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History of Hispaniola island

Situation : Hispaniola island is in the Caribbean Sea, lying south-east of Cuba and west of Puerto Rico.

The area of the island is 78,460 sq. km (30,290 sq. mi.).

Explored and claimed by Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, the island of Hispaniola became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland.

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The original inhabitants of Hispaniola : They were Native Americans, named Taïnos , of the Arawak group. They eventually became extinct as a result of exploitation by the early Spanish colonists. Black African slaves were imported to take the place of the Native American Arawak. In 1697, with the Treaty of Ryswick, a portion of Hispaniola was formally ceded to France and became known as Saint-Domingue.

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In the western part of Hispaniola : 

General Jean-Jacques Dessalines expelled the French in 1804 and proclaimed the independence of the island, which was renamed Haïti, original name of the island given by the native Americans.

In 1822 Santo Domingo, which had come under Spanish rule again in 1809, was reunited with the rest of the island. In 1844 Santo Domingo once more declared its independence, forming the Dominican Republic, and the island, as a geographical unit, assumed its former name, Hispaniola.Read more story

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