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Independence was won before slavery was abolished in the Spanish Caribbean and a century before the decolonization of the other islands.The Dominicans consider themselves more Latin American than Caribbean. The Dominican Republic became a nation on 27 February 1844 when a group of revolutionaries seized power from the Haitian rulers of the island of Hispaniola.When Christopher Columbus first discovered the island in 1492, he named it La Isla Española, which became Hispaniola.The western portion of the island is occupied by the republic of Haiti.Hispaniola is near the center of the West Indies, a group of islands that extend from Florida to Venezuela.
The society was established by Juan Pablo Duarte, the son of a wealthy Dominican family.
Seventy-three percent of the population is mixed race—combinations of descendants of Spaniards and other Europeans, West African slaves, and natives.
Sixteen percent is Caucasian and 11 percent is black, which includes a Haitian minority.
To the north of Hispaniola is the Atlantic Ocean, to the south the Caribbean Sea, to the east Puerto Rico, and to the west Cuba.
Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Jamaica are referred to as the Greater Antilles.