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Under Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres' governorship, the Indians were made to work in the gold mines, "where they were grossly overworked, mistreated, and underfed," according to Pons.By 1503, the Spanish Crown legalized the distribution of Indians to work the mines as part of the encomienda system.Danilo Medina, the Dominican Republic's current president, succeeded Fernandez in 2012, winning 51% of the electoral vote over his opponent ex-president Hipólito Mejía.
English and French buccaneers settled in northwestern Hispaniola coast and, after years of struggles with the French, Spain ceded the western coast of the island to France with the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, whilst the Central Plateau remained under Spanish domain.The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area (after Cuba) at 48,445 square kilometers (18,705 sq mi), and third by population with approximately 10 million people, of which approximately three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.Christopher Columbus landed on the island on December 5, 1492, which the native Taíno people had inhabited since the 7th century.The colony of Santo Domingo became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, the oldest continuously inhabited city, and the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World.
After more than three hundred years of Spanish rule the Dominican people declared independence in November 1821.
The repartimiento of 1514 accelerated emigration of the Spanish colonists, coupled with the exhaustion of the mines.