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The weather is mostly tropical, especially along the southern and eastern coasts.
The time and magnitude of the rainy season varies in different parts of the country, but generally occurs in late spring and early fall.
By 1804 the black African slaves in the western portion of the island (now Haiti) rebelled against the French and ruled the entire island.
French troops eventually reclaimed the island, but were able to occupy only the western end.
The central region is dominated by the Cordillera Central (central range) which ends at the Caribbean Sea.
The highest point in the Caribbean is Pico Duarte, which reaches an elevation of over 10,414 feet (3,175 meters) and has alpine forests near the summit.
Much of the region is a desert and it includes Lake Enriquillo, the island's largest lake.
France gained a foothold on the western end of the island, which became prosperous, and by 1795 Spain ceded the entire island to France.The mountains of the Dominican Republic divide the country into northern, central, and southwestern regions.The northern region includes the Cordillera Septentrional (northern mountain range), the Cibao Valley, which is the country's major agricultural area; and the tropical Samaná Peninsula with its coconut plantations and bay, where humpback whales breed.The western portion of the island is occupied by the republic of Haiti.Hispaniola is near the center of the West Indies, a group of islands that extend from Florida to Venezuela.
Independence was won before slavery was abolished in the Spanish Caribbean and a century before the decolonization of the other islands.