Essay about Spanish Colonialism on the History of Puerto Rican People

Essay about Spanish Colonialism on the History of Puerto Rican People

Length: 1875 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Spanish Colonialism on the History of Puerto Rican People

"Puerto Rico". The name immediately brings to mind images of a beautiful lush tropical island of enchantment. The name "Puerto Rico" usually does not conjure the image of Taino Indians or African slaves, yet these populations have great importance in laying the foundation for the notion of identity of Puerto Ricans. In contemporary debates of Puerto Rican identity, it is essential to examine the history of the island to determine the effects of Spanish colonialism on Puerto Rican identity. As he demonstrates in his article "Puerto Rico: the Four-Storeyed Country", Jose L. Gonzalez discusses the notion of identity as a series of storeys, one built upon another in order further incorporate each aspect in the past that contributes to the idea of "Puerto Ricaness" in the present. Thus, in looking at the history of Puerto Rico and the effects of Spanish colonialism, we will see that Puerto Rican identity has been constructed storey by storey, catalyzed by the Spanish occupation.

At the time of the sixteenth century, the country of Spain was in its prime, enjoying its status as the most powerful empire in Europe; possessing the most land than any other European country . This was the time of Renaissance, the "rebirth", and in this time of the "new", Spain looked to further support and maintain its position in seeking wealth and empire overseas, not just in the European region. Christopher Columbus, as appointed by King Ferdinand and Queen Elizabeth, was sent in search of wealth and treasure, and in his travels, discovered what is known today as "America", the United States, in 1492. In November of 1493, Columbus discovered the island of Puerto Rico, which at that time was ...

... middle of paper ...

...o". From Negrón-Muntaner and Grosfoguel (Eds.), Puerto Rican Jam: Essays on Culture and Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 257-285.

Rivera, Angel, Q. "Music, Social Classes, and the National Question in Puerto Rico". In Glasser.

Scarano, Francisco. "Sugar and Slavery in Puerto Rico, 1815-1849: An Overview," from Scarano, 1984, Sugar and Slavery in Puerto Rico: The Plantation Economy of Ponce, 1800-1850. Madison: U of Wisconsin Press. pp.3-34

Trías-Monge, J. (1997). "The Shaping of a Colonial Policy". From Trías-Monge, Puerto Rico: the Trials of the Oldest Colony of the World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 36-51.

Walker, Rich. (1998). A Multicultural Alternative to Language and Nationalism. Http://

Waxer, Lise. (October 29, 1998). Puerto Rican Music Between Rafael Hernandez and Rafael Cortijo.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Spanish Colonialism and Its Influence on Puerto Rico

- Spanish Colonialism and Its Influence on Puerto Rico There is an on going debate on the identity of Puerto Ricans. One controversial argument is that the first Puerto Ricans were in fact black. Although this idea is not well taken by many Puerto Ricans, history reveals that this statement is accurate. However this is only one contributing factor to the formation of the formation of the Puerto Rican people. Puerto Rican identity can only be understood by studying the colonial history of the island....   [tags: History Historical Puerto Rican Essays]

Powerful Essays
1392 words (4 pages)

Spanish Colonialism and Puerto Rican Identity Essay

- Spanish Colonialism and Puerto Rican Identity In order to understand the current situation of Puerto Ricans one must look at their history and retrace the sequence of events that led to the current formation of the Puerto Rican people. An important component of this history is the time Puerto Rico spent under Spanish rule. Studying this portion of Puerto Rican history forces us to acknowledge the contribution the Spaniards, European immigrants, and African slaves had on Puerto Rican identity as we consider it today....   [tags: Latin America American History]

Free Essays
1667 words (4.8 pages)

The Historical Significance of Puerto Rico Essay

- The Historical Significance of Puerto Rico For most of its history, Puerto Rico has been controlled by an outside power, and its people oppressed. While Puerto Rico is currently a U.S. territory, Spanish colonialism has had a significant impact on the island’s development and identity. The history of the island itself is proof of this fact, demonstrating each step Puerto Rico took to reach its current state. By examining the stages of Spanish control that Puerto Rico experienced, we can determine how each stage affected the structure and identity of Puerto Rico....   [tags: History Puerto Rican Spanish Essays]

Powerful Essays
1776 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on The Effect of American Colonialism on Puerto Rico's Identity

- The Effect of American Colonialism on Puerto Rico's Identity The Pandora’s box of information that I have discovered about Puerto Rico under early U.S rule provide some fascinating details on the background of contradictions that characterize debates on the political, economic and social issues concerning the island. Since its invasion in 1898, the United States has shaped the policies of the island according to its own discretion in spite of 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....   [tags: Puerto Rico History Historical Essays]

Powerful Essays
2686 words (7.7 pages)

Essay on Music as an Indicative of the History of Puerto Rico

- Music as an Indicative of the History of Puerto Rico During Dr. Lise Waxer’s October 29th lecture she characterized "music" as being indicative of the history of a people, a way of establishing social relations, and being a forum for dialogue. However, upon a critical analysis of the claims within her lecture and the issues discussed within Ruth Glasser’s My Music is My Flag, I believe that modern studies of Puerto Rican popular culture reveal more about the present state of Puerto Rican identity than the historical subjects themselves....   [tags: Culture cultural History Puerto Rican Essays]

Free Essays
1619 words (4.6 pages)

History of Puerto Rico and Spanish Rule Essay

- History of Puerto Rico and Spanish Rule The history of Puerto Rico under Spanish rule is one of European exploitation of non white peoples for the purpose of economic gain. The ‘discovery’ made by Columbus in 1492 had a great impact on the highly competitive countries in Europe who saw, in lands like Puerto Rico, the possibility of prosperity and advancement. More than hoping to spread their influence or religion, Europeans wanted to take advantage of the lands and resources which seemed unused....   [tags: Hispanic History Historical Essays]

Free Essays
1545 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about Puerto Rican Identity and Spanish Colonial Rule

- Puerto Rican Identity and Spanish Colonial Rule The debate on Puerto Rican Identity is a hot bed of controversy, especially in today’s society where American colonialism dominates most of the island’s governmental and economic policies. The country wrestles with the strong influence of its present day colonizers, while it adamantly tries to retain aspects of the legacy of Spanish colonialism. Despite America’s presence, Puerto Ricans maintain what is arguably their own cultural identity which seems largely based on the influence of Spain mixed with customs that might have developed locally....   [tags: History Historical spanish essays]

Powerful Essays
1399 words (4 pages)

Essay about Puerto Rico Under American Rule

- 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....   [tags: History Historical Puerto Rican Essays]

Powerful Essays
1966 words (5.6 pages)

Capitalism Was Behind American Colonization of Puerto Rico Essay

- 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....   [tags: History Historical Essays Puerto Rican]

Powerful Essays
1548 words (4.4 pages)

The Impact of United States Rule on Puerto Rico Essay

- 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 to civilize Puerto Rico and help it become a democratic society, its hypocritical manner of dealing with the island had a great impact on Puerto Rican development....   [tags: Puerto Rico Historical Essays]

Powerful Essays
2264 words (6.5 pages)