Spanish Language's Influence on the Puerto Rican Identity Essay

Spanish Language's Influence on the Puerto Rican Identity Essay

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Spanish Language's Influence on the Puerto Rican Identity


The initial occupation of Puerto Rico by the Spaniards carries an important implication for language as part of the Puerto Rican identity. The Spanish language was imposed upon the inhabitants of the island, the Tainos, in the sixteenth century, when the Spanish inhabited the island in 1502, after the Spanish conquerors claimed the island in the name of Spain in 1493. Eventually, the Spanish had moved out or taken over the ways of the old and their culture infiltrated that of the Taino to create a new dimension of the first storey, where the Spanish language was incorporated as the building blocks of the foundation of the Puerto Rican identity (Figueroa, Sept.15).

The Spanish maintained control over the island until 1898, when Spain relinquished Puerto Rico to the United States as a result of the Spanish American War. This change begins the construction of the third storey (the second storey involved the economic and political growth of the island under Spanish rule). The 400 years of Spanish history and influence on the island caused conflict for notions of identity and has great impact on Puerto Rican identity. Although the Spanish had come to the island and taken over, decimating the entire Taino population, Puerto Ricans now take pride in the fact that the Spanish contributes to their identity (a result of acculturation), and that they are a (mainly) Spanish speaking nation.

Although it wasn't initially intended to be, the acquisition of Puerto Rico resulted in the island becoming an unincorporated territory (http://Welcome.ToPuertoRico.org/history.htm). The passing of various acts, such as the English Only Act (1902), the Foraker Law (1900- establishing un...


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...". 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://frontpage.trincoll.edu/rwalker.

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

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