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Timeline of Major Historical Moments in the Dominican Republic

3500 BCEThe Taíno (Arawak) people settle throughout the island
1492-1795Spanish Rule
1492Christopher Columbus arrives & names island Hispaniola, meaning Little Spain
1496Spaniards establish Santa Domingo as the capital of all of the Spanish colonies in the Americas
1503First African slaves arrive to work in gold mines & sugar plantations after enslaved Taíno population is decimated
1522First major slave revolt. Escapees form the Maroon communities in the mountains
1697The western side of Hispaniola becomes Haiti & is ceded to the French. The Dominican Republic stays under Spanish control
1808Spanish Creoles revolt & temporarily take control of Santo Domingo
1821-1822The Dominican Republic uprises & is briefly independent
1822Slavery is abolished
1822-1844Haitian troops invade & take power over the entire island
February 27,1844The Dominican Republic overthrows Haitian rule & declares independence
1844-1861First Republic
1861-1863Spanish Rule
1865-1916Second Republic: The Dominican Republic is again independent
1916-1924U.S. Occupation
1930-1961Trujillo Dictatorship: President is overthrown by General Trujillo who orders the massacre of an estimated 20,000 Haitians living in the Dominican Republic
19792 hurricanes leave more than 200,000 people homeless
1998Hurricane George
2004Torrential floods leave more than 2000 people dead or missing