , population_density_km2 = auto , timezone = Atlantic Standard Time, AST , area_code_type = Area codes , area_code = 809, 829, 849 , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code = 10100–10699 (Distrito Naciona ...

Santo Domingo
during 1522, when enslaved
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pron ...
of the Wolof nation led an uprising in the sugar plantation of admiral Don , son of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or Cristòfol) Colom * la, Christophorus Columbus (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was ...

Christopher Columbus
. Many of these insurgents managed to escape 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 translatio ...

maroon
communities in the south of the island. Beginning in the 1520s, 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 a ...
was raided by increasingly numerous French pirates. In 1541, Spain authorized the construction of Santo Domingo's fortified wall, and in 1560 decided to restrict sea travel to enormous, well-armed convoys. In another move, which would destroy Hispaniola's sugar industry, in 1561
Havana Havana (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_m ...

Havana
, more strategically located in relation to the
Gulf Stream The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension the North Atlantic Drift The North Atlantic Current (NAC), also known as North Atlantic Drift and North Atlantic Sea Movement, is a powerful warm western boundary current Boundary current ...
, was selected as the designated stopping point for the merchant '' flotas,'' which had a royal monopoly on commerce with the Americas. In 1564, the island's main inland cities
Santiago de los Caballeros Santiago de los Caballeros (; en, ' Saint James of the Knights'), or simply Santiago, is the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of His ...

Santiago de los Caballeros
and Concepción de la Vega were destroyed by an earthquake. In the 1560s, English privateers joined the French in regularly raiding Spanish shipping in the Americas. By the early 17th century, Hispaniola and its nearby islands (notably Tortuga) became regular stopping points for
Caribbean pirates The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Kawayib; nl, Caraïben; Papiamento: ) is a region of the Americas that comprises the Caribbean Sea, its surrounding coasts, and its islands (some ...
. In 1606, the government of ordered all inhabitants of Hispaniola to move close to Santo Domingo, to fight against piracy. Rather than secure the island, his action meant that French, English, and Dutch pirates established their own bases on the less populated north and west coasts of the island. In 1625,
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consistin ...
and English pirates arrived on the island of Tortuga. Tortuga located in the northwest coast of Hispaniola, which was originally settled by a few
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
colonists. 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. As most of the Spanish army left for main island of Hispaniola to root out French colonists there, the French returned to Tortuga in 1630 and had constant battles for several decades. In 1654, the Spanish Capture of Fort Rocher, re-captured Tortuga for the last time. In 1655 the island of Tortuga 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 colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804, in what is now an island that hosts two countries; the Dominican Republic and Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ); french: Haïti ; officially the ...
. By 1670 a Welsh privateer named Henry Morgan 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 colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804, in what is now an island that hosts two countries; the Dominican Republic and Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ); french: Haïti ; officially the ...
was moved from Tortuga to Port-de-Paix on the mainland of Hispaniola in 1676. In 1680, new Acts of Parliament of England, Parliament forbade sailing under foreign flags (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, Spain formally ceded the western third of the island to France. Saint-Domingue quickly came to overshadow the east in both wealth and population. Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Antilles", it became the most prosperous colony in the
West Indies The West Indies are a 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, dependencies and other ter ...
, with a system of human slavery used to grow and harvest sugar cane during a time when European demand for sugar was high. Slavery kept costs low and profit was maximized. It was an important port in the Americas for goods and products flowing to and from France and Europe. European colonists often died young due to tropical fevers, as well as from violent slave resistance in the late eighteenth century. In 1791, during the French Revolution, a major slave revolt broke out on Saint-Domingue. When the First French Republic, French Republic abolished slavery in the colonies on February 4, 1794, it was a European first. The ex-slave army joined forces with France in its war against its European neighbors. In the second 1795 Peace of Basel, Treaty of Basel (July 22), Spain ceded the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, later to become the Dominican Republic. French settlers had begun to colonize some areas in the Spanish side of the territory. Under Napoleon, France Law of 20 May 1802, reimposed slavery in most of its Caribbean islands in 1802 and sent an army to bring Saint-Domingue under tighter control. However, thousands of the French troops succumbed to yellow fever during the summer months, and more than half of the French army died because of disease. After the French removed the surviving 7,000 troops in late 1803, the leaders of the revolution declared western Hispaniola the new nation of independent
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin language, Latin and french: Hispan ...

Haiti
in early 1804. France continued to rule Spanish Santo Domingo. In 1805, Haitian troops of General Henri Christophe tried to conquer all of Hispaniola. They invaded Santo Domingo and sacked the towns of Santiago de los Caballeros and Moca, killing most of their residents, but news of a French fleet sailing towards Haiti forced General Christophe to withdraw from the east, leaving it in French hands. In 1808, following Napoleon's invasion of Spain, the Criollo people, criollos of Santo Domingo revolted against French rule and, with the aid of the United Kingdom, returned Santo Domingo to Spanish control. Fearing the influence of a society of slaves that had successfully revolted against their owners, the United States and European powers refused to recognize Haiti, the second republic in the Western Hemisphere. France demanded a high payment for compensation to slaveholders who lost their property, and Haiti was saddled with unmanageable debt for decades.Diamond, Jared M. and Robinson, James A. (2011) ''Natural Experiments of History''. pp. 126–128. It became one of the poorest countries in the Americas, while the Dominican Republic gradually has developed into one of the largest economies of Central America and the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Kawayib; nl, Caraïben; Papiamento: ) is a region of the Americas that comprises the Caribbean Sea, its surrounding coasts, and its islands (some ...
.


Geography

Hispaniola is the second-largest island in the Caribbean (after Cuba), with an area of , of which is under the sovereignty of the Dominican Republic occupying the eastern portion and under the sovereignty of Haiti occupying the western portion. The island of Cuba lies to the northwest across the Windward Passage; 190 km (118 mi) to the southwest lies Jamaica, separated by the Jamaica Channel. Puerto Rico lies 130 km (80 mi) east of Hispaniola across the Mona Passage. The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands lie to the north. Its westernmost point is known as Cap Carcasse. Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico are collectively known as the
Greater Antilles The Greater Antilles ( es, Grandes Antillas or Antillas Mayores; french: Grandes Antilles ht, Gwo Zantiy jam, Grieta hAntiliiz) is a grouping of the larger islands in the Caribbean Sea, including Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the ...

Greater Antilles
. The island has five major ranges of mountains: The Central Range, known in the Dominican Republic as the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic, Cordillera Central, spans the central part of the island, extending from the south coast of the Dominican Republic into northwestern Haiti, where it is known as the Massif du Nord. This mountain range boasts the highest peak in the Antilles, Pico Duarte at above sea level. The Cordillera Septentrional runs parallel to the Central Range across the northern end of the Dominican Republic, extending into the Atlantic Ocean as the Samaná Peninsula. The Cordillera Central and Cordillera Septentrional are separated by the lowlands of the Cibao, Cibao Valley and the Atlantic coastal plains, which extend westward into Haiti as the Plaine du Nord (Northern Plain). The lowest of the ranges is the Cordillera Oriental, in the eastern part of the country. The Sierra de Neiba rises in the southwest of the Dominican Republic, and continues northwest into Haiti, parallel to the Cordillera Central, as the Montagnes Noires, Chaîne des Matheux and the Montagnes du Trou d'Eau. The Plateau Central lies between the Massif du Nord and the Montagnes Noires, Haiti, Montagnes Noires, and the Plaine de l'Artibonite lies between the Montagnes Noires and the Chaîne des Matheux, opening westward toward the Gulf of Gonâve, the largest gulf of the Antilles. The southern range begins in the southwesternmost Dominican Republic as the Baoruco Mountain Range, Sierra de Bahoruco, and extends west into Haiti as the Massif de la Selle and the Massif de la Hotte, which form the mountainous spine of Haiti's southern peninsula. Pic la Selle, Pic de la Selle is the highest peak in the southern range, the third highest peak in the Antilles and consequently the highest point in Haiti, at above sea level. A Depression (geology), depression runs parallel to the southern range, between the southern range and the Chaîne des Matheux-Sierra de Neiba. It is known as the Plaine du Cul-de-Sac in Haiti, and Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince lies at its western end. The depression is home to a chain of salt lakes, including Etang Saumâtre, Lake Azuei in Haiti and Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic. The island has four distinct ecoregions. The Hispaniolan moist forests ecoregion covers approximately 50% of the island, especially the northern and eastern portions, predominantly in the lowlands but extending up to elevation. The Hispaniolan dry forests ecoregion occupies approximately 20% of the island, lying in the rain shadow of the mountains in the southern and western portion of the island and in the
Cibao The Cibao, usually referred as "El Cibao", is a region of the Dominican Republic located at the northern part of the country. As of 2009 the Cibao has a population of 5,622,378 making it the most populous region in the country. The region constitut ...
valley in the center-north of the island. The Hispaniolan pine forests occupy the mountainous 15% of the island, above elevation. The flooded grasslands and savannas ecoregion in the south central region of the island surrounds a chain of lakes and lagoons in which the most notable include that of Etang Saumatre, Lake Azuei and Trou Caïman in Haiti and the nearby Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic, which is not only the lowest point of the island, but also the lowest point for an island country.


Climate

Hispaniola's climate shows considerable variation due to its diverse mountainous topography, and is the most varied island of all the Antilles. Except in the Northern Hemisphere summer season, the predominant winds over Hispaniola are the northeast trade winds. As in Jamaica and Cuba, these winds deposit their moisture on the northern mountains, and create a distinct rain shadow on the southern coast, where some areas receive as little as of rainfall, and have semi-arid climates. Annual rainfall under also occurs on the southern coast of Haiti's northwest peninsula and in the central Azúa region of the Plaine du Cul-de-Sac. In these regions, moreover, there is generally little rainfall outside hurricane season from August to October, and droughts are by no means uncommon when hurricanes do not come. On the northern coast, in contrast, rainfall may peak between December and February, though some rain falls in all months of the year. Annual amounts typically range from on the northern coastal lowlands; there is probably much more in the Cordillera Septentrional, though no data exist. The interior of Hispaniola, along with the southeastern coast centered around Santo Domingo, typically receives around per year, with a distinct season from May to October. Usually, this wet season has two peaks: one around May, the other around the hurricane season. In the interior highlands, rainfall is much greater, around per year, but with a similar pattern to that observed in the central lowlands. The variations of temperature depend on altitude and are much less marked than rainfall variations in the island. Lowland Hispaniola is generally more hot and humid, with temperatures averaging . with high humidity during the daytime, and around at night. At higher altitudes, temperatures fall steadily, so that frosts occur during the dry season on the highest peaks, where maxima are no higher than . File:Hato mayor, dominican republic waterfall.jpg, Salto de Jalda in Hato Mayor Province, Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic, the tallest waterfall in the Caribbean File:View of Haitian Landscape hispaniola.jpg, Les Cayes, Sud (department), Sud, Haiti File:Constanza, valle nuevo, clima invierno..jpg, Frosted alpine forest in Constanza, Dominican Republic File:Cabo Cabrón, (Rincón Beach) Samaná, DR.JPG, Tropical rainforest climate in Samaná Province, Samana, Dominican Republic File:Jaragua National Park (Road2).JPG, Semi-arid climate in Pedernales Province, Pedernales, Dominican Republic File:Dunas de Baní 1.jpg, Desert sand dunes of Baní, Dominican Republic File:Cordillera Central.jpg, Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic, Cordillera Central in the Dominican Republic has the highest elevation of the Caribbean


Fauna

There are many List of birds of Hispaniola, bird species in Hispaniola, and List of amphibians of Hispaniola, the island's amphibian species are also diverse. Numerous land species on the island are endangered and could become extinct. There are many species endemic to the island including insects and other invertebrates, reptiles, and mammals. The two endemic terrestrial mammals on the island are the Hispaniolan hutia (''Plagiodontia aedium'') and the Hispaniolan solenodon (''Solenodon paradoxus''). There are also many avian species on the island, with six endemic genera (''Calyptophilus'', ''Palmchat, Dulus'', ''Nesoctites'', ''Phaenicophilus'', ''Xenoligea'' and ''Microligea''). More than half of the original distribution of its ecoregions has been lost due to habitat destruction impacting the local fauna.


Flora

The island has four distinct ecoregions. The Hispaniolan moist forests ecoregion covers approximately 50% of the island, especially the northern and eastern portions, predominantly in the lowlands but extending up to elevation. The Hispaniolan dry forests ecoregion occupies approximately 20% of the island, lying in the rain shadow of the mountains in the southern and western portion of the island, and in the
Cibao The Cibao, usually referred as "El Cibao", is a region of the Dominican Republic located at the northern part of the country. As of 2009 the Cibao has a population of 5,622,378 making it the most populous region in the country. The region constitut ...
valley in the center-north of the island. The Hispaniolan pine forests occupy the mountainous 15% of the island, above elevation. The flooded grasslands and savannas ecoregion in the south central region of the island surrounds a chain of lakes and lagoons , of which the most notable include that of Etang Saumatre and Trou Caïman in Haiti, and the nearby Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic. In
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin language, Latin and french: Hispan ...

Haiti
, Deforestation in Haiti, deforestation has long been cited by scientists as a source of ecological crisis; the timber industry dates back to French colonial rule. Haiti has seen a dramatic reduction of forests due to the excessive and increasing use of charcoal as fuel for cooking. Various media outlets have suggested that the country has just 2% forest cover, but this has not been substantiated by research. Recent in-depth studies of satellite imagery and environmental analysis regarding forest classification conclude that Haiti actually has approximately 30% tree cover; this is, nevertheless, a stark decrease from the country's 60% forest cover in 1925. The country has been significantly deforested over the last 50 years, resulting in the desertification of many portions of Haitian territory. In the Dominican Republic, the forest cover has increased. In 2003, the Dominican Republic's forest cover had been reduced to 32% of its land area, but by 2011, forest cover had increased to nearly 40%. The success of the Dominican forest growth is due to several Dominican government policies and private organizations for the purpose of reforesting, and a strong educational campaign that has resulted in increased awareness by the People of the Dominican Republic, Dominican people of the importance of forests for their welfare and other forms of life on the island.


Demographics

Hispaniola is the most populous Caribbean island with combined population of almost 22 million inhabitants . The Dominican Republic is a Hispanophone nation of approximately 10.35 million people. Spanish is spoken by all Dominicans as a primary language. Roman Catholicism is the official and dominant religion. Haiti is a Geographical distribution of French speakers, Francophone nation of roughly 11.58 million people. Although French is spoken as a primary language by the educated and wealthy minority, virtually the entire population speaks
Haitian Creole Haitian Creole (; ht, kreyòl ayisyen, links=no; french: créole haïtien), commonly referred to as simply ''Creole'', is a French-based creole language spoken by 10–12million people worldwide, and is one of the two official languages of Hai ...
, one of several French-derived creole languages. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion, practiced by more than half the population, although in some cases in combination with Haitian Vodou faith. Another 25% of the populace belong to Protestantism, Protestant churches. Haiti emerged as the first Black republic in the world.


Ethnic composition

The ethnic composition of the Dominican population is 73% mixed ethnicity, 16% white and 11% black. Descendants of early Spanish settlers and of black slaves from West Africa constitute the two main racial strains. The ethnic composition of Haiti is estimated to be 95% black and 5% white and mulatto. In recent times, Dominican and Puerto Rican researchers identified in the current Dominican population the presence of genes belonging to the aborigines of the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a ...
(commonly called Guanches). These types of genes also have been detected in Puerto Rico.


Economics

The island has the largest economy in the
Greater Antilles The Greater Antilles ( es, Grandes Antillas or Antillas Mayores; french: Grandes Antilles ht, Gwo Zantiy jam, Grieta hAntiliiz) is a grouping of the larger islands in the Caribbean Sea, including Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the ...

Greater Antilles
, however most of the economic development is found in the Dominican Republic, the Dominican economy being nearly 800% larger than the Haitian economy. , the estimated List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita, annual per capita income is US$868 in Haiti and US$8,050 in Dominican Republic. The divergence between the level of economic development between Haiti and Dominican Republic makes its border the higher contrast of all western land borders and is evident that the Dominican Republic has one of the highest migration issues in the Americas.


Natural resources

The island also has an economic history and current day interest and involvement in precious metals. In 1860, it was observed that the island contained a large supply of gold, which the early Spaniards had hardly developed. By 1919, Condit and Ross noted that much of the island was covered by government granted concessions for mining different types of minerals. Besides gold, these minerals included silver, manganese, copper, magnetite, iron and nickel. Mining operations in 2016 have taken advantage of the volcanogenic massive sulfide ore deposits (VMS) around Maimón. To the northeast, the Pueblo Viejo Gold Mine was operated by state-owned Rosario Dominicana from 1975 until 1991. In 2009, Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation, formed by Barrick Gold and Goldcorp, started open-pit mining operations of the Monte Negro and Moore oxide deposits. The mined ore is processed with gold cyanidation. Pyrite and sphalerite are the main sulfide minerals found in the 120 m thick volcanic conglomerate (geology), conglomerates and agglomerates, which constitute the world's second largest sulphidation gold deposit. Between
Bonao Bonao is the capital of Monseñor Nouel province, Dominican Republic. It is located in the center of the country, to the northwest of the national capital Santo Domingo. The city is known as "Villa De Las Hortensias" - the town of hydrangeas. The ...
and Maimón, Falconbridge Ltd., Falconbridge Dominicana has been mining nickel laterites since 1971. The Cerro de Maimon copper/gold open-pit mine southeast of Maimón has been operated by Perilya since 2006. Copper is extracted from the sulfide ores, while gold and silver are extracted from both the sulfide and the oxide ores. Processing is via froth flotation and cyanidation. The ore is located in the VMS Early Cretaceous Maimón formation (geology), Formation. Goethite enriched with gold and silver is found in the 30 m thick oxide cap. Below that cap is a supergene (geology), supergene zone containing pyrite, chalcopyrite, and sphalerite. Below the supergene zone is found the unaltered massive sulphide mineralization.


Human development

This is a list of
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with ...
and
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin language, Latin and french: Hispan ...

Haiti
regions by Human Development Index as of 2018.


See also

* Casa de Contratación * Dominican Republic–Haiti relations * Geography of the Dominican Republic * Geography of Haiti * Gonave Island * List of divided islands


References


External links


Google maps

Map of the Islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico
from 1639

at the Library of Congress contains primary materials on Hispaniola. {{Authority control Hispaniola, French Caribbean Greater Antilles International islands Islands of Haiti Islands of the Dominican Republic Spanish West Indies Freshwater ecoregions