Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






United States -- Foreign relations -- Dominican Republic, Dominican Republic -- Foreign relations -- United States, Dominican Republic -- History -- 1844-1930



Physical Description

1 online resource (103 leaves, 28 cm.)


To achieve independence, the Dominican Republic had to first endure three centuries of heavy-handed Spanish rule and period of Haitian domination that lasted for twenty-two years. Fear of Haitian reconquest, however, convinced the leading Dominican politicians that the new nation could not long endure without foreign protection.

Encouraged by Dominican offers of a naval base, the United States toyed with the idea of expansion in the Caribbean as early as 1850, but civil war cut short these notions and allowed Spain to reassert control over her former colony. Although Spanish occupation ended in failure the United States became more determined that the island Republic should never again be dominated by a European power.

Such a determination on the part of the United States to prevent European incursion led to an abortive annexationist attempt by the Grant administration in 1869 and to the establishment of a customs receivership in 1905, when unpaid foreign debts aroused the ire of European creditors.

It was hoped that the establishment of a customs receivership would usher in a period of peace and prosperity for the Dominicans but by 1912 it became evident that such hopes were not to be realized. President Wilson adhered to the argument that foreign intervention in the Caribbean was not to be tolerated but broadened United States involvement in the domestic policies of the Dominican Republic by insisting on the establishment of a constitutional democracy, which he felt would establish domestic tranquility. When it became apparent that the internal conditions of the island Republic were not improving, Wilson reluctantly ordered in the United States Marines in the hopes that they would be able to educate the Dominicans to the ways of democracy.

By broadening the scope of United States involvement in the domestic affairs of the Dominican Republic, Wilson had produce an occupation that denied the Dominicans the inherent right of a nation to govern itself, a liberty which had been maintained against overwhelming odds during the preceding seventy-two years.


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