Dominican Restoration War

Dominican Republic

In 1844 Dominican Republic became an independent nation, detaching themselves from the Spanish Empire. But the new republic got up to a shaky start, as there were many conflict of interests. The haitians, another of the old Spanish colonies, claimed the islands was one territory and not subject to divisions and opposed the independence of the land they considered theirs. Other major powers such as France, Spain, England and the US had their eye on the territory.

After 13 years of rocky government an uprising known as July Revolution took place in 1857 and president Buenaventura Báez was overthrown. Pedro Santana rose to power, who in 1860 wrote a long letter to Queen Isabel II, requesting the annexation of Dominican Republic to Spain, that is, the re-admittance of Dominica into the Spanish Empire arguing that hey had the same origins, held the same religion and customs. Spain complied, and Domincan Republic became one of the Spanish colonies once more, with disastrous results economic result for the former republic .

The Restoration Movement

Aranjuez Treaty

Spain never kept their side of the agreement and they returned to slavery and racial measures and religious intolerance. Massive popular revolts took place as a consequence of economic and social crisis that hit Dominican Republic after the annexation. The government took dire measures such as executions and expatriations. The first armed riot transpired in 1861 all over the country, including the capital city Santo Domingo. Many movements rose with the aim to restore the republic and throw out the Spaniards

There was an attempt to get Haitian support but it failed, while Spanish Empire demanded that the Haitian government recognised the territory limits settled on the Aranjuez treaty (1777) and large sums of money as compensation. Haiti felt forced to support the restorers. Thanks to this, the Dominicans were able to organise their military forces and plan the revolutionary feat.

By 1864 the restoration movement had expanded to most of the Dominican territory, maintaining that the Republic still existed, and they had not asked to become one of the Spanish colonies again. Their slogan was "Freedom or Death". In 1865 Haitian President Geffrard sent an agent as war mediator and the exchange of prisoners.On the 3rd of March of the same year Spain issued the Royal Decree that declared the annexation of the Dominican territory null and void. The Spanish learned that the independence-thirsty colonies in America were a force to be reckoned with.