Columbus begins Europe's imperial adventure
|An Inglorious Columbus (John Vanderlyn)|
Columbus later renamed it Hispaniola (La Española, "the Spanish land"), including the territory of today's Haiti. At the time, the island's territory consisted of five chiefdoms...ruled by Taino Indian chiefs (caciques). Dating from 1493, when the Spanish invaded and settled on the island, and officially from August 5, 1498, Santo Domingo became the oldest European city in the Americas.
Columbus' little brother and fellow rapist and slave driver Bartholomew founded the settlement and named it La Nueva Isabela ("The New Isabella"), after an earlier settlement named after Queen Isabella I of Spain. In 1495 it was renamed "Santo Domingo," in honor of Roman Catholic Saint Dominic.
The city came to be known as the "Gateway to the Caribbean" and the chief town in Hispaniola from then on. Expeditions which led to Ponce de León's colonization of Puerto Rico, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar's colonization of Hernando Cortes' conquest of Mexico (Tenochtitlan), and Vasco Núñez de Balboa's sighting of the Pacific Ocean were all launched from Santo Domingo. More
Post-invasion American identity issues
|Texas-New Mexico, 1800-1850|