From 1801 to 1809, and again from 1822 to 1844, the Dominican Republic came under Haitian rule. The first time, Haiti lost control of the Dominican Republic because of the English taking control of the island. The second time, it was a mix of uprisings and independence movements that led to the Dominican Republic reaching independence. Would it be possible for these two nations sharing the same island to not only unite and survive, but also prosper ? What would be the wider consequences of having an independent nation, free of all slavery, and doing fairly well for itself, in the middle of the caribbean from the first half of the 19th century onwards? Could there be a bilingual approach to government in the same way that Belgium does?