Topics: Dominican Republic, Christopher Columbus, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Hispaniola / Pages: 4 (978 words) / Published: Apr 25th, 2013
Anastasia Byrd
Dr.Wolfgang Lepschy
ENC 1101
April 18, 2013 The Merengue A nation without a history was united by the love of music. The merengue is not just a musical genre or a national dance in the Dominican Republic. The people of the Dominican Republic use the merengue as a form of identification. The merengue is the passion of the people of Hispaniola. The merengue has affected the Dominican Republic culturally, through its social realities, and artistically (Austerlitz). Historically, the merengue is the inspiration behind the people of the Dominican Republic. The island of Hispaniola was first discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. For over twenty-two years the Dominicans were under the control of the Haitians. In 1844, the Dominican Republic attained their independence from Haiti. However, this did not benefit to the people of Santo Domingo (The Merengue of the Dominican Republic). The merengue was an inspiration to the transformation of the social realities in the Dominican Republic. The social realities of the Dominican Republic dwell within the classes and castes and the political life of the people of Santo Domingo. The structure of the classes and castes of Santo Domingo were determined by the racial and economic issues that the people were faced with. There were three classes; the upper, middle, and lower classes which were divided by color. The upper classes were light skinned, middle classes were mixed which was called mulattoes, and the lower classes were the dark skinned people (The Merengue of the Dominican Republic). With a growing middle class, many people were living in the backwoods without food or shelter. In addition to this, the political life of the Dominican Republic had lots of social problems which led to control issues of the nation. With a history of vigorous dictators that ruled over them and denied the rights of the people of Santo Domingo, in 1966, after the civil war had ended, a new constitution

Bibliography: Austerlitz, Paul. Dominican Music and Merengue Dominican Identity. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997. Print. This book analyzes every aspect of the merengue from its roots, to how it developed, the culture of the Dominican Republic, and how artistic the merengue is. This book provides views on how the merengue evolved from a traditional dance a song into an exotic and urban dance and song. The book also provides information on how the merengue becomes so popular in the United States and where it originated from. "Caribbean Art Music: All About Latin American Music." 4 Apr 2013. This article discusses the creator of the merengue Juan Bautista Alfonseca and how he developed the merengue along with his musical background, which will be discussed in my sixth paragraph. "Merengue History." Web. 4 Apr 2013. This article describes the choreography of the dance the merengue and gives a brief description of the steps needed to dance the merengue. Rinaldi, Rio. "The History of the Merengue Dance." Web. 4 Apr 2013. This article provides information on how the merengue received its name and its discovery. This article also explains the different types of merengue that has evolved since the merengue was first invented. "The Merengue of the Dominican Republic." Web. 4 Apr 2013. This article is crucial to the paper; this article gives the history and culture of the Dominican Republic, while also providing the meaning of the merengue from the people of Hispaniola.

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