José Reyés was inspired to make this anthem after noticing a published copy of the Argentine anthem. Reyés believed that his country should also have an anthem, so he invited his friend Emilio Prud’homme to write the lines while he composed the music. Soon after Reyés managed to get his anthem published as well; the first performance was on August 17, 1883, it was well-received by the public and soon grew in popularity.
A motion in the National Congress was made on June 7, 1897 by deputy Rafael Garcia Martinez to give the song official status, but the president refused to sign the bill into law, possibly because of Prud’homme’s disagreement with President Heureaux’s dictatorial government. It wasn’t until 1934, many years after Heureaux’s death, that President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina officially adopted the song as the national anthem.
The anthem never refers to the nation or its people by the name “Dominican”, but rather uses the poetic term “Quisqueyano” throughout. “Quisqueyano” is a reference to the original native inhabitants’ word for Hispaniola.
This is actually the third anthem used in the Dominican Republic. The first, used from 1844 independence to 1885, was known as “Canción Dominicana”, and the second, used after that, did not appear to have a title.