In what ways and with what consequences did Trujillo’s rise to power and dictatorship affect the Dominican Republic’s economic, political and social stability from 1930 to 1961?
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Part A: Plan of Investigation
In order to assess the effect of Trujillo’s rise to power and subsequent dictatorship on the Dominican Republic’s overall stability, this investigation focuses on the relationship between his economic, political and social policies and their effects on the country. It will evaluate the societal, fiscal and governmental situation prior to Trujillo’s regime and the impact of his reforms and rule on the land. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of his dictatorship, the policies used to influence the economy, as well as the ramifications his leadership had on the political and social stability of the country are explored.
The two sources selected for evaluation, The Dominican People by Sagás, Ernesto, and The Dominican Republic by Moya Pons will be analyzed for their origins, purposes, limitations and values. Part B: Summary of Evidence
Following the assassination of Ulises Heureaux, the Dominican Republic was left in a state of terrible economic ruin as his inability to properly regulate his people or the economy eventually led to the U.S’s intervention of 1905 in which all fiscal matters were now tended to by U.S agents. In addition to their personal interests invested in sugar production, the U.S saw it fit to position marines in the Dominican Republic so as to defend their investment against European oppression. While the troops were there, Rafael Molina Trujillo began his training with the Marines and quickly rose to the rank of commander of the army, a short step to assuming the presidency and total power. With the citizens pacified and the National Army under his control, Trujillo ran for president in 1930. Because he essentially commanded the country's entire military force, Trujillo easily won and was inaugurated on August 16, 1930. Once he came to power, Trujillo began a process of national reconstruction founded on the belief that stability would only be achieved in accordance with the political unification of the territory; he essentially relinquished all other political parties as he ushered in the development of the economic resources of the country. Under his reign, Trujillo’s government carried out the most grandiose program of public works and construction ever realized in the Dominican Republic. In areas where there were no clear titles or connections to the people who inhabited the land, Trujillo’s administration redistributed the territory in a way that seemed equitable to the citizens and benefitted his pocket simultaneously; essentially he positioned the hardest laborers on the largest portions of land. Through the Trujillo-Hull Treaty, ratified on the 5th of February 1941, Trujillo ended the United States administration of Dominican customs, introduced the Peso to replace the Dollar, and retired the Dominican debt, all the while managing to amass a sizable personal fortune. While under his regime, the Dominican Republic underwent the drastic change from a rural, agricultural lifestyle, to a more industrialized and urban state of mind, with the center of this transformation located at the county’s capital, Santo Domingo. This change provided citizens with jobs, a higher standard of living, more affordable goods, a better means of transportation, and most importantly a sustainable and profitable economy. After a few years, the country’s prosperity began to be evident, as seen by the opening of tens of thousands of hectares of land donated by the state and the settling of thousands of peasant families in regions which until then were left uncultivated. At its peak, the Dominican economy’s GDP experienced a growth at the rate of about 6.5 percent a year from 1950 to 1958. Under Trujillo, the Dominican Republic experienced a prolonged period in the country’s history...
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