This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Capitalism Was Behind American Colonization Of Puerto Rico

1569 words - 6 pages

Capitalism Was Behind American Colonization of Puerto Rico

The platform upon which the United States was built, freedom, was erected in response to the oppressive nature of colonialism. On July Fourth, 1776, the original thirteen colonies declared their independence, because the weight of Great Britain’s colonial restrictions proved to be too burdensome. The Constitution was signed shortly thereafter to protect American citizen’s rights from being abridged in the future. America was created as a direct response to the harmful nature of colonialism, however it soon forgot its idealistic birth. Freedom for all became a free for all, under America’s capitalistic system. When America was confronted with the question of what it should do with Puerto Rico it had three choices: accept it as a state, give it it’s freedom, or use it for profit. Capitalistic America saw Puerto Rico as an easily exploitable market, and enabled America to overlook the inconsistencies colonization presented in constitutional terms, or the widespread suffering colonization would cause. Thus, capitalism was the deciding factor in America’s decision to withhold from Puerto Rico its freedom.

Originally Puerto Ricans had high expectations regarding their future under American guidance. Puerto Rico wanted nothing “but American law, leaving no trace of Spanish legislation” (Trias -Monge 36). Under their new parent country, Puerto Rico hoped to receive universal male suffrage, American citizenship, elective mayors, free trade, and the right to elect a delegate to Congress, all of which had been denied them by Spain (Trias-Monge 36). Originally, implementing a system which would allow the maximum possibilities for Puerto Ricans to govern themselves was thought to be the proper way for America to proceed. This was consistent with American history, in that it too was founded on the right to self determination. A congressional advisor said it should be America’s primary goal to implement in Puerto Rico “an effective administration, that simultaneously provided the largest degree of self government” (Fernandez 20). Puerto Ricans were highly inexperienced in government, as the American forefathers had been a little more than a hundred years before, but were hopeful in their ability to adjust and grow.

The optimism surrounding Puerto Rico’s chances of a self determined future soon faded. America had been in pursuit of sources of cheap labor ever since a small, but growing vacancy in the Southern labor supply had been created by Emancipation. The majority of congressmen were in favor of exploiting Puerto Rico for this means, and sought interpretations of the Constitution which would allow colonization. One congressman felt the Constitution “created a government empowered to acquire countries throughout the world to be governed by different rules...in the exercise of unrestricted power,” (Trias-Monge 49). Another felt “the Constitution allowed two types of territories,...

Find Another Essay On Capitalism Was Behind American Colonization of Puerto Rico

The Future Of Puerto Rico Essay

818 words - 3 pages options are far worse than those of Statehood. There is major concern that Puerto Rico will have difficulty maintaining its culture and language, and that it will merely follow in the path of Hawaii, but this can avoided. Congress has created language use requirements for admission to the Union in the past, and has the power to do so in Puerto Rico's case. If Puerto Rico remains strong, perhaps the invasion of American culture will not be as

Puerto Rico in the American Century

3036 words - 13 pages intellectuals addressing issues such as the island colonial situation, modernization in Puerto Rico, and the experiences (discrimination) of Puerto Ricans in the United States. Notably, was the work of Rene Marques, who passionately criticize colonialism and capitalism and in his writings a constant theme was of people who were “left behind or crushed by progress” (). Between 1960 and 1975, PPD hegemony was undermined and in 1968 was defeated by the

The Historical Significance of Puerto Rico

1764 words - 7 pages control that Puerto Rico experienced, we can determine how each stage affected the structure and identity of Puerto Rico. Before Spain invaded Puerto Rico, the native population known as the Taino inhabited it. At the beginning of the 1500’s, the Taino were conquered by the Spanish and, after a series of revolution attempts, virtually disappeared from Puerto Rican life. Those that were left fled to the interior of the island, which was, at

United States Colonial Rule of Puerto Rico

2089 words - 8 pages United States Colonial Rule of Puerto Rico When the United States invaded the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico (Guanica and Ponce), a majority of Puerto Ricans welcomed the Americans and enabled their invasion. They cooperated and aided the American expulsion of Spaniards. However, it is obvious by the consequences that the end result of U.S. invasion and rule was not what Puerto Ricans had welcomed in July of 1898. Puerto Ricans wished an

The Impact of United States Rule on Puerto Rico

2249 words - 9 pages States? "help". One of the areas of Puerto Rican development that was the most obviously affected by early U.S. colonization was social relations. The attitude of the United States toward Puerto Rico, coupled with the increasing American influence of the island, led to a very confused Puerto Rican identity. The mixed messages that the United States gave concerning their opinion of Puerto Rican people showed both pity and disgust, which

TheAffects of the Tourist Economy on Puerto Rico

2120 words - 9 pages . In this essay I will use The Rum Diary to support the argument that American intervention and the media’s portrayal of Puerto Rico as a tourist destination has covered up deep social problems, which tourism has perpetuated. Puerto Rico was not always the tropical tourist destination it is today. Initially, it was a rural island with little to no modern amenities, and a severely impoverished population. That all changed once the United States

History of the sell of Paseo Caribe in Puerto Rico

885 words - 4 pages Paseo Caribe was an incredible investment for any developer who wished to expand real estate opporunties to influence job growth, private investment and a transition to methods of sustainable construction in Puerto Rico. Arturo Madero saw this property as a brilliant opportunity to take advantage of each of these aspects and make an influence in the Condado real estate demographic. Although Madero actions were in goodwill, by trying to promote

The Connection between Slavery, Growth of Capitalism, and Colonization

1331 words - 6 pages economic basis of the political ideologies that emerged from the French Revolution, i.e. liberty, equality and fraternity – thus the economy and politics are inseparable. One may thus argue that when colonialism (politics) was established, then capitalism (economy) was expanded, for example, the more colonies Britain had, the more capitalism grew. Slavery, says W.E.B du Bois, was a significant subsystem of capitalism and that at the centre of the

The Identity of an American Puerto Rican

1868 words - 7 pages population. It was said that "you could make big profits in sugar, but the Americans argued that you had to own or control at least 3,000 acres of land" (p.38, Fernandez). I always thought that the American Government was greedy and selfish and never wanted to see the Puerto Rican people gain the finer things in life. As I discuss such topics with friends and listen to the news about Puerto Rico making moves to better its economic value, you have

The Era of American Colonization - Grade 9 American History - Essay

632 words - 3 pages The Virginia Company, Native Americans, and the 13 Colonies were three important factors of colonial history in America. The Virginia Company was important because it was a group of Englishmen who created England’s first settlement in America. The 13 Colonies were vital, because they had people who thought differently than others. This led to many interesting events that changed America. Native Americans were significant, because they had wars

The Effect of American Colonialism on Puerto Rico's Identity

2677 words - 11 pages the people of Puerto Rico. The country did not have time to shed the skin of Spanish colonial rule before the United States set foot on the island to add its own layer of imperial legacy. The island was taken as a compromise to end the Spanish American War. How the newly acquired territory would take shape, and some of the local and international influences that might have contributed to the evolution of the Puerto Rican political, social and

Similar Essays

I Was Required To Writ About A Place That Is Special To Me. This Essay Is About Puerto Rico

1282 words - 5 pages . Snorkeling was always a fun experience; however, it made me nervous going into the water without at least goggles afterwards. Seeing all of the strange underwater life that can't be noticed without being able to see underwater really awakened my imagination. A rest from everyday life is definitely a rewarding experience. A week of laid-back laziness provides a new outlook on ordinary life. My vacations in Palmas Del Mar in Puerto Rico will be memories that will be with me until I die.

Ecosystems Of Puerto Rico Essay

739 words - 3 pages There are several similarities and differences between the major ecosystems in Puerto Rico. Each ecosystem has unique and diverse plant and animal life. In Puerto Rico, you can find either several of an ecosystem or one. For example, there is one tropical dry forest (Guanica Dry Forest), one tropical rainforest (El Yunque), several coral reefs and seagrass and around four mangrove forests. All of the ecosystems within Puerto Rico are fairly

Puerto Rico Under American Rule Essay

2021 words - 8 pages facet of Puerto Rico became dependent on the United States and its capitalist economy (Dietz, 1986). It became imperative for the Puerto Ricans to "Americanized" because the success of the Puerto Rican economy was dependent on assimilation to American economic practices; Puerto Rico had to comply or suffer economically, more than it was already. As Puerto Rico no longer belonged to Spain, Puerto Rico was deemed a foreign market to Spain and its

The Future Of Puerto Rico Essay

2886 words - 12 pages Rico almost by accident: "When President William McKinley succumbed to the pressures in his party to go to war against Spain in 1898, American attention was focused on liberating Cuba. To prove that U.S. motives were purer than those of European imperialists, Congress added to the declaration of war the Teller Amendment, which denied any intention to annex Cuba. Nothing was said about Puerto Rico because few even knew about the island...On