1870 Dominican Republic annexation referendum

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A referendum on annexation by the United States was held in the Dominican Republic on 19 February 1870.[1] The proposal was approved by 99.93% of voters, although turnout was just 30%.[1] However, the United States Senate rejected the annexation on 30 June 1870 with a 28–28 vote.[2]


The Dominican Republic originally became independent from Haiti in 1844 following the War of Independence.[1] However, in 1861 the country was occupied of Spain following an inflation crisis.[1] In 1865 the country became independent again following the Restoration War.[1]

By 1870 the country had significant debts caused by the ongoing Six Years' War.[1] President Buenaventura Báez planned on selling the Samaná Peninsula to the United States for $1.1 million, whilst US President Ulysses S. Grant wanted to annex the entire country.[1] A treaty was signed between the two countries on 29 November 1869.[1] The US would purchase the Dominican Republic for $1.5 million and would lease the Samaná Peninsula for $147,229.91 for 99 years.[3]

On 16 February Báez ordered a referendum to be held in the form of a register. Eleven votes against were ordered so as to make the results seem plausible.[4]


Choice Votes %
For 16,000 99.93
Against 11 0.07
Invalid/blank votes 0
Total 16,011 100
Registered voters/turnout 30.00
Source: Direct Democracy

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Dominican Republic: Integration with the USA Direct Democracy (in German)
  2. ^ The Senate's Role in Treaties United States Senate
  3. ^ Hidalgo, Dennis (1997). "Charles Sumner and the Annexation of the Dominican Republic". ITINERARIO-LEIDEN. 21: 51–65.
  4. ^ Polyné, Millery (2006). "Expansion Now!: Haiti," Santo Domingo," and Frederick Douglass at the Intersection of US and Caribbean Pan-Americanism". Caribbean Studies. 34 (2): 3–45.