The start of Dominican immigration started in 1492, when Christopher Columbus stumbled across the island of Hispaniola. The French took over the western part of the land, which is now Haiti. During this time period, the Spanish and the French worked together to make valuable sugar cane, tobacco, indigo, cotton, and coffee crops on the island’s plantations. By the eighteenth century, these crops helped make the island into the most successful colony in the West Indies. Now, Dominicans can trace their origins to mixtures of Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans settlers.
During the early nineteenth century, Dominican Republic had experienced two Haitian invasions, a popular revolt that led to independence, and a return to Spanish rule. After the country became fully independent in 1844 as the Dominican Republic, it was overwhelmed by an ongoing civil war that produced twenty different governments in as many years.
According to ImmigrationinAmerica.org, “Burdened with foreign debt, the Dominican Republic yielded to the United States in 1905, when Theodore Roosevelt used a corollary of the Monroe Doctrine to appoint an American to run the Dominican customs office. By that time, U.S. investors controlled the Dominican sugar industry.” “The United States occupied the Dominican Republic from 1916 through 1930. Four years after the assassination of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1961, the United States again occupied the Dominican Republic in response to the overthrow of President Juan Bosch.”
An article on ImmigrationinAmerica.org says, “After 1930, the Dominican Republic’s oppressive Trujillo regime restricted Dominican emigration.” “Only 1,150 Dominicans immigrated to the United States between 1931 and 1940, and 5,627 arrived between 1941 and 1950—the first decades for which U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has data on Dominican immigration.”