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Santo Domingo (former Spanish colony)

Santo Domingo (sän´tō dōmēng´gō), former Spanish colony on the island of Hispaniola. The name has also been used for the Dominican Republic, and in early days it applied to Haiti. Columbus visited the island in 1492 and established a settlement on the northern coast, but when he returned in 1493, the settlers had vanished. He administered a new colony there until complaints against his rule caused him to be replaced (1500) by Francisco de Bobadilla. In 1509, Columbus's son Diego became governor. Failing to find mineral wealth in quantity, the colonists became farmers; the work was done for them under the encomienda system by the native Caribs. Before the adoption (1542) of the New Laws urged by Bartolomé de las Casas for protection of the Caribs, most of them had perished and the importation of black African slaves had been sanctioned. Santo Domingo was subject to frequent raids by English and French buccaneers. Although Spain nominally owned the whole island, European colonization had not been undertaken in the west; French buccaneers used the ports there (in present Haiti) as a rendezvous, and later French planters were able to establish settlements. In the latter half of the 18th cent. sugarcane was introduced, and sugar plantations became dominant. Unable to enforce its claims to the whole island, Spain ceded (1697) the western part (then called Saint-Domingue) to France and in 1795 gave up the whole island. Spanish rule was restored in the east when the inhabitants, aided by the British, rebelled against the French in 1808–9. The Spanish themselves were ousted in 1821; in 1822 the Haitians extended their rule over the entire island. The Haitians were driven out in 1844 and the Dominican Republic was proclaimed.

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Santo Domingo (city, Dominican Republic)

Santo Domingo (sän´tō dōmēng´gō), city (1993 pop. 1,609,966), S Dominican Republic, on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River. It is the country's capital, largest city, leading port, and primary commercial center. Founded Aug. 4, 1496, by Bartholomew Columbus, brother of Christopher Columbus, it may be the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Western Hemisphere. Shortly after its founding it became the base from which Diego de Velázquez set out to conquer Cuba. It was the first seat of Spanish colonial administration in the New World. The city was sacked by Sir Francis Drake in 1586. Santo Domingo was almost totally destroyed by a hurricane in 1930 but was rebuilt and renamed Ciudad Trujillo, after dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo; the original name was restored in 1961 after his death.

Although replete with historic sites, Santo Domingo today is a city of broad avenues and modern buildings. The cathedral, begun in 1514, is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere; until 1990 it contained the reputed tomb of Christopher Columbus, which was moved to the Columbus Memorial Lighthouse in 1992. Construction of the expensive lighthouse, the world's largest, met with controversy in the poor country, whose native population was largely exterminated after the arrival of Columbus and whose current population is largely of African, not Spanish, descent.

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Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo (formerly Ciudad Trujillo, 1936–61) Capital and chief port of the Dominican Republic, on the s coast of the island, on the River Ozama. Founded in 1496, the city is the oldest continuous European settlement in the Americas. It was the seat of the Spanish viceroys in the early 1500s, and base for the Spaniards' conquering expeditions until it was devastated by an earthquake in 1562. It houses more than a third of the country's population, many of whom work in the sugar industry. Pop. (2002 est.) 2,061,200; 2,799,600 (metro.).

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Santo Domingo (pueblo, United States)

Santo Domingo (sän´tə dəmĬng´gō), pueblo (1990 pop. 2,866), Sandoval co., N central N.Mex., on the Rio Grande; founded c.1700 after earlier pueblos were destroyed by floods. Its inhabitants are Pueblo of the Eastern Keresan linguistic family. Its principal ceremony, a magnificent Green Corn (or Busk) dance, is held in August.

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