The Dominican history begins with human migrations from Mesoamerica and the Orinoco basin that populated the island. This human group known as the Tainos, inhabited this territory they called Quisqueya (mother of all lands) or Haiti (land of high mountains). Upon the arrival of Columbus in 1492, the island was constituted and politically organized into five chiefdoms: Marien, Maguá, Maguana, Jaragua and Higuey; they were governed by their respective caciques: Guacanagarix, Guarionex, Caonabo, Bohechío and Cayacoa.
Few records are kept of the Pre-Columbian period to understand the social organization, worldview, culture and language of the first settlers. Most of the glyphs and petroglyphs, pottery and items of everyday life and rituals found by archaeologists are exhibited in museums and parks across the country, and preserved with great zeal as legacy traces of their culture.
The development of modern Dominican culture presents unique characteristics that defines and differentiates it. At the same time, Dominican culture, similar to those of the vast majority of Caribbean and Latin American countries, whose history is marked by the Spanish conquest and colonization, the presence of African slaves and Native American Indians who left their contribution displayed on the present cultural manifestations.
There are very few remains of the Taino culture. European and African cultural elements are more prominent in gastronomy, religion and music. However, several names and words of Arawak origin, the language of the Tainos, remain to this day and are used in everyday conversation to designate foods and products, as in the case of the words Bohio, Hurricane, Canoe, yucca and many others that survived and have been incorporated as colloquial expressions, not only in the island, but also in the Dominican border.
After a long colonial life and many attempts to be free, the victory obtained in the War of Independence in 1844 allowed the country to be released from outside domains. In the years ahead the new nation would experience various struggles, mostly internal, and also a brief return to Spanish rule from 1861 to 1865. Following this, the country lived its first American occupation from 1916 to 1924, and then six years of calm and prosperity under the presidency of Horacio Vásquez (1924-1930) which were followed by the iron dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo until 1961.
When the dictatorship ended, the Dominican Republic experienced a period of tension that led to the Civil War of 1965 which ended with the second US intervention and was followed by Dr. Joaquin Balaguer whose governments lasted several terms.
Once the 12 years of Balaguer concluded, the country showed a clear vocation for democratic life, with presidential terms chosen through popular elections and respecting the mandates of the Constitution, which has served as a platform for economic takeoff and the good times the country experiences.