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Vásquez, Horacio (1860–1936)

Vásquez, Horacio (1860–1936)

Horacio Vásquez (b. 1860; d. 1936), president of the Dominican Republic (1899, 1902–1903, 1924–1930). Horacio Vásquez came to be recognized as the last president of the Dominican Republic's oligarchic era. He had been very active in plots to overthrow the Dominican dictator Ulises Heureaux during the 1890s and ultimately came to power after Heureaux's assassination in 1899. His supporters came to be known as Horacistas and soon grew to become a major political party.

Characterized as inept and chaotic and yet as the most democratic of the period, the Vásquez era government was marked by severe political factionalism and increasing U.S. involvement in Dominican affairs. At the same time, the republic experienced accelerated economic growth and the emergence of a wealthy merchant and planter class. This era was most known, however, for the evolution of U.S. involvement, from customs collection to controlling national elections, and finally to outright occupation in 1916. Vásquez played a major role during the 1916–1924 occupation as a member of the negotiating committee that effected the withdrawal of the U.S. Marines. Supported by Washington in his 1924 presidential bid, he came to be seen as a puppet of the U.S. government. This perception and economic hardship brought on by the Great Depression resulted in increasing political factionalism, which led to his ouster in 1930 by the army commander Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina, who symbolized a new era of dictatorship for the Dominican Republic. Vásquez died in exile in the United States.

See alsoHeureaux, Ulises; Trujillo Molina, Rafael Leónidas.


Ian Bell, The Dominican Republic (1981).

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

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

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

Additional Bibliography

Domínguez, Jaime de Jesús. La sociedad dominicana a principios del siglo XX. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Comisión Oficial para la Celebración del Sesquicentenario de la Independencia Nacional, 1994.

Moya Pons, Frank. The Dominican Republic: A National History. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1998.

                                 Heather K. Thiessen

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