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

Puerto Rico Under American Rule Essay

2021 words - 8 pages

Puerto Rico Under American Rule

The United States gained control of the island of Puerto Rico as a result of the Spanish American war in 1898, claiming its intention to "free" the island from Spanish colonialism. When the United States took possession of the island, Puerto Rico became merely that, a controlled possession given little or insignificant power in many facets of Puerto Rican life. In a matter of a few months, Puerto Rico moved from being a Spanish possession to an American one, and this changing of hands had many implications on the status of Puerto Rico, politically economically, and socially.

Moved by desires for freedom, social change, and political change, lack of leadership, and plainly, fear, the Puerto Ricans welcomed the Americans to the island. After all, the Puerto Ricans had never been under their own rule. After being colonized and ruled by Spain for 400 years, no one knew what to expect from the United States, but the island hoped for change and for the chance to be self-governing, if not independent, because as a colony of Spain, all Puerto Rico wanted was to be considered a "state" of Spain. Spain, however, did not grant them this. Once overtaken, military forces ruled the island for two years, "undermining one way of life without replacing it with another", while the United States government decided what it wanted to do with her new possession (Fernandez, 1996). One thing was clear by the military occupation: the United States had no intention of letting Puerto Rico rule itself.

And, to say the least, Puerto Ricans were not happy. With the United States in control, Puerto Rico became a territory with no real rights of her own, (except independence which wasn't going to be achieved at that stage of its status of territory) no sovereign control of its own economic or political life. At least when Puerto Rico had been a colony of Spain, she had representation in the parliament of Madrid; here in the United States, as Senator Foraker noted, "Puerto Rico belongs to the United States, but it is no the United States, nor a part of the United States", and in that, of course Puerto Rico would not have had any representation in Congress, nor should had it been expected (Fernandez, 2). Initially, the United States wanted and cherished Puerto Rico as a war prize, a way to protect its interests and reinforce the idea among other empires, political leaders, and governments that it was a supreme power by taking over the last Caribbean and Pacific colonies that Spain had. But that was all they had in mind for the island; never was Puerto Rico meant to be a state, not even a territory but just a possession with which the U.S. Government could do whatever it wanted to.

Yet, it wasn't that easy. In an effort to, again, protect its interest and to keep the peace, Congress passed the Foraker Law in 1900, which established a civil government and free commerce between the island and the United States. And in...

Find Another Essay On Puerto Rico Under American Rule

Coca Cola and Coco Frio Essay

1792 words - 7 pages Congress passed and the nature in which the United States tried to "Americanize" the island. Puerto Rico was a colonial government in the hands of Spain, and although the Puerto Ricans hoped that with American invasion, more freedom would be granted. Unfortunately that did not change when the United States assumed control of the island. The social, economic, and political atmosphere greatly changed as well, and those changes were not necessarily for the better or better than what the Puerto Ricans had while under the control of Spain.

Puerto Rican Music and Its Significance

1826 words - 7 pages Spanish Colonialism. Figueroa, Luis. (October 6, 1998). Lecture from "Puerto Rico". Settler Colonialism and Nationalism in the 19th Century. Figueroa, Luis. (October 22, 1998). Lecture from "Puerto Rico". from "Puerto Rico" to "Porto Rico": Politics, Economics, adn Society Under Early American Rule, 1898-1920s. Figueroa, L. (Dec. 10, 1998). Lecture from "Puerto Rico". The "Best of Both Worlds"? Culture Nationalism, Colonial Ambitions

Puerto Rico Shouldn't Become a State

677 words - 3 pages , New Mexico, and Oklahoma had large non-English-speaking populations. They were admitted to the union by accepting that “schools shall always be conducted in English” in order to ensure assimilation. Puerto Rico would have to undergo this rule as well, and it may compromise the access of future generations of Puerto Ricans to their Hispanic heritage and culture, including it within the overwhelming English-speaking American culture

Societal, Political, and Economical Changes in Puerto Rico

2643 words - 11 pages conclusion of the Spanish-American War. Both of these islands, under Spanish rule, survived violent political policies and excessive military personnel in their lands and were able to achieve a form of sovereignty. Puerto Rico and Cuba were the final colonies of Spain in the Western Hemisphere; Cuba gained independence, yet Puerto Rico achieved a different form of sovereignty by becoming a territory of the United States. Moreover, this annexation of

Puerto Rican Music in the United States

1713 words - 7 pages the United States' so there was an added lack of identity in the political realm. I view the role of Puerto Ricans as puppets in aiding American's to gain power and prestige in the world. Puerto Ricans, especially during the early part of American rule, were limited in their ability to infiltrate and influence politics in Puerto Rico. They were ruled by people who knew nothing of their history, did not speak Spanish, and even had never been to

Spanish Colonialism on the History of Puerto Rican People

1890 words - 8 pages from "Puerto Rico". From Tainos to Early Spanish Colonialism. Figueroa, Luis. (October 6, 1998). Lecture from "Puerto Rico". Settler Colonialism and Nationalism in the 19th Century. Figueroa, Luis. (October 22, 1998). Lecture from "Puerto Rico". from "Puerto Rico" to "Porto Rico": Politics, Economics, adn Society Under Early American Rule, 1898-1920s. Figueroa, L. (Dec. 10, 1998). Lecture from "Puerto Rico". The "Best of Both

Spanish Language's Influence on the Puerto Rican Identity

2345 words - 9 pages Rico". from "Puerto Rico" to "Porto Rico": Politics, Economics, adn Society Under Early American Rule, 1898-1920s. Figueroa, L. (Dec. 10, 1998). Lecture from "Puerto Rico". The "Best of Both Worlds"? Culture Nationalism, Colonial Ambitions and Ambiguities. Glasser, Ruth. (1995). My Music is My Flag: Puerto Rican Musicians and Their New York Communities, 1917-1940. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Gonzalez

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 United States Effect on Puerto Rican Music

1642 words - 7 pages Rican music became part of Puerto Rican culture. Yet, had it not been for United States interference in the lives of Puerto Ricans, these particular musical forms never would have developed. United States rule gave rise to municipal bands in Puerto Rico. Under U.S. colonialism, the Catholic Church in Puerto Rico decreased in power. As a result, composers and musicians who found work and publicity through church sponserings of their

The Identity of a Puerto Rican

3158 words - 13 pages Puerto Rican Republic Party swearing loyalty to "our new nationality" and the American flag . As part of the Americanization, English would become the official language of the island and it would be taught in the schools. In 1900 The Foraker Act created a civilian government which did not allow the Puerto Ricans to run their own government. All the governors were elected by U.S government. Under this Act the island’s name was changed from Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico: Commonwealth or State - Camden County College English102 - Research Paper

1868 words - 8 pages program called “Operation Bootstrap,” which “Under this program the island was to become industrialized by providing labor locally, inviting investment of external capital, importing raw materials, and exporting the finished products to the U.S. market (Rivera “Economy”). Furthermore, in 1976, a U.S tax code, section 936 of the U.S. internal revenue code, which liberated American corporations in Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories, from paying

Similar Essays

United States Colonial Rule Of Puerto Rico

2089 words - 8 pages control by the President of the United States. The Puerto Ricans were not entitled to the Bill of Rights nor American citizenship, but still U.S. laws were applied in Puerto Rico. While under Spanish rule, Puerto Ricans were considered Spaniards under all circumstances, without conditions. Due to all of the change occurring in Puerto Rico, the Foraker Act absolved liberties Puerto Rico had enjoyed under Spanish rule such as equality

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

Puerto Rico In The American Century

3036 words - 13 pages it ended the military government imposed by the U.S. and established a civilian government, and imposed a tariffs on goods coming from the island. Ayala and Bernabe argue that “through the Foraker Act, Congress both affirmed U.S. rule over Puerto Rico and defined the island as foreign territory”(26). The invasion of the U.S. cause a drastic change in the economy of Puerto Rico. Once the Foraker Act of 1900 allowed Puerto Ricans to trade

Capitalism Was Behind American Colonization Of Puerto Rico

1569 words - 6 pages 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