1916 United States Occupation of the Dominican Republic

The United States occupied the Dominican Republic from 1916-1924.

In May 1917, Rear Admiral William B. Caperton forced the Republic's Secretary of War Desiderio Arias, who had seized power from Juan Isidro Jimenes Pereyra, to leave Santo Domingo by threatening the city with naval bombardment. U.S. Marines landed and took control of the country within two months, and in November the U.S. imposed a military government under Rear Admiral Harry Shepard Knapp.

The Marines restored order throughout most of the republic (with the exception of the eastern region); the country's budget was balanced, its debt was diminished, and economic growth resumed; infrastructure projects produced new roads that linked all the country's regions for the first time in its history; a professional military organization, the Dominican Constabulary Guard, replaced the partisan forces that had waged a seemingly endless struggle for power.

Most Dominicans, however, greatly resented the loss of their sovereignty to foreigners, few of whom spoke Spanish or displayed much real concern for the welfare of the republic. A guerrilla movement enjoyed considerable support from the population in the eastern provinces of El Seibo and San Pedro de MacorĂ­s. Having knowledge of the local terrain, they fought against the U.S. occupation from 1917 to 1921. American naval forces maintained order during a period of chronic and threatened insurrection.