San Domingo Improvement Company

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San Domingo Improvement Company

San Domingo Improvement Company, a group of U.S. investors (including many high government officials) who, in 1893, bought up the Dominican interests of the bankrupt Westendorp Company of Amsterdam. Beginning in 1888, West-endorp had made several large loans to Dominican President Ulises Heureaux (1882–1899). The San Domingo Improvement Company assumed the financial interests of Westendorp in the Dominican Republic at a time when Heureaux was secretly negotiating with Washington over the leasing of the Samaná Peninsula to the United States. In return for being permitted to assume the Westendorp interests, the San Domingo Improvement Company loaned Heureaux U.S. $1,250,000 and £2,035,000 to enable him to cover the internal debt of the country. Like Westendorp, the San Domingo Improvement Company took control of the Dominican Republic's customhouse in order to ensure that the loans would be repaid. The activities of the San Domingo Improvement Company symbolized the increasing power of U.S. interests in the economic and political spheres of the Dominican Republic and the simultaneous decline of European influence, which had been paramount at Santo Domingo during the nineteenth century.

See alsoDominican Republic .


Frank Moya Pons, Manual de historia dominicana, 7th ed. (1983), esp. pp. 416-427, 429-431, 436.

Additional Bibliography

Veeser, Cyrus. A World Safe for Capitalism: Dollar Diplomacy and America's Rise to Global Power. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.

                                        Kai P. Schoenhals

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San Domingo Improvement Company

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San Domingo Improvement Company