The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area (after Cuba) at 48,445 square kilometers (18,705 sq mi), and third by population with approximately 10 million people, of which approximately three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.Christopher Columbus landed on the island on December 5, 1492, which the native Taíno people had inhabited since the 7th century.Over the next 72 years the Dominican Republic experienced mostly internal conflicts and a brief return to colonial status before permanently ousting Spanish rule during the Dominican War of Restoration of 1865.A United States occupation lasted eight years between 19, and a subsequent calm and prosperous six-year period under Horacio Vásquez Lajara was followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo until 1961.The latter's successes gained his people an autonomous enclave for a time on the island.Within a few years after 1492 the population of Taínos had declined drastically, due to smallpox, The last record of pure Taínos in the country was from 1864.By 1519, according to Pons, "Both the gold economy and the Indian population became extinct at the same time." The Alcázar of Colón, located in Santo Domingo, is the oldest Viceregal residence in all of the Americas.It was built for and used by Diego Columbus and his descendents.
The word "Quisqueya" derives from a native tongue of the Taino Indians and means "Mother of all Lands".
Danilo Medina, the Dominican Republic's current president, succeeded Fernandez in 2012, winning 51% of the electoral vote over his opponent ex-president Hipólito Mejía.
Private consumption has been strong, as a result of low inflation (under 1% on average in 2015), job creation, as well as high level of remittances.
Two major mining areas resulted, one along San Cristóbal-Buenaventura, and another in Cibao within the La Vega-Cotuy-Bonao triangle, while Santiago de los Caballeros, Concepcion, and Bonao became mining towns. Ferdinand II of Aragon "ordered gold from the richest mines reserved for the Crown." Thus, Ovando expropriated the gold mines of Miguel Diaz and Francisco de Garay in 1504, as pit mines became royal mines, though placers were open to private prospectors.
Furthermore, Ferdinand wanted the "best Indians" working his royal mines, and kept 967 in the San Cristóbal mining area supervised by salaried miners.