The Dominican Republic (Spanish: República Dominicana, Spanish pronunciation: [reˈpuβlika ðominiˈkana]) is a nation located in the Caribbean region's island of Hispaniola. Part of the Greater Antilles archipelago, Hispaniola lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica. Its western third is the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are occupied by two countries, Saint Martin being the other.
The Dominican Republic is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, its capital Santo Domingo, which was also the first colonial capital in the Americas. It is the site of the first cathedral, university, European-built road, European-built fortress, and more.
For most of its independent history, the nation experienced political turmoil and unrest, suffering through many non-representative and tyrannical governments. Since the death of military dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina in 1961, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy.