Geography     
Location: Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispanola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti
Geographic coordinates:  19 00 N, 70 40 W (Santo Domingo - 18 28 N, 69 54 W)
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total: 48,730 sq km,  Area - comparative: slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire land: 48,380 sq km / water: 350 sq km
Land boundaries: total: 360 km
Border countries: Haiti 360 km
Coastline: 1,288 km
Climate: tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
Terrain: rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m / highest point: Pico Duarte 3,175 m
Natural resources: nickel, bauxite, gold, silver
Land use: arable land: 22.49%,  permanent crops:10.26%,other: 67.25% (2005)
Irrigated land: 2,750 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to                October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts (weather information)
Environment - current issues: water shortages; deforestation; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs

The People       
Population:9,507,133 (July 2008 est.) - (old information - 9,365,818 est. July 2007; 9,183,984 est. July 2006;  8,950,034 est. July 2005)
Population Growth Rate: 1.495% (2008 est.), (2007 est.  1.5%)  (2006 est. 1.47%)
Age structure:2008 est.  0-14 years: 31.8% (male 1,537,981/female 1,482,546)
                                     15-64 years: 62.4% (male 3,029,349/female 2,905,471)
                                     65 years and over: 5.8% (male 255,898/female 295,888) (2008 est.)
                      2007 est.  0-14 years: 32.1% (male 1,532,813/female 1,477,033)
                                     15-64 years: 62.2% (male 2,971,620/female 2,851,207)
                                     65 years and over: 5.7% (male 247,738/female 285,407)
Median age: 2008 est. total: 24.7 years  male: 24.6 years  female: 24.8 years
                      2007 est. total: 24.5 years  male: 24.3 years  female: 24.6 years
Ethnic groups: mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
Religions:Roman Catholic 95%
Languages: Spanish

The Government (links to Government Agencies)
Government type: representative democracy
Capital: Santo Domingo
31 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 district* (distrito); Azua, Baoruco, Barahona, Dajabon, Distrito Nacional*, Duarte, Elias Pina, El Seibo, Espaillat, Hato Mayor, Independencia, La Altagracia, La Romana, La Vega, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Monsenor Nouel, Monte Cristi, Monte Plata, Pedernales, Peravia, Puerto Plata, Salcedo, Samana, Sanchez Ramirez, San Cristobal, San Jose de Ocoa, San Juan, San Pedro de Macoris, Santiago, Santiago Rodriguez, Santo Domingo, Valverde
Independence: 27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 February (1844)
Constitution: 28 November 1966; amended 25 July 2002
Legal system: based on French civil codes; Criminal Procedures Code modified in 2004 to include important elements of an accusatory system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age
note: members of the armed forces and national police cannot vote

The above information is from the CIA WORLD FACT BOOK. It was updated June 19, 2007. For the complete listing click here.

Presidents
Pedro Santana: 13 November 1844 – 4 August 1848,  Council of Secretaries of State: 4 August – 8 September 1848, Manuel Jimenes: 8 September 1848 – 29 May 1849, Pedro Santana (Supreme Chief of the Republic): 30 May – 23 September 1849, Buenaventura Báez: 24 September 1849 – 15 February 1853, Pedro Santana: 15 February 1853 – 26 May 1856, Manuel de Regla Mota: 26 May – 8 October 1856, Buenaventura Báez: 8 October 1856 – 13 June 1858, José Desiderio Valverde: 13 June – 28 July 1858, Pedro Santana: 28 July 1858 – 18 March 1861

Spanish Governors-General of Santo Domingo
Pedro Santana: 18 March 1861 – 20 July 1862, Felipe Ribero: 20 July 1862 – 22 October 1863, Carlos de Vargas: 22 October 1863 – 30 March 1864, José de la Gándara: 31 March 1864 – 11 July 1865

Heads of State of the Dominican Republic
José Antonio Salcedo: 14 September 1863 – 10 October 1864, Gaspar Polanco: 10 October 1864 – 23 January 1865, Benigno Filomeno de Rojas: 24 January – 24 March 1865

Presidents of the Dominican Republic
Pedro Antonio Pimentel: 25 March – 4 August 1865, José María Cabral (Protector): 4 August – 15 November 1865, Pedro Guillermo (Pres. of the Provisional Govt.): 15 November – 8 December 1865, Buenaventura Báez: 8 December 1865 – 29 May 1866, Triumvirate: 29 May – 22 August 1866, José María Cabral: 22 August 1866 – 31 January 1868, Manuel Altagracia Cáceres: 31 January – 13 February 1868, Junta of Generals: 13 February – 2 May 1868, Buenaventura Báez: 2 May 1868 – 2 January 1874, Ignacio María González (Supreme Chief): 2 January – 22 January 1874, Generals-in-Chief: 22 January – 6 April 1874, Ignacio María González: 6 April 1874 – 23 February 1876, Council of Secretaries of State: 23 February – 29 April 1876, Ulises Francisco Espaillat: 29 April – 5 October 1876, Superior Governing Junta: 5 October – 11 November 1876, Ignacio María González (Supreme Chief): 11 November – 9 December 1876, Marcos Antonio Cabral (Pres. of Provisional Governing Junta): 10 – 26 December 1876, Buenaventura Báez: 26 December 1876 – 2 March 1878, Cesáreo Guillermo (President of the Central Government): 5 March – 6 July 1878, Ignacio María González: 6 July – 2 September 1878, Jacinto del Rosario de Castro (acting): 7 – 29 September 1878, Council of Secretaries of State: 30 September 1878 – 27 February 1879, Cesáreo Guillermo: 27 February – 6 December 1879, Gregorio Luperón: 6 December 1879 – 1 September 1880, Fernando Arturo de Meriño: 1 September 1880 – 1 September 1882, Ulises Heureaux: 1 September 1882 – 1 September 1884, Francisco Gregorio Billini: 1 September 1884 – 16 May 1885, Alejandro Woss y Gil: 16 May 1885 – 6 January 1887, Ulises Heureaux: 6 January 1887 – 27 February 1889, Manuel María Gautier (acting): 27 February – 30 April 1889, Ulises Heureaux: 30 April 1889 – 26 July 1899, Wenceslao Figuereo: 26 July – 30 August 1899, Horacio Vásquez (President of the Provisional Government): 4 September – 15 November 1899, Juan Isidro Jimenes: 15 November 1899 – 2 May 1902, Horacio Vásquez (Pres. of the Provisional Govt.): 26 April 1902 – 23 April 1903, Alejandro Woss y Gil: 23 April – 24 November 1903,  Carlos Felipe Morales: 24 October 1903 – 12 January 1906, Ramón Cáceres: 12 January 1906 – 19 November 1911, Eladio Victoria: 5 December 1911 – 30 November 1912, Adolfo Alejandro Nouel (provisional): 1 December 1912 – 13 April 1913, José Bordas Valdés (provisional): 14 April 1913 – 27 August 1914, Ramón Báez (provisional): 28 August – 5 December 1914, Juan Isidro Jimenes: 5 December 1914 – 7 May 1916, Council of Secretaries of State: 7 May – 31 July 1916, Francisco Henríquez y Carvajal: 31 July – 29 November 1916
(Governors under the U.S. occupation: Harry Shepard Knapp: 29 November 1916 – 18 November 1918, Ben Hebard Fuller: 18 November 1918 – 25 February 1919, Thomas Snowden: 25 February 1919 – 3 June 1921, Samuel Robison: 3 June 1921 – 21 October 1922)
Presidents: Juan Bautista Vicini Burgos (provisional): 21 October 1922 – 12 July 1924, Horacio Vásquez: 12 July 1924 – 3 March 1930, Rafael Estrella Ureña (acting): 3 March – 16 August 1930, Rafael Trujillo: 16 August 1930 – 16 August 1938, Jacinto Bienvenido Peynado: 16 August 1938 – 7 March 1940, Manuel de Jesús Troncoso de la Concha: 7 March 1940 – 18 May 1942, Rafael Trujillo: 18 May 1942 – 16 August 1952, Héctor Trujillo: 16 August 1952 – 3 August 1960, Joaquín Balaguer: 3 August 1960 – 16 January 1962, Rafael Filiberto Bonnelly: 18 January 1962 – 27 February 1963, Juan Bosch: 27 February – 25 September 1963, Triumvirate: 26 September 1963 – 25 April 1965, Antonio Imbert Barrera: 7 May – 30 August 1965, Héctor García Godoy (provisional): 3 September 1965 – 1 July 1966, Joaquín Balaguer: 1 July 1966 – 16 August 1978, Antonio Guzmán Fernández: 16 August 1978 – 4 July 1982, Jacobo Majluta Azar: 4 July – 16 August 1982, Salvador Jorge Blanco: 16 August 1982 – 16 August 1986, Joaquín Balaguer: 16 August 1986 – 16 August 1996, Leonel Fernández Reyna: 16 August 1996 – 16 August 2000, Hipólito Mejía: 16 August 2000 – 16 August 2004, Leonel Fernández Reyna (16 August 2004 – present)

This is a complete list of the Heads of the Government of Dominican Republic. There are Presidents, Governors, Heads of State, Provisional Governors, Supreme Chiefs,  Governors under the U.S. occupation, Provisional, Acting, and more. It can get very confusing exactly what these governing heads titles and roles in the government was exactly. (Click on the high lighted links to read more about the person.)
Background:
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. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821, but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative, rule for much of its subsequent history was brought to an end in 1966 when Joaquin BALAGUER became president. He maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. The Dominican economy has had one of the fastest growth rates in the hemisphere over the past decade.
 
 
 
 
 
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