Many landowning families stayed on the island, with a heavy concentration of landowners settling in the Cibao region. After independence, and eventually being under Spanish rule once again in 1861, many families returned to Santo Domingo including new waves of immigration from Spain.  Dominican War of Independence (1844–56) In 1838, Juan Pablo Duarte founded a secret society called La Trinitaria, which sought the complete independence of Santo Domingo without any foreign intervention. : p147–149 Also Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Ramon Matias Mella, despite not being among the founding members of La Trinitaria, were decisive in the fight for independence.
Santo Domingo's exports soared and the island's agricultural productivity rose, which was assisted by the involvement of Spain in the Seven Years' War, allowing privateers operating out of Santo Domingo to once again patrol surrounding waters for enemy merchantmen.  Dominican privateers in the service of the Spanish Crown had already been active in the War of Jenkins' Ear just two decades prior, and they sharply reduced the amount of enemy trade operating in West Indian waters.
Between 1920 and 1940 the art scene was influenced by styles of realism and impressionism. Dominican artists were focused on breaking from previous, academic styles in order to develop more independent and individual styles. Literature The 20th century brought many prominent Dominican writers, and saw a general increase in the perception of Dominican literature.
Writers such as Juan Bosch (one of the greatest storytellers in Latin America), Pedro Mir (national poet of the Dominican Republic), Aida Cartagena Portalatin (poetess par excellence who spoke in the Era of Rafael Trujillo), Emilio Rodríguez Demorizi (the most important Dominican historian, with more than 1000 written works), Manuel del Cabral (main Dominican poet featured in black poetry), Hector Inchustegui Cabral (considered one of the most prominent voices of the Caribbean social poetry of the twentieth century), Miguel Alfonseca (poet belonging to Generation 60), Rene del Risco (acclaimed poet who was a participant in the June 14 Movement), Mateo Morrison (excellent poet and writer with numerous awards), among many more prolific authors, put the island in one of the most important in Literature in the twentieth century.
To achieve a more broadly supported government, Jimenes named opposition individuals to his cabinet. But this brought no peace and, with his former Secretary of War Desiderio Arias maneuvering to depose him and despite a U. offer of military aid against Arias, Jimenes resigned on May 7, 1916.  Wilson thus ordered the U. occupation of the Dominican Republic. Marines landed on May 16, 1916, and had control of the country two months later. The military government established by the U. S., led by Vice Admiral Harry Shepard Knapp, was widely repudiated by the Dominicans, with caudillos in the mountainous eastern regions leading guerrilla campaigns against U.
In the mid-17th century, France sent colonists to settle the island of Tortuga and the northwestern coast of Hispaniola (which the Spaniards had abandoned by 1606) due to its strategic position in the region. In order to entice the pirates, France supplied them with women who had been taken from prisons, accused of prostitution and thieving. After decades of armed struggles with the French settlers, Spain ceded the western coast of the island to France with the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, whilst the Central Plateau remained under Spanish domain. France created a wealthy colony on the island, while the Spanish colony continued to suffer economic decline.  On April 17, 1655, English forces landed on Hispaniola, and marched 30 miles overland to Santo Domingo, the main Spanish stronghold on the island, where they laid siege to it.
A civil war in 1965, the country's last, was ended by U. military intervention and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer (1966–1978 and 1986–1996). Since 1978, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy,  and has been led by Leonel Fernández for most of the time after 1996. Danilo Medina succeeded Fernández in 2012, winning 51% of the electoral vote over his opponent ex-president Hipólito Mejía.  He was later succeeded by Luis Abinader in the 2020 presidential election after anti-government protests erupted that year.  The Dominican Republic has the largest economy (according to the U. State Department and the World Bank) in the Caribbean and Central American region and is the seventh-largest economy in Latin America.  Over the last 25 years, the Dominican Republic has had the fastest-growing economy in the Western Hemisphere – with an average real GDP growth rate of 5.
 Spanish institutions in the colonial era were able to predominate in the Dominican culture's making-of as a relative success in the acculturation and cultural assimilation of African slaves slightly diminished African cultural influence in comparison to other Caribbean countries. Visual arts Dominican art is perhaps most commonly associated with the bright, vibrant colors and images that are sold in every tourist gift shop across the country.
[a] In the rural and rugged mountainous areas, the Haitian administration was usually too inefficient to enforce its own laws. It was in the city of Santo Domingo that the effects of the occupation were most acutely felt, and it was there that the movement for independence originated. The Haitians associated the Roman Catholic Church with the French slave-masters who had exploited them before independence and confiscated all church property, deported all foreign clergy, and severed the ties of the remaining clergy to the Vatican. All levels of education collapsed; the university was shut down, as it was starved both of resources and students, with young Dominican men from 16 to 25 years old being drafted into the Haitian army.  Boyer's occupation troops, who were largely Dominicans,  were unpaid and had to "forage and sack" from Dominican civilians.
However, the country has a long history of fine art that goes back to the middle of the 1800s when the country became independent and the beginnings of a national art scene emerged. Historically, the painting of this time were centered around images connected to national independence, historical scenes, portraits but also landscapes and images of still life. Styles of painting ranged between neoclassicism and romanticism.