White Dominican (Dominican Republic)
|(2006 survey: 1.6 Million (13.6%)
1960: 490,000 (16.1%))
|Regions with significant populations|
|Chiefly in Espaillat, Santiago, Santiago Rodríguez, and Valverde; also in Distrito Nacional, Hermanas Mirabal, La Vega, and Monte Christi.|
|Predominantly Roman Catholicism
|Related ethnic groups|
|Dominican people, Jewish Dominican, White Latin American, White Mexican, White Puerto Rican, White Haitian, White Hispanic and Latino Americans, Dominican American,|
The census bureau decided to not use racial classification in the 1970 census. The Dominican identity card (issued by the Junta Central Electoral) used to categorised people as yellow, white, Indian, and black, in 2011 the Junta planned to replace Indian with mulatto in a new ID card with biometric data that was under development, but in 2014 when it released the new ID card, it decided to just drop racial categorisation, the old ID card expired on 10 January 2015. The Ministry of Public Works and Communications uses racial classification in the driver’s license, being white, mestizo, mulatto, black, and yellow the categories used.
Originally applied to people of full or predominant European ancestry (who were considered or consider themselves white), it was also applied to the Middle Eastern immigrants of the early 20th century. They represented 7.79% of the Dominican population, according to the leaked 1996 electoral census based on Dominican identity cards data, or 16.1% of the Dominican population, according to the 1960 population census (the last population census in which race was queried).
Most white Dominicans are descendants from the Canary Islanders, Portuguese, mainland Spanish, and French settlers’ lineage in the Hispaniola island during colonial times, but many others are descendants from white Levantines, Italians, Dutchmen, Germans, Hungarians, Americans, and other nationalities who have migrated between the 19th and 20th centuries.
White Dominicans make up a significant minority in the country, but it is not possible to quantify their numbers because the National Institute of Statistics (INE) does not collect racial data because of the race taboo and "political correctness" that originated after Rafael L. Trujillo’s dictatorship; although the Central Electoral Board still collected racial data until 2014. According to a 2011 survey by Latinobarómetro, 11% of the Dominicans surveyed identified themselves as white.
- 1 Census history
- 2 History
- 3 Geographic distribution
- 4 Whiteness and social status
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
The 1750 estimates show that there were 30,863 whites out of a total population of 70,625 in the colony of Santo Domingo. The census of 1920 was the first national enumeration. The second census, taken in 1935, covered race, religion, literacy, nationality, labor force and urban-rural residence.
|White population 1750 - 1960 (Census)|
Conquest and colonization
The presence of whites in the Dominican Republic dates back to the founding of La Isabela, one of the first European settlements in the Americas, by Bartholomew Columbus in 1493. The presence of precious metals such as gold boosted migration of thousands of Spaniards to Hispaniola seeking easy wealth. They tried to enslave the Native inhabitants, but many of these died of diseases, and those that survived did not make good slaves.
In 1510, there were 10,000 Spaniards in the colony of Santo Domingo, and it rose to over 20,000 in 1520. But following the depleting of the gold mines, the island began to depopulate, as most poor Spanish colonists embarked to the newly conquered Mexico or to Venezuela (which was aggravated by the conquest of Peru in 1533). This was followed by a limited Spanish migration toward Hispaniola, composed overwhelmingly by males. In order to counteract the depopulation and impoverishment of the colony, the Spanish Monarchy allowed the importation of African slaves to hew sugar cane.
By 1542 there were only few hundred natives. Several epidemics wiped out the remaining natives on the island.
The shortage of Spanish females led to miscegenation, that drove the creation of a caste system, (casta), in which white Spaniards were at the top, mixed-race people at middle, and Amerindians and black people at the bottom. Endogamy became a norm within the higher classes, in order to maintain their status and remain racially pure especially, specially because only pure whites were able to inherit majorats. As a result, Santo Domingo, like the rest of Hispanic America, became a pigmentocracy. The local-born whites were known as blancos de la tierra ("whites from the land"), in contrast to the blancos de Castilla, "whites from Castile".
The color prejudice between blacks and whites practically disappeared due to the great misery that prevailed in the colony.
By the mid-17th century, the overall population decreased to 3,000 inhabitants and it was concentrated in or near the city of Santo Domingo. About one tenth of the colony’s population was Portuguese-born; they were concentrated in the Cibao valley, where they had an influence on the Spanish dialect spoken in that area; another another 3% was born in Spain or descended exclusively from Spaniards.
18th century massive settlement
During the eighteenth century, there were French colonists that settled in many Spanish towns, particularly in Santiago, by 1730 they totalled 25% of the population. This was seen as a problem for the Spanish authorities, because if the population became mostly French, there could be problems of loyalty toward Spain.
In 1718 a Royal Decree ordered the expel of the French people from Santo Domingo. The Grand Mayor of Santiago, Antonio Pichardo Vinuesta, refused to obey the decree arguing that most of the Frenchmen had married local women and that their expulsion would damage the economy of the Cibao. Grand Mayor Pichardo was tried and imprisoned in the city of Santo Domingo, but in the next year, the Council of the Indies reasoned in favor of Pichardo and decided a pardon to the French. In 1720-1721, a revolt in Santiago against a new tax on beef exports to the Saint Domingue, arose Frenchification fears in the Santo Domingo elite; Captain-General Fernando Constanzo, governor of the Santo Domingo, accused the Cibaenian elite of seeking to annex their province to France.
After the failed plans of the Spanish Monarchy to expel the French colonists, the Monarchy decided to actively encourage the mass settlement of Spanish families in order to counteract the Frenchification of the colony. Over the next decades, the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo was the subject of a mass migration of Spaniards, most of whom came from the Canary Islands.
During that period, Neyba (1733), San Juan de la Maguana (1733), Puerto Plata (1736), Dajabón (1743), Montecristi (1751), Santa Bárbara de Xamaná (now Samaná) (1756), San Rafael de la Angostura (1761), Sabana de la Mar (1761), Las Caobas (1763), Baní (1764), Las Matas de Farfán (1767), San Miguel de la Atalaya (1768), Moca (1773), Juana Núñez (1775), San José de los Llanos (1779), San Pedro de Macorís (1779), and San Carlos de Tenerife (1785), were founded. Due to this migration, it decreased the amount of coloreds and blacks: the black population dropped to 12%, the mulatto population to 8%, and the quadroons to 31%.
After that peak, the local white population began to migrate (especially towards Puerto Rico, Curaçao and Venezuela), first with the Haitian rule, and later with the constant political and economic instability after Dominican independence. Historically, migration to Puerto Rico was constant (except between 1898 and the 1930s, when there was a wave of Puerto Rican migrants to the Dominican Republic) and it boosted in the 20th century because of the oppressive regimes of Trujillo and Balaguer. Although, the country has received a tiny but steady immigration (from other countries than Haiti), which has partly offset the constant emigration.
Saint-Domingue and the French acquisition of Santo Domingo
In the early seventeenth century, the Spanish government ordered the evacuation of the northern and western coast of the island, forcing relocation to areas close to the city of Santo Domingo as a defence measure against pirates from other European nations. This ended up being counterproductive to Spain, because in 1625 the pirates and buccaneers began to establish settlements on the island of Tortuga and in a strip north of Hispaniola surrounding Port-de-Paix. France dominated the buccaneers in the late 16th century and initiated the establishment of a colony that would enrich fast and rapidly expand throughout the western coast of Hispaniola. In 1777 France and Spain signed a border treaty, in which the western and northwestern coast of Hispaniola would be French and the rest of the island would be Spanish. By 1780 Saint-Domingue was the richest colony in the world, even than all the British Thirteen Colonies and the West Indies together. The French established an economy based on the production and export of sugar sustained on the forced labor of black slaves imported from west and central Africa. Slavery of blacks was characterized as one of the most ruthless in which terror and severe punishments were applied to slaves.
- 40,000 Grand-blancs (literally "Great whites" in French) and Petit-blancs ("Little whites")
- 28,000 Sang-melés (French for: "Mixed blood") or free people of color.
- 452,000 slaves
The white population were 8% of Saint-Domingue’s population, but they owned 70% of the wealth and 75% of the slaves in the colony. The mulatto population were 5% of the population and had the 30% of the wealth. The slaves were 87% of the population.
When the French Revolution started, the ideas of freedom among men spread in Saint-Domingue. Blacks (the majority of them were born in Africa, such as Jean-Jacques Dessalines) rebelled against their white masters and began a genocide against the French. In 1791, more than a thousand were killed. In order to preserve their lives, they fled Saint-Domingue. The wealthy grand-blancs, returned to France or went to French Louisiana, but the petit-blancs who did not have many resources were compelled to move to the Eastern side of Hispaniola; although many of them went to Cuba, and to Venezuela as well.
Notably, there were many sang-melés, some of which fled from Saint-Domingue as well, and settled in neighboring islands, mostly Puerto Rico and Cuba.
- This French Creole (Franco-Haitian) migration toward the current Dominican Republic brought to the country many surnames like Beltrand (and its variants Beltrán and Beltré), Bisonó, Beauregard, Candelier, Ciprián, Coradín, Dipré (originally Dupré), Ferrant, Gautreaux, LaChapelle, Lavandier, Leclerc, Marichal, Morel, Oliver, Poueriet, Saint-Hilaire, and Yaclamic.
The Treaty of Basel, signed in 1795, in which Spain ceded the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola to France in exchange for keeping Gipuzkoa, was supposed to be put into effect immediately, but the French authorities didn't comply in lieu that they were focused on the disturbances taking place in Saint-Domingue as well as the uprising of a revolution in France. It wasn't until 1801 when the black freedman Gen. Toussaint Louverture decided to invade Santo Domingo with his army under the guise proclaiming the abolition of slavery on behalf of the French Republic and then captured Santo Domingo from the French and took control of the entire island. From 1795 to 1801 the Dominicans were still ruled by the Brig. Joaquín García y Moreno, and Toussaint Louverture was governor from 1801-1802.
The Unification of Hispaniola lasted from 1822 until 1844, and sometime during this span, a totalitarian military government took place that forbade the Dominican people by law from taking public office, were on permanent curfew since early dusk and had the public university closed down on the pretext that it was a subversive institution.
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2014)|
Due to political instability, most white families fled the country between 1795 and 1978, mainly to Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Many Dominican historians and intellectuals, such as Américo Lugo, Joaquín Balaguer and Antonio del Monte y Tejada, deplored that "Santo Domingo lost most of its best families" at that era, specially during the Haitian domination.
The majority of the immigrants that settled in the Dominican Republic in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century established their residence in Santo Domingo, Santiago, Moca and Puerto Plata.
During the 19th century Puerto Plata was the most important port in the country (and even became provisional capital) and hosted the European and North American migration to the Dominican Republic. The majority were Germans traders and tobacco producers, most of these German were from Hamburg and Bremen. There were also Englishmen, Dutch, Spaniards (mainly from Catalonia), Cubans (at least 4,000 immigrated during the Ten Years' War) and Italians. After the Restoration War there was an inflow of U.S. and French. The most prominent migrants’ surnames that went to this city were Arzeno, Balaguer, Batlle, Bonarelli, Brugal, Capriles, Demorizi, Ferrari, Imbert, Lithgow, Lockward, McKinney, Paiewonsky, Prud’homme, Puig, Rainiere, Villanueva, Vinelli and Zeller. In 1871, half of Puerto Plata’s population was foreigner; and in both the 1888 and 1897 censuses, 30% was of foreign born.
Most of the offspring of Puerto Plata’s immigrants moved to Santiago and Santo Domingo in the 20th century.
It is estimated that 80,000 Dominicans are descendants of Lebanese migrants. The Bourdier family are French & Lebanese. As well as Nadal/Nadar families.
In the mid-1880s the early immigrants arrived to the Dominican Republic, mainly to Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo, and after 1897 to Santiago. At first, they were despised by many (especially by merchants and peddlers who saw them as competitors, and later the aristocratic classes that prevented their entry into social clubs), but over the course of 50 years, they achieved a solid economic status and a prominent place within Dominican society. After 1900 many settled in San Pedro de Macorís, a city that lived through this migration an economic and cultural boom, that made San Pedro de Macoris to be known as the 'Sultana of the East'.
Puerto Rican immigration
In 1920, the Census registered more than 6,000 Puerto Ricans living in the country. In 1935, Puerto Ricans were one-tenth of both La Romana and Santo Domingo’s population.
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2015)|
The core area of the white Dominican population is the Cibao or Northern region, particularly the Sierra[a] where six out of ten people are white. The Southeastern and Southwestern regions have fairly smaller concentrations of whites in comparison to the North with the exception of the city of Santo Domingo.
The Sierra was peopled in the 18th century mostly by ethnic Canarians and French who established a markedly endogamous society in which cousin marriages were fairly common, in order to preserve their whiteness; African slaves were negligible except in San José de las Matas, where today there is a large admixed population. The Sierra received a sizeable amount of white and mulatto refugees from both Saint-Domingue and the Cibao Valley, the former during the Haitian Revolution and the latter amid the Dominican genocide by the Haitian army in 1805.
The Dominican Republic is not different to other countries that were colonized by Europeans, and shows a clear correlation between race and wealth. The upper and upper-middle classes of the Dominican Republic are overwhelmingly of European origin.
The middle class, which is the class with the broadest colour spectrum, is roughly ⅓ white. Altogether, about 45% of the lower-middle, upper-middle and upper class Dominicans are white, with mixed-race Dominicans reaching a similar proportion.
Establishment of a European elite
Limpieza de sangre (Spanish: [limˈpjeθa ðe ˈsaŋɡɾe], meaning literally "cleanliness of blood") was very important in Mediæval Spain, and this system was replicated on the New World. The highest social class was the Visigothic nobility of Nordic origin, commonly known as people of "sangre azul" (Spanish for: "blue blood"), because their skin was so pale that their veins looked blue through it, in comparison with that of a commoner who had olive skin. Those who proved that they were descendants of Visigoths were allowed to use the style of Don and were considered hidalgos. Hidalgos nobles were the most benefited of those Spanish who emigrated to America because they received royal properties (such as cattle, lands, and slaves) and tax exemptions. These people achieved a privileged position, and most of them avoided mixing with natives or Africans. This led to certain family names to be related both to whiteness, as with a better social-economic position; these family names were Angulo, Aybar, Bardecí, Bastidas, Benavides, Caballero, Cabral, Camarena, Campusano, Caro, Coca, Coronado, Dávila, De Castro, De la Concha, De la Rocha, Del Monte, Fernández de Castro, Fernández de Fuenmayor, Fernández de Oviedo, Frómesta, Garay, Guzmán, Heredia, Jiménez (and its variant Jimenes), Jover, Landeche, Lara, Leoz y Echálaz, Maldonado, Mieses, Monasterios, Mosquera, Nieto, Ovalle, Palomares, Paredes, Pérez, Pimentel, Quesada, Serrano, Solano, Vega, and Villoria.
The Spanish of the highest rank who migrated to America in the sixteenth century was the noblewoman Doña María Álvarez de Toledo y Rojas, granddaughter of the 1st Duke of Alba, niece of the 2nd Duke of Alba, and grandniece of King Ferdinand of Aragon; she was married to Diego Columbus, Admiral and Viceroy of the Indies.
Many Criollo families migrated to other Spanish colonies.
Further immigration from the 17th and 18th centuries made subsequently that newly rich families emerged among them, which are: Mirabal, Tavárez (and its variants Tavares and Taveras), and Troncoso.
And others from the 19th and 20th centuries: Arzeno, Báez, Barceló, Beras, Bermúdez, Bonetti, Brugal, Corripio, Esteva, Goico, Haché, Lama, Morel, Munné, Paiewonski, Piantini, Rochet, Vicini, and Vitienes.
- "La variable étnico racial en los censos de población en la República Dominicana" [The ethnic-racial variables in the population censuses in the Dominican Republic] (in Spanish). Dominican Republic Office for National Statistics. July 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2013.
- Cuarto censo nacional de población, 1960. Oficina Nacional del Censo. 1966. p. 32.
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Entre las novedades del nuevo documento no se establece como se hacía anteriormente el color de la piel de la persona, ya que, la misma fotografía consigna ese elemento.
- Néstor Medrano (10 January 2015). "La cédula vieja vence hoy; miles acuden a centros JCE" (in Spanish). Listín Diario. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- Frank Moya Pons (2010). Historia de la República Dominicana (in Spanish). 2. Santo Domingo: CSIC. pp. 39, 50–51.
- Cuarto Censo Nacional de Población, 1960. Santo Domingo: Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas. 1966. p. 32.
- González Hernández, Julio Amable (11 August 2012). "Registro de Inmigrantes de El Líbano". Cápsulas Genealógicas en Areíto (in Spanish). Santo Domingo: Instituto Dominicano de Genealogía. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
(...) Se calcula que en República Dominicana existen unos 80,000 descendientes de esos inmigrantes que una vez dejaron sus tierras para buscar una vida mejor.
- Zeller, Neicy Milagros (1977). "Puerto Plata en el siglo XIX". Estudios Dominicanos (in Spanish). eme eme. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
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- Informe Latinobarómetro 2011, page 58
- A Population History of North America By Michael R. Haines, Richard H. Steckel
- Dominican Republic, Summary of Biostatistics: Maps and Charts, Population ... By United States. Bureau of the Census
- Stanley J. Engerman, Barry W. Higman, "The demographic structures of the Caribbean Slaves Societies in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries", General History of the Caribbean: The Slave Societies of the Caribbean, vol. III, London, 1997, pp. 48–49.
PUERTO RICO: 17,572 whites; 5,037 slaves; 22,274 freed coloured people; total- 44,883. CUBA: 116,947 whites; 28,760 slaves; 24,293 freed coloured people; total- 170,000. SANTO DOMINGO: 30,863 whites; 8,900 slaves; 30,862 freed coloured people; total- 70,625. TOTAL SPANISH COLONIES: 165,382 whites; 42,967 slaves; 77,429 freed coloured people; total- 285,508.
- Dominican Republic Foreign Policy and Government Guide Volume 1 Strategic By IBP, Inc.
- Helen Chapin Metz, ed. (December 1999). "The first colony". Dominican Republic : country studies. Washington, DC: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. ISBN 0844410446. Retrieved 3 August 2013. Lay summary.
As a result of the stimulus provided by the trade reforms, the population of the colony of Santo Domingo increased from about 6,000 in 1737 to approximately 125,000 in 1790. Of this number, about 40,000 were white landowners, about 25,000 were black or mulatto freedmen, and some 60,000 were slaves. The composition of Santo Domingo's population contrasted sharply with that of the neighboring French colony of Saint-Domingue, where some 30,000 whites and 27,000 freedmen extracted labor from at least 500,000 black slaves. To the Spanish colonists, Saint- Domingue represented a powder keg, the eventual explosion of which would echo throughout the island.
- Franco Pichardo, Franklin J. (2009). Historia del Pueblo Dominicano (in Spanish). Santo Domingo: Ediciones Taller. p. 217.
- Frank Moya Pons (1999). Breve Historia Contemporánea de la República Dominicana (in Spanish). Fondo De Cultura Economica USA. p. 62.
Según los datos del primer censo nacional, la población dominicana estaba compuesta por un 24.9% de blancos, (...) en 1920 había 223 144 blancos (...)
-  Dominican Republic, Summary of Biostatistics: Maps and Charts, Population ...(Page 41).
- Historia de la República Dominicana, Volume 2 By Frank Moya Pons
- Power and Television in Latin America: The Dominican Case By Antonio V. Menéndez Alarcó
- La variable étnico racial en los censos de población en la República Dominicana. Encuesta Latin American Public Opinion Project 2006.
- Bosch, Juan (1995). Composición Social Dominicana (PDF) (in Spanish) (18 ed.). Santo Domingo: Alfa y Omega. p. 45. ISBN 9789945406108. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
"Aunque, siguiendo a Herrera, Sánchez Valverde diga que después de lo que escribió Oviedo aumentó el número de ingenios, parece que el punto más alto de la expansión de la industria azucarera se consiguió precisamente cuando Oviedo escribía sobre ella en 1547. Ya entonces había comenzado el abandono de la isla por parte de sus pobladores, que se iban hacia México y Perú en busca de una riqueza que no hallaban en la Española".[dead link]
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- Margarita Estrada, Pascal Labazée, ed. (2007). "La migración dominicana hacia Puerto Rico: una perspectiva transnacional". Globalización y localidad: espacios, actores, movilidades e identidades (in Spanish). Mexico City: La Casa Chata. p. 400. ISBN 978-968-496-595-9. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
(...) Los historiadores han documentado la creciente presencia puertorriqueña en la República Dominicana durante el primer tercio del siglo XX. En 1920, el censo dominicano contó 6069 puertorriqueños residentes en la República Dominicana. Como resultado, los inmigrantes de segunda generación generalmente se identificaron como dominicanos, no como puertorriqueños. Los casos más célebres son los expresidentes Joaquín Balaguer y Juan Bosch, ambos de ascendencia dominicana y puertorriqueña. La madre de Pedro Mir, uno de los poetas contemporáneos más distinguidos de la República Dominicana, era puertorriqueña. El prominente escritor puertorriqueño, José Luis González, nació en Santo Domingo de padres puertorriqueños, pero se mudó a San Juan de niño.
- Robert Heinl, Written in Blood: The History of the Haitian People (University Press of America: Lantham, Md., 1996)
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Tras la firma del Tratado de Basilea en 1795, la Corona española cedió la parte Este de la isla La Española a Francia. Se iniciaría así una importante inmigración de colonos franceses, en toda la geografía de la antigua colonia española de Santo Domingo, siendo focos importantes de estos asentamientos los poblados de Higüey y El Seibo. En este último poblado se asentaron varios inmigrantes franceses. Uno de estos fue el galo Juan Morel Doñac, (...)
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