Duarte, Juan Pablo (1813–1876)

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Duarte, Juan Pablo (1813–1876)

Juan Pablo Duarte (b. 26 January 1813; d. 15 July 1876), leader of Dominican independence. While studying abroad in Europe, Duarte was influenced by the French romantic literary movement. With his homeland under Haitian occupation (1822–1844), the ideals of liberty and equality became of great importance to him. In 1838, Duarte and two others, Francisco de Rosario Sánchez and Ramón Mella, formed La Trinitaria, a secret society whose goal was independence. The society proved very successful but resulted in Duarte's exile. After the Haitian president Jean-Pierre Boyer was overthrown in 1844, Duarte returned to Santo Domingo to take part in the formation of a new and independent government. Imbued with the ideals of the French Revolution, his idealism soon alienated him from the more militaristic leaders, and strongman General Pedro Santana jailed and ultimately exiled him once more. After a brief stay in Germany, Duarte spent fifteen years as a recluse in the jungles of Venezuela.

When Santana agreed to the country's reassumption of colonial status in 1864, Duarte returned to the Dominican Republic to take up the cause of independence again. Once more, however, Duarte was unable to participate in the provisional government of the Dominican Republic. It has been said of Duarte that he could inspire but not lead. He was exiled for the third time in 1865 and he returned to Venezuela, where he lived the rest of his life in poverty and obscurity. Like the achievements of many great men, Duarte's significance and value were recognized only after his death. He is now considered the father of Dominican independence.

See alsoDominican Republic .


Selden Rodman, Quisqueya: A History of the Dominican Republic (1964).

Howard J. Wiarda, The Dominican Republic: Nation in Transition (1969).

Ian Bell, The Dominican Republic (1981).

Howard J. Wiarda, and M. J. Kryzanek, The Dominican Republic: A Caribbean Crucible (1982).

Additional Bibliography

Duarte, Juan Pablo, and Vetilio Alfau Durán. Ideario de Duarte, y su Proyecto e constitución. Santo Domingo: CPEP, Comisión Permanente de Efemérides Batrias, 2006.

Martínez-Fernández, Luis. Torn between Empires: Economy, Society, and Patterns of Political Thought in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1840–1878. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994.

Miniño, Manuel Marino. El pensamiento de Duarte en su contexto histórico e ideológico. Santo Domingo: Instituto Duartiano, 1998.

                                 Heather K. Thiessen