Every day , Puerto Rico is slowly adapting into the American way of life and is gradually losing what is left of their culture. Perhaps this is because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States. The poem “ Coca Cola and Coco Frio” by Martin Espada is a great example of someone who encounters the Americanized culture of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is struggling to preserve their own identity.
On July 25, 1898 United States troops invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish American War . As Olga Jimenez de Wagenheim and Kal Wagenheim state“ The war marked new eras for both the United States and Puerto Rico. It was America’s first major step as an imperialist power , The Spanish American War was a small war , edging towards immense consequences ” (77) . December 10, 1898 The Treaty of Paris between The United States and Spain was signed, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States . From there on The United States gained total control of the island of Puerto Rico and “ undertook a sustained Americanization campaign designed to make Puerto Rico in its sympathies , views, and attitude toward life and toward government essentially American” ( Morris 7 ). The United States claimed that their intention of possessing the island was to free the island from the Spanish but, Puerto Ricans soon learned that they would just be a controlled possession of the United States , this made some natives very unhappy. In just a short period of time Puerto Rico went from being a possession of Spain to the possession of the United States . Going through these sudden changes has caused many issues in the political , economic, and social status of Puerto Rico.
With all this drastic changes occurring “ the U.S presence was welcomed by most Puerto Ricans. After centuries of neglect by the Spanish, the democratic ideology and material resources brought up by the United States were favorably regarded” ( Morris 23). The Puerto Ricans did not know what to expect from the United States. After all , they were ruled by Spain for 400 years , but they hoped for increased rights and a more stable economy. “For the first eighteen months of U.S. sovereignty , Puerto Rico was occupied and ruled by the U.S. military. Major General Guy V. Henry was installed as governor, and U.S. military officers were put in place as mayors.” ( Morris 24) . U.S. military forces planned “bringing the island up to their standards, installing sanitation systems , building roads and railroads , and rearranging the legal system and other institutions ” ( Morris 24). Jose Trias Monge concludes that the when military forces ruled that “ cultural clashes between the American military government and sectors of the Puerto Rican people began to lay a groundwork of resentment.” ( Monge 34-35) . Military forces ruled the island until 1900 , while the United States figured out what they were going to do with the island.
Puerto Ricans were not happy with the...