Trinitaria, La

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Trinitaria, La

La Trinitaria, Dominican independence movement founded in 1838. La Trinitaria was a secret society organized by Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco de Rosario Sánchez, and Ramón Mella in 1838 to drive out the Haitian occupation of Santo Domingo (1822–1844). The society was organized into three-man cells with a complex series of codes and passwords. Trinitaria ideals included democracy, representative government, and independence. It attracted widespread support from Dominican patriots and within five years had cells in most major centers. Members signed blood oaths of loyalty to the society and to the independence movement. Its meetings were characterized by rituals using religious symbolism. Its success in mobilizing opposition against the Haitian government led to persecution and repression. After participating in the overthrow of President Jean-Pierre Boyer, the new president, Charles Hérard, exiled the society's leaders.

Once the Haitian occupation ended, Trinitaria leaders were marginalized from the new government by the country's new military leaders. Although it was prevented from attaining power, the ideals and symbol of La Trinitaria remained an inspiration and guiding force for future social movements that wanted to rid the Dominican Republic of repressive domestic governments and foreign intervention.

See alsoDemocracy; Duarte, Juan Pablo; Mella, Ramón Matías.


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

Henríquez Ureña, Max. La ideal de los trinitarios. Madrid, Spain: EDISOL, 1951.

Machado Báez, Manuel Arturo. La Trinitaria. Trujillo, Peru: Impresa Dominicana, 1956.

                               Heather K. Thiessen

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Trinitaria, La

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