Every 16 August is Restoration Day in Dominican Republic. This holiday commemorates the commencement of the Dominican Restoration War that broke out on 16 August, 1863. The war was fought to restore Dominican independence after the country had been invaded and dominated by neighbouring Haiti and then re-colonised by Spain.
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Due to political unrest in Haiti in 1843, Dominican Republic revolted in 1844 and escaped out from under Haitian rule. But in 1861, they “voluntarily” agreed to become once again a Spanish colonial possession, out of fear of a re-invasion from Haiti.
Re-colonisation was not popular among the people, whatever the Dominican government may have felt. Soon, a guerrilla war broke out in opposition to the Spanish rulers. It was on 16 August, 1863, that the war is said to have officially begun, for it was then that rebel leaders raised the Dominican flag over Capotillo Hill in the capital city of Santo Domingo.
The rebels took the capital and generally outmanoeuvred the Spanish forces for two years. In 1865, the Queen of Spain finally declared the annexation treaty void and recognised Dominican Republic’s newfound independence.