Puerto Rico in the American Century

2671 Words11 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 contents is divide in to two periods, before and after World War ɪɪ. According to Ayala and Bernabe, “Each epoch exhibits two distinguishable phases: an initial period of economic expansion…dominant political parties, and labor organizations are put in place, and a succeeding phase of economic slowdown in which established structures and institutions are subject to increased stress”(2). The book begins with a discussion of how the United States invaded Puerto Rico in 1898 and the fact that little opposition was encounter. Some of the immediate changes in Puerto Rico were the separation between church and state, freedom of speech, rise of labor movement, revival of important economic sectors such as the sugar industry, the organization of political parties such as the Partido Federal and Partido Republicano and the Foraker act of 1900. The Foraker act is particularly important because 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 with the U.S. freely, the sugar industry, tobacco and needlework industries grew enormously. Ayala and
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