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

Puerto Rico And The United States

2012 words - 8 pages

Puerto Rico and the United States

Since Puerto Rico was first discovered by Christopher Columbus on November 19, 1493, and Spanish colonization ensued in 1508, Puerto Rico has experienced all of these pressures of identity and culture.

When Columbus first arrived he found the island populated by thousands of Taino Indians who made the mistake of showing Columbus gold nuggets in the river. This was all Spain needed to finance its crown. Differences between the Spaniards and the Taints began around two years later when Diego Salcedo was killed by the Indians. The Taino Indians revolt against the Spaniards was met with no success and many left the island or fled into the mountains where they began new lives.

Though living in the secluded mountains, the Tainos were still colonists of Spain, but at heart were Borinquens. Even though they were a part of the "State" of Spain, i.e. a legal and political organization, with the power to require obedience and loyalty from its citizens. (Morris, p.12) the Tainos were a Nation or "a self defined community of people who share a sense of solidarity based on a belief in a common heritage and who claim political rights that may include self determination, history, language, culture and territory". (Morris, p. 12) This was the beginning of the Foundation of the four storeyed building.

In Jose Luis Gonzalez's article Puerto Rico, The Four Storeyed Country and Other Essays he too uses the metaphor of floors, stairs or foundation. Gonzalez saw that Puerto Rico's foundation though has grown more and more obscure over time, either by Puerto Ricans or other people who have transferred or erased the first and second floors. (Prof. Figueroa, lecture notes of 9/15/98)

In Rosario Ferre's book there is a passage that reminded me of what the Spaniards and the United States did to the people of Puerto Rico in laying its foundations, as follows: "One day the caretaker of the spring was found dead, lying by the rim of the fountain, from a mysterious blow to the head. A small item appeared in the morning papers, but nobody paid much attention, and the event was soon forgotten. [S]oon after that, Buenaventura moved to the caretaker's house and nobody seemed to mind. He cleared the spring of undergrowth and put it back in use." (Ferre, p. 11)

Examples of the obscurity over time or erasures over time that Gonzalez mentioned are for instance in 1498 when you built the foundation or first floor, at that point in time you did not want the Spanish language as your official language you wanted to keep your Taino Indian language, you did not want the language that was being forced upon you by the oppressors. This obviously did not happen because today, in 1998, you want to keep your native Spanish language and do not want to adopt the English language.

Race has also conveniently been erased from Puerto Rican history. Black is the core of the Puerto Rican population according to Gonzalez. ("What I...

Find Another Essay On Puerto Rico and the United States

Puerto Ricans In United States Essay

1650 words - 7 pages Great Depression, World War II and the advent of air travel. The GreatPuerto Ricans 4Depression, which spread throughout the world was also felt in Puerto Rico. Since the islands economy was and still is dependent to that of the United States, it was to be expected that when the American banks and industries began to fail the effect would be felt in the island. Unemployment was on the rise as a consequence and therefore, many families fled to the

The Role of Music During and After Puerto Rican Migration to the United States

1164 words - 5 pages The Role of Music During and After Puerto Rican Migration to the United States For Puerto Ricans, music served infinite purposes. It allowed for the formation and reformation of cultural views and opinions, through the lyrics in the songs. These views were constantly changing, which in turn fed into the ever evolving identity of the Puerto Rican people. As a vehicle of expression it stimulated thought and provided a method of

The History of Puerto Ricans' Migration to the United States

1679 words - 7 pages . This policy was made to move some of the Puerto Ricans to the mainland where jobs and a better way of life awaited them. US businesses recruited Puerto Ricans for work. Although this attempt to solve the overpopulation and unemployment problem in Puerto Rico it eventually created problems in the United States. Jobs were soon all filled and the Puerto Ricans worked for extremely low wages. The Puerto Ricans were also forced to live in low cost

The United States Effect on Puerto Rican Music

1642 words - 7 pages the experience of Puerto Rican musicians both on the island and in the Diaspora. U.S rule was in part responsible for Puerto Rican migration both within the island and off the island. This is so due to the political and economic relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States. As a result new genres, or styles of Puerto Rican music were created. The U.S also controlled how the music of the island would be communicated to the rest of the

The Future of Puerto Rico

2886 words - 12 pages Whether or not Puerto Rico becomes the 51st state of the United States of America is an important issue that has been pondered for the last fifty years. Puerto Rico is currently a Commonwealth of the United States and has been under U.S. rule for a century. Spain ruled Puerto Rico for about 400 years prior to the U.S. take-over in 1898. The current and pertinent issue, though, is whether Puerto Rico will remain a Commonwealth of the U.S., become

The Future Of Puerto Rico

818 words - 3 pages The Future of Puerto Rico In 1898, the United States assumed control of Puerto Rico and since then has become a Commonwealth. While this particular status allows Puerto Ricans to be drafted into the U.S. army, it does not allow them to vote in the Presidential Elections and does not give Puerto Rico a seat in Congress. Some consider this status to be the only modern day colony left in the world, others consider Commonwealth to be "The best of

The Historical Significance of Puerto Rico

1764 words - 7 pages this, the presence of the Spaniards in Puerto Rico added a different ethnic group to the island’s native population. When the official slave trade began in 1518, African slaves were added to Puerto Rico’s mixed ethnic heritage. (Figueroa 9/22) According to "A Bicentennial Without a Puerto Rican Colony", Unlike the United States, in Puerto Rico the different races mixed and intermingled to create the modern Puerto Rican, who is largely an

Puerto Rico in the American Century

3036 words - 13 pages This history book explore the political, economic, social and cultural facets of Puerto Rico since 1898, when the United States invaded the island. The intended audience of this book are both students and readers in general that are interested in learning about the history of Puerto Rico and how U.S. invasion impacted the island. This book is written in a clear, concise and coherent matter. The book is composed of fifteen chapters and its

Societal, Political, and Economical Changes in Puerto Rico

2643 words - 11 pages Puerto Rico and Cuba are known to be the two wings of the same bird, mostly because of their great similarities in history, culture, and struggles; yet, because of their differences in achieving their goals of self-government. Cuba was able to have full independence from Spain and have its own form of government; nonetheless, Puerto Rico, after achieving its independence from Spain, was annexed by the United States of America toward the

Spanish Colonialism and Its Influence on Puerto Rico

1375 words - 6 pages understood by studying the colonial history of the island. Spanish colonial rule over Puerto Rico transformed the islanders into a nation without land and one that is economically dependent upon the reining metropolis, once Spain, and today the United States. González’s Puerto Rico: The Four-Storeyed Country divides the major components of Puerto Rican history and formation into four parts. Each part containing their own significance to the

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

Similar Essays

The Impact Of United States Rule On Puerto Rico

2249 words - 9 pages The Impact of United States Rule on Puerto Rico Puerto Rico spent most of its history under the control of Spain. In the year 1898, the islanders wanted their freedom and welcomed the U.S. invaders as their last hope of liberation from Spanish control. The United States brought the promise of democracy to Puerto Rico, but its true intentions did not include letting go of the island. Although the United States claimed that its intentions were

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

Puerto Rican Music In The United States

1713 words - 7 pages “where Puerto Ricans lived among a constellation of constantly changing ethnic groups within a protean social environment”(Glasser, 7). In Puerto Rico there are diverse groups, with different traditions of politics, economics, and music. When Puerto Ricans migrate to the United States, they unite under an identity as “Puerto Ricans” but there is still diversity within. Furthermore, I believe it is the Americans who group them as Puerto Ricans

Puerto Rican Migration To The United States

1559 words - 6 pages Puerto Rican Migration to the United States Unlike Mexicans, Puerto Ricans did not have a vast amount of land. However, the whites in America effected both people. Mexicans would lose their land in the southwest to the Anglos. The Treaty of Guadeloupe would create a harsh environment for the Mexicans where they were not equal citizens. Whites would come into the southwest and take the land that previously belonged to the Mexicans. For