Puerto Rico's Relationship with the United States? - US History Scene
PUERTO RICO needs to be "placed" afresh in the United States mind--placed so that the deeper political meaning of its relationships can be seen in new and. As awareness of Puerto Rico's debt crisis grows, Americans are also expressing confusion about Puerto Rico's relationship with the United. On Facebook, the relationship status between the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin islands would probably read: “It's Complicated.
They subsisted by hunting and fishing, done generally by men, as well as by the women's gathering and processing of indigenous cassava root and fruit. This lasted until Columbus arrived in He later served as the first governor of the island. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Spanish people began to colonize the island. The population suffered extremely high fatalities from epidemics of European infectious diseases. Other nearby islands, like Cuba, Saint-Domingue, and Guadeloupe, attracted more of the slave trade than Puerto Rico, probably because of greater agricultural interests in those islands, on which colonists had developed large sugar plantations and had the capital to invest in the Atlantic slave trade.
With no significant industries or large-scale agricultural production as yet, enslaved and free communities lodged around the few littoral settlements, particularly around San Juan, also forming lasting Afro-creole communities.
Meanwhile, in the island's interior, there developed a mixed and independent peasantry that relied on a subsistence economy. By the end of the 16th century, the Spanish Empire was diminishing and, in the face of increasing raids from European competitors, the colonial administration throughout the Americas fell into a "bunker mentality". Imperial strategists and urban planners redesigned port settlements into military posts with the objective of protecting Spanish territorial claims and ensuring the safe passing of the king's silver-laden Atlantic Fleet to the Iberian Peninsula.
San Juan served as an important port-of-call for ships driven across the Atlantic by its powerful trade winds. The colony's seat of government was on the forested Islet of San Juan and for a time became one of the most heavily fortified settlements in the Spanish Caribbean earning the name of the "Walled City".
Puerto Rico’s Relationship with the United States?
Learning from Francis Drake 's previous failures herehe circumvented the cannons of the castle of San Felipe del Morro and quickly brought his 17 ships into the San Juan Bay. He then occupied the port and attacked the city while the population hurried for shelter behind the Morro's moat and high battlements. Historians consider this event the worst attack on San Juan. Though the Dutch set the village on fire, they failed to conquer the Morro, and its batteries pounded their troops and ships until Hendricksz deemed the cause lost.
Hendricksz's expedition eventually helped propel a fortification frenzy. Urban planning responded to the needs of keeping the colony in Spanish hands. Late colonial period Hacienda La Fortuna. A sugar mill complex in Puerto Rico painted by Francisco Oller in Brooklyn Museum During the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Spain concentrated its colonial efforts on the more prosperous mainland North, Central, and South American colonies.
With the advent of the lively Bourbon Dynasty in Spain in the s, the island of Puerto Rico began a gradual shift to more imperial attention.
What Is Puerto Rico’s Relationship To The U.S.?
More roads began connecting previously isolated inland settlements to coastal cities, and coastal settlements like Arecibo, Mayaguez, and Ponce began acquiring importance of their own, separate from San Juan. By the end of the 18th century, merchant ships from an array of nationalities threatened the tight regulations of the Mercantilist system, which turned each colony solely toward the European metropole and limited contact with other nations.
Slavers, which had made but few stops on the island before, began selling more enslaved Africans to growing sugar and coffee plantations. On April 17,Sir Ralph Abercromby 's fleet invaded the island with a force of 6,—13, men,  which included German soldiers and Royal Marines and 60 to 64 ships. Fierce fighting continued for the next days with Spanish troops. Both sides suffered heavy losses. By the time independence movements in the larger Spanish colonies gained success, new waves of loyal creole immigrants began to arrive in Puerto Rico, helping to tilt the island's political balance toward the Crown.
These parliamentary and constitutional reforms were in force from toand again from to They were twice reversed during the restoration of the traditional monarchy by Ferdinand VII. Immigration and commercial trade reforms in the 19th century increased the island's ethnic European population and economy and expanded the Spanish cultural and social imprint on the local character of the island. Even though the conspiracy was unsuccessful, Xiorro achieved legendary status and is part of Puerto Rico's folklore.
The movement was discovered, and Governor Miguel de la Torre had its members imprisoned or exiled. To increase its hold on its last two New World colonies, the Spanish Crown revived the Royal Decree of Graces of as a result of whichimmigrants, mainly Spaniards, settled on the island in the period up until the American conquest. Printed in three languages—Spanish, English, and French—it was intended to also attract non-Spanish Europeans, with the hope that the independence movements would lose their popularity if new settlers had stronger ties to the Crown.
Hundreds of non Spanish families, mainly from CorsicaFranceGermanyIrelandItaly and Scotland, also immigrated to the island. Puerto Rico still receives Spanish and European immigration.
Puerto Rico’s Complicated History with the United States - HISTORY
And he decided to join forces with Senator Millard Tydings, who by was preparing to file his third bill for Puerto Rican independence. On October 16,President Harry S. Puerto Ricans were to choose from three options: But many Puerto Ricans Nationalists did not feel that the official change in status changed much of anything.
Puerto Ricans had been living, sincewith a Gag Law Public Law 53 that made it illegal to speak out against the U. With this new constitution and new Commonwealth status leading people to believe that Puerto Rico was no longer a colony, Albizu Campos, now out of prison and back in Puerto Rico, began to make plans for a revolution. They destroyed Jayuya and started arresting Nationalists en masse. The Gag Law remained on the books after the transition to Commonwealth in and continued to be used to arrest Puerto Ricans who spoke in favor of independence.
In March oftwo years after the status change, four Nationalists led by Lolita Lebron decided they would bring mainland attention to the issue once again. They opened fire in the House of Representatives, wounding five U. To the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, the right to elect their own Governor and the transition to Commonwealth status had not changed the fact that Puerto Rico was still a colony of the United States.
Puerto Ricans voted on their status in,and InPuerto Ricans voted not to review their commonwealth status. The vote yielded the following support for each option: In the election, Puerto Ricans once again voted on their status. For the first time, Puerto Ricans were asked about their wishes in two parts. The first plebiscite would determine whether the Puerto Rican people wanted to remain a U. Puerto Ricans were given three choices: For some, this vote yielded the first decisive result—statehood.
In June ofa new vote seemed to confirm the desire for statehood even more clearly. Plebiscites, while in theory a useful way to gauge public opinion in Puerto Rico, have at best produced mixed results.
Puerto Rico - Wikipedia
In their current status, the people of Puerto Rico do not have the legal authority to decide their own fate. That power still rests with the United States Congress. So where does that leave Puerto Rico? Still in limbo—for now. But for Puerto Ricans in the island and the mainland, it is a constant concern. The current terms of the status debate are as complicated as its history.
However, others fear that statehood would result in a loss of Puerto Rican identity and culture—especially Spanish language. In the mainland, opinions vary as well. Some welcome the idea of a 51st state.