Elections and Events 1915-1923



Grullón 1999: "En febrero de 1915, se le presentó otro gran problema al presidente Jiménez. El Secretario de Estado William Jennings Bryan...presionó al Presidente Constitucional, para que mantuviera como Contralor de las Finanzas de la República Dominicana, al señor Charles M. Johnston, esta vez ampliándole los poderes" (page 25).


Grullón 1999: "Los legisladores aprobaron una resolución prohibiendo al presidente Jiménez utilizar los servicios del Consejo Americano Charles M. Johnston" (page 26).


Healy 1988: "In April 1915 the Dominican congress began action to impeach the president, on the grounds that he allowed the financial adviser to exercise powers in violation of the constitution" (page 195).


Musicant 1990: "In late 1915 Secretary Robert Lansing's State Department demanded the appointment of an American financial advisor to oversee the domestic purse. The department coupled this with a demand for the disbandment of the Dominican Republican Guard and its replacement by a non-partisan, American-officered constabulary, the chief to be appointed by the President of the United States. No Dominican politician could accept these conditions and survive…Given the Dominican position, the State Department had but two choices: land the marines to carry out the reforms, or back down and lose face. The department opted for the temporary humiliation" (page 236).


Musicant 1990: "By early 1916 the Jiménez government was in its death throes. Insurgency threatened in every province and armed rebels were in the field. In the Congress, each day brought threats of impeachment. Within the cabinet, War Minister General Desiderio Arias, a perpetual destablizer and former 'Jimenista,' grew increasingly insubordinate, constantly intriguing with the deputies to vote articles of impeachment" (page 236).


Schoenrich 1918: In "April, 1916, General Arias suddenly seized the miltiary control of the capital and issued a proclamation by which he practically deposed Jiménez and assumed the executive power himself...In the face of another general war with its attendant destruction of life and property, harm to American and other foreign interests, and danger of international complications..., the American government took decisive action. With the consent of President Jiménez, it landed marines...near Santo Domingo City" (page 90).

May 1-7

Haggerty 1991: "Secretary of War Desiderio Arias [took] control of both the armed forces and the Congress, which he compelled to impeach Jiménez for violation of the constitution and the laws. Although the United States ambassador offered military support to his government, Jiménez opted to step down on May 7, 1916. Arias never formally assumed the presidency" (pages 25-26).

Healy 1988: "Pressed hard by the Americans, the president simply resigned, and the government which the United States was pledged to sustain had ceased to exist…Arias claimed to represent the legitimate power of congress, and thus the only legal power in the country" (page 196).

Schoenrich 1918: Jiménez, "on May 6, 1916, resigned the presidency of the Republic, and subsequently returned to Porto Rico to live. The council of ministers temporarily assumed the administration. Arias, dismayed at the action of the United States, made protest, but the American government refused to admit the legality or sincerity of his conduct...(T)he American commander gave Arias twenty-four hours to evacuate. He promptly obeyed, and on May 15 the Americans occupied the city. American troops continued to be landed...until a total of about 1800 marines had been disembarked. They proceeded into the interior, taking over the preservation of public order and disarming the inhabitants" (page 91).

Welles 1928: "On May 1st, the long-threatened resolution of impeachment was passed by the Congress. President Jiménez was impeached by the House of Deputies 'for violations of the Constitution and laws,' and two days later his impeachment was approved by the Dominican Senate" (page 767). "On the 7th of May [Jiménez] announced his resignation" (page 769). "The Congress remained in session [and] the chances appeared favourable that Arias would in the end be elected...The American Minister...at this most crucial moment determined to postpone the election by the Congress of a Provisional President until he could be assured that some candidate other than Arias would be elected" (page 773).

May 16

Atkins 1981: "With continued factional strife in the Dominican Republic, the United States intervened militarily in its Caribbean client. Contingents of U.S. Marines began landing in May 1916 and a military government was established. The occupation, lasting for more than eight years, had a profound impact on Dominican society and economy and on political and military affairs...(T)he foreign presence, wielding arbitrary power, engendered considerable opposition and strong anti-yanqui bitterness. Nationalist upper-class elites especially opposed U.S. activities, considering U.S. occupation an affront to Dominican sovereignty as well as the end of their local power. They refused to participate in government or the armed forces" (page 7).

May 18

Calder 1984: "In late May 1916, a majority of the Dominican Congress agreed to support a compromise candidate, Federico Henríquez y Carvajal, the chief justice of the Supreme Court. The United States, however, was adamantly opposed to his election because he refused to make preelection promises to meet State Department demands for reform" (page 10).

Musicant 1990: "On May 18 the Dominican Senate prepared to elect Dr. Federico Henríquez y Carbajal, an avowed Arias partisan and chief justice of the Supreme Court. With Federico there would be no cooperation whatever in enacting the reforms. Also Federico was opposed by most of the provincial governors, who threatened revolt upon his election" (page 264).


Calder 1984: "When, on 5 June 1916, a final vote of the Dominican Senate was about to confirm Henríquez' election, [the U.S. minister] engineered a plan to arrest some of the pro-Henríquez senators...Henríquez was so disgusted with the 'officious meddling' of the United States in Dominican electoral procedures that he withdrew his candidacy" (page 11).


Calder 1984: "In electing Dr. [Francisco] Henríquez, the Congress ignored U.S. demands for prior approval of the candidate" (page 11). "The same act of the Dominican Congress by which Dr. Henríquez y Carvajal had been chosen interim president had created a constitutional assembly to write long-advocated reforms to the 1908 constitution, including a new system for electing the president of the republic. Failing completion of the reform document within the five months beginning 31 July 1916, elections were to be held according to the provisions of the old constitution" (page 16).

Grullón 1999: "El gobierno del presidente Wilson se negó a reconocer al presidente provisional dominicano, a pesar de que se había elegido de conformidad con lo establecido en la carta magna" (page 31).

Musicant 1990: "In late July, without consulting the Americans, the Senate elected Federico's brother, Dr. Francisco Henríquez y Carbajal, provisional president" (page 264).

Welles 1928: Congress elects Francisco Henriquez y Carvajal "Provisional President for a period of five months" (page 778). Henriquez y Carvajal is inaugurated on July 31st (page 779).


Calder 1984: The U.S. minister "recommended withholding recognition [of Henríquez] until he met the demands which the State Department had made upon previous administrations...After fewer than three weeks of [Henríquez' administration], U.S. officials, without warning, cut off all funds from the Customs Receivership" (page 11).


Calder 1984: "Quarrels between the various political parties prevented even the opening of the constitutional assembly until 29 September 1916. And thereafter factional debates continued to impede the delegates' progress" (page 16).


Calder 1984: "When it became apparent in mid November that the constitutional reforms would probably not be completed in time, the president issued a decree for the convocation of the provincial electoral colleges on 3 December. The colleges' task was critical, for they were to elect both a new constitutional president and replacements for Dominican senators and deputies whose terms would expire on 29 November 1916" (page 16).

November 29

Atkins 1998: "On 29 November 1916 U.S. Navy Captain...Harry S. Knapp...issued a proclamation from the Santo Domingo harbor declaring the Dominican Republic under U.S. military jurisdiction...It announced that the U.S. military government, under the Department of the Navy, would assume complete control of Dominican finances and direct administration of most government functions...The military government suspended the Dominican Congress, prohibited political party activity, and took away Dominican civil and political liberties...Since no Dominican cabinet members and few other government officials would serve in or even cooperate with the foreign regime, administrative positions were filled by U.S. officers to supervise Dominican personnel" (page 50).

Calder 1984: "The impending convocation brought matters to a head. Because Washington officials thought elections would result in control of the Dominican government by General Arias, the State Department moved to implement a previously conceived plan to create a military government""(page 16). "On the day Captain Knapp announced the U.S. takeover, the Dominican constitutional assembly sought to meet the challenge by quickly adopting a new constitution. This was complete with special provisions which would have insured the continuity of constitutional government, pending a new election, by establishing a new interim president after Dr. Henríquez' mandate expired and by permitting senators and deputies whose terms were expiring to continue temporarily in office. But the assembly's action was stillborn, a futile assertion of an independence which was already lost" (page 17).

Hartlyn 1991: "The U.S. military occupation of the Dominican Republic in 1916 was an outgrowth of a more general policy that led to direct interventions in Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and elsewhere in the same period, as well as the result of specific problems the United States perceived with the management of the Dominican financial debt by its leaders" (page 55). "The U.S. military occupation, 1916-1924" (pages 55-61).

Hartlyn 1998: "In the face of Dominican refusal to accept all the financial and military conditions requested following the landing of the U.S. troops, State Department and Navy Department officials implemented a plan for a U.S. military government in the country in November 1916, following its approval by President Wilson" (pages 36-37).

Schoenrich 1918: "As the term for which Henriquez had been elected drew to a close, it became evident that he had no idea of retiring from the presidency, but, on the contrary, intended to hold general elections, in which he expected to be the successful candidate. The deadlock thus threatened to continue indefinitely, and the American government thereupon determined to cut the Gordian knot. On November 29, 1916, Captain H.S. Knapp, of the United States navy, commander of the forces of occupation of the Dominican Republic, issued a proclamation, declaring the Dominican Republic under the military administration of the United States...The military government so established took full possession of the country. The chiefs of the executive departments not having appeared in their offices, their posts were declared vacant and filled with officers of the American navy" (page 94). Gives the details of the proclamation.


Calder 1984: "In mid December Military Governor Knapp...decided that the new constitution voted by the constitutional assembly was itself illegal, thus disposing of those senators and deputies whose terms had expired in late November. On 26 December the military government ordered that no elections were to take place until further notice, making the elections of replacements impossible" (pages 18-19).


Calder 1984: "From 1917 to 1922, the peasants of the eastern region of the Dominican Republic successfully waged a guerrilla war against the forces of the U.S. military government. This conflict stands, along with the campaign against Augusto César Sandino in Nicaragua in the later 1920s, as the major military involvement of the United States in Latin America in the twentieth century...For five and a half years the marines failed to control most of the eastern half of the republic. Ranged against them at various times were eight to twelve guerrilla leaders who could enlist up to six hundred regular fighters and who could count on the support of numerous part-time guerrillas, as well as on the aid and sympathy of the general population" (page 115).

Haggerty 1991: "From 1917 to 1921, the United States forces battled a guerrilla movement in [the eastern provinces of El Seibo and San Pedro de MacorRs] known as the 'gavilleros'" (page 26).


Welles 1928: By an "executive order dated January 2, 1917, the Military Governor declared that no sessions of the Dominican Congress would be held until elections were had to fill the vacancies existing; that consequently the Senators and Deputies whose terms had not expired were suspended from office" (page 799).


Black 1986: "Among the highest priorities of the U.S. occupation forces in the Dominican Republic...had been the creation of a constabulary force. The force was to replace all other armed bodies" (page 23). "The new force, created by executive order of the U.S. military government in April 1917, was called the 'Guardia Nacional Dominicana'" (page 24).

Healy 1988: The "guard found itself seriously challenged in keeping order. The Dominican Republic was a country of decentralized districts and local 'caudillos,' a kind of feudal hierarchy in which the central government had kept its claim to authority only by co-opting regional and local chieftains" (page 225).

Kantor 1969: "(W)hen the new Constabulary was created, no respectable Dominican would join the force. The worst rascals, thieves, bandits, opportunists, and would-be strong men looking for a road to power became the members of the Constabulary" (page 3).



Grullón 1999: "En noviembre de 1918, el contraalmirante Harry S. Knapp fue removido. Interinamente lo sustituyó el general B.H. Fuller" (page 36).


Grullón 1999: "Formalmente, el 27 de diciembre de 1918, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina fue aceptado como segundo teniente de la Guardia Nacional Dominicana" (page 36).



Grullón 1999: "(E)l 25 de febrero de 1919, el presidente Woodrow Wilson designó como Gobernador Militar de la República Dominicana al contraalmirante Thomas Snowden" (page 36).


Welles 1928: "In consideration of the growing hostility within the Republic to the Military Government...the Department of State determined once more to assume the direction of affairs itself...Admiral Snowden was instructed to appoint a 'Junta Consultiva' of prominent Dominican citizens...in order that the Military Governor might have at his disposal in the administration of Dominican Affairs the recommendations of representatives of the Dominican people...The Committee [was] constituted on November 3, 1919" (page 824). Gives names of members and their recommendations (pages 824-825).


Herman 1984: "The [U.S.] military regime did have a profound effect on the economic structure of the Dominican Republic, changing the land ownership law in 1920 to allow U.S. sugar interests to obtain legal title to land. Under the new law vast tracts of land were taken over and thousands of Dominican peasants were driven out, their villages burned" (page 19).

Welles 1928: "In March, 1920, a society known as the Uni\n Nacional Dominicana was formed in the Dominican Republic, which proclaimed as its objective the immediate return of the Dominican Republic to its former condition of independence" (page 828).


Atkins 1981: "By mid-1921 the guard was fully organized, replacing most other military organizations in the country, and its name changed to 'Policía Nacional Dominicana'... Development of an officer corps faced serious difficulties. 'Caciques' and their upper-class allies strongly opposed creation of a national force that threatened their local power. Upper-class officers resigned their commissions and elite families refused to allow their sons to accept commissions. Because of the impossibility of attracting upper class Dominicans to the officer corps, commissions went to people from the emerging middle class and the lower strata...Thus a new social composition of the Dominican officer corps was set" (page 8).

Wiarda 1992: "By 1921, with World War I ended and a new administration in Washington, the United States had lost interest in its Dominican venture. During the next three years, U.S. officials and Dominican leaders worked on a plan that would enable the United States to withdraw militarily while, it was hoped, maintaining political stability and economic solvency" (page 33). "The agent of stability was to be a new national military force, the 'guardia,' trained and equipped by the U.S. Marines" (page 34).


Grullón 1999: "El 3 de junio de 1921, el presidente Warren Harding designó a Samuel S. Robinson, como el tercer y ultimo Gobernador Militar que ejerció el poder en la República Dominicana" (page 37). Describes the "Plan Harding" (page 38).

Haggerty 1991: "In June 1921, United States representatives presented a withdrawal proposal, also known as the Harding Plan, which called for...the holding of elections under United States supervision" (page 27).


Grullón 1999: "Ya para julio de 1921, la Unión Nacionalista Dominicana, formada por patriotas dominicanos, había constituído comités en todo el territorio nacional y en diversos paises del mundo" (page 38).



Welles 1928: "Finally, in February, 1922, Secretary Hughes reached the decision that a continuation of the unsettled condition prevailing in the Dominican Republic could not be permitted...He therefore instructed the American Minister in Santo Domingo and the Military Governor to call together the leaders of the Dominican political parties" (page 852). Describes his concerns and recommendations. "The political leaders present...signed a formal statement refusing to cooperate with the Government of the United States upon the terms proposed" (page 853).


Welles 1928: On "March 16, 1922, the Military Governor was authorized to issue a proclamation announcing that the Military Government would continue for a further period, at least until July 1, 1924...Within a few weeks, however, the situation assumed a different aspect. Don Federico Velasquez, who, in conversations with General Horacio Vasquez, had ascertained that the viewpoint of the two political parties which they represented was very closely alike as regards the announced policy of the United States, informed the Military Governor, on March 27th, on behalf of the Progresista party, as the Velasquez party had now become known, and on behalf of the Partido Nacional, the new name bestowed upon the old Horacista party, that as soon as the financial situation of the Dominican Government had been improved..., and the Dominican constabulary had been established..., a proposal would be addressed to the Government of the United States by those two political parties with a view to reaching an accord which would permit the holding of national elections" (page 853).


Grullón 1999: "Sumner Welles fue designado Comisionado de los Estados Unidos en la República Dominicana y las negociaciones continuaron en el país, firmándose el 19 de septiembre de 1922 el Tratado de Evacuación, conocido como el Plan Hughes-Peynado" (page 39). Reproduces text.

Welles 1928: On September 19th the "definitive version of the plan of evacuation...was signed by the Dominican and American members of the Commission of Representatives" (page 866). Reproduces text.

October 1-2

Campillo Pérez 1986: Describes the presidential selection process (page 168).

Munro 1974: "On October 2, 1922, the commission chose Juan Bautista Vicini Burgos as provisional president…The inauguration of the new government was delayed until October 21, to give time to reorganize the police under the new Dominican officers" (page 59).

Welles 1928: The "Dominican members of the Commission...proceeded to vote for a Provisional President of the Republic" (page 873). Describes the method of selection used. "Don Juan Bautista Vicini Burgos...proved acceptable to all the members of the Commission" (page 874).

October 21

Atkins 1998: "A provisional government was organized, and on 21 October 1922, Juan Bautista Vicini Burgos, a wealthy sugar planter nominated by the Dominican negotiating team, was installed as provisional president" (page 57).

Calder 1984: "The essential function of the provisional government was to preside over the process of electing a new constitutional government, to take office in 1924... Numerous disputes, some quite serious, occurred over appointments to the provisional government, over the setting up and staffing of the electoral boards for the 1924 national election, and over the implementation of the electoral law concerning registration and voting" (page 230).

Haggerty 1991: "Under the supervision of High Commissioner Sumner Welles, Juan Bautista Vicini Burgos assumed the provisional presidency on October 21, 1922" (page 27).



Grullón 1999: Describes the Commission's (gives names of members) work on reforming the electoral code and establishing the date of elections for March 15, 1924 (page 41). "Durante las mismas, se efectuarían Asambleas Primarias para elegir Regidores y Síndicos Municipales, Consejeros Provinciales, miembros a la Asamblea Constituyente para revisar la Constitución de la República y los miembros de los Colegios Electorales, que elegirán posteriormente a los Diputados y Senadores y al Presidente y Vicepresidente de la República" (page 41).

Hartlyn 1998: "The extrication of U.S. troops was conditional on there being elections...; to this end, the U.S. military sponsored important reforms. The United States helped oversee the naming of a provisional president and the enactment of new electoral laws, including the establishment of a separate electoral oversight agency, the Junta Central Electoral (JCE, Central Electoral Board), and provisions for proportional representation to insure a degree of minority representation in the legislature. The electoral law of 1923 also prohibited the country's police and military from voting" (page 38).

Munro 1974: "Even after the electoral law was finally promulgated, on March 9, 1923, the commission seemed to take little interest in setting up the electoral machinery and making other preparations for registration and voting" (page 61).

Ramírez Morillo 1997: "(L)a nueva Ley Electoral...establecía el nacimiento de un organismo electoral (Junta Central Electoral) independiente del poder Ejecutivo, con jurisdicciones en las provincias y comunes (Juntas Electorales Provinciales y Comunales); mesas electorales tanto en las ciudades como en los campos; participación de candidaturas independientes; establecimiento de la proporcionalidad en la elección de los legisladores lo que facilitaba la representación de las minorías. Otro paso de avance fue el registro de los electores, cuya cifra alcanzó a 147,228 inscritos, y que como consecuencia de la gran cantidad de mesas electorales ubicadas en toda la geografía nacional; las elecciones pudieron celebrarse en un sólo día, mientras que en los procesos anteriores se tomaba tres días" (page 41).

Welles 1928: The "Provisional President obtained the agreement of the members of the Commission to the proclamation of the new Electoral Law, and [it] was promulgated by President Vicini Burgos on March 9, 1923" (page 884). Describes its contents.


Grullón 1999: Describes the Commission's naming of a Junta Central Electoral (gives names of members) (page 41).

Munro 1974: "The central electoral board, composed of three eminent jurists, was installed on April 10. It was more difficult to find suitable members for the provincial and municipal electoral boards" (page 61).


Welles 1928: The "Central Electoral Board, in September, 1923, determined that the local representatives of the Partido Nacional and of the Partido Progresista in the Province of La Vega had not complied with the registration regulations in sufficient time to enable the members of those parties in that Province to vote in the national elections" (page 885).


Welles 1928: "By the beginning of November, it seemed that the entire electoral machinery had broken down, and that the provisions of the plan of evacuation could not be carried out" (page 886). Describes discussions and changes to the electoral law (pages 886-890).


Grullón 1999: A new JCE is named (gives names of members) (page 41).

Welles 1928: "When the Provisional President, on December 21st, promulgated the decree containing the necessary amendments to the Electoral Law, the reconstitution of the Central Board was included therein...The new Central Electoral Board...proceeded with its duties in a commendable spirit of despatch" (page 891).