Puerto Ricans - possession to have such a status • The...

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Puerto Ricans • Puerto Rico is an island at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea. Columbus “discovered” the island during his second voyage in 1493. When the Spanish arrived, the native inhabitants, the Táino Indians, were killed or fell prey to European diseases. The few who remained were absorbed into the conquering population. • The cultural features of Puerto Rico remain those of Spain: the language is Spanish, and the religion is predominantly Roman Catholic. Intermarriage and sexual unions have resulted in a varied racial population ranging from completely white to completely black. • Puerto Rico became a possession and territory of the United States in 1898 after the Spanish- American War. However, its present political status was not clarified until 1952, when it became the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Today, Puerto Rico remains a Free Associated State , which is similar to a U.S. state but without its rights and responsibilities. Puerto Rico is the only
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Unformatted text preview: possession to have such a status. • The beginning of rule by the United States quickly destroyed any hope that Puerto Ricans – or Boricas , as Puerto Ricans call themselves—had for self-rule. All power was given to officials appointed by the president, and any act of the island’s legislature could be overruled by Congress. English, previously unknown to the island, became the only language permitted in the school system. • In 1917, the Jones Act awarded U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans. In 1948, Puerto Ricans were finally permitted to elect their governor, and in 1952 the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was created with a constitution that was approved by the U.S. Congress. Those living in Puerto Rico have no vote in national U.S. elections and no U.S. senators or House members; their only representative in Congress is a nonvoting commissioner....
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