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Charles Sumner and the Annexation of the Dominican Republic

Dennis Hidalgo

During his first term in the White House, President Ulysses Grant attempted to annex the Dominican Republic to the United States. Support for the proposed treaty came from both countries. The United States pressed the annexation plans motivated by the prospects of acquiring hegemony in the Caribbean, by the likelihood of increasing its commercial avenues, by the possibility of establishing a black state, by opportunistic entrepreneurs, and by the idea of the Manifest Destiny Doctrine intermingled with the Monroe Doctrine. On the other hand, the Dominican government supported annexation with the intention of annihilating a rebellion backed by the Haitian government, and by the desire to satisfy personal financial interest among the government elite. Moreover, the typical colonial structure of the country assisted the government's efforts toward annexation.

Dennis Hidalgo is currently a Ph.D. student at Central Michigan University, in preparation of his dissertation on the Scottish experience in Darien, Panamá, from 1698 to 1701.