PRE-DISCOVERY Taino people – full blown, organized culture.

Similair to native American culture – as far as artifacts, and beliefs (different but similar) Most notable aspect for understanding is that they had a culture that was not just PR, but trans-island around the Caribbean.

Nov 19,1493 Columbus first discovery of PR. (his 2nd trip over) -came prepared to colonize, but did not stay in PR long - Hugely notable, almost getting a separate point – Pope Alexander VI’s papal bull clearly prohibited all persons “regardless of rank, estate, degree, order or condition” from entering the area without special license granted by the king - combination of Catholic Church and political authority controlled access to area. – only people that were catholic were allowed to settle. 1508 Ponce de Leon , begins working towards Spanish colonization. - must work with Tiano People, charatized by political and social struggles with Spanish

1521 PR established as the “strongest foothold of Spain in America” - Tiano people couldn’t hold there own with the Spanish; either became Labor force or fleed to other island’s around the Carib. - PR was a strategic place militarily, next period in History Spain is creating and keeping it as a bulwark to protect the carabean. See page 2

“ On August 10, the Royal Decree of Grace (commerce liberty) was issued, allowing all foreigners to be admitted to Puerto Rico and Islanders to trade with other nations. At the same time Puerto Rico's meager gold supply was exhausted, islanders struggled to develop an agricultural economy. Cattle, sugar cane, tobacco and coffee were the main investments.”
1837 Puerto Ricans promised autonomy 1845 A statistical commission was created, conducting a reliable census. The total figures are: Whites........................... 216,083 Free colored......................175,791 Slaves............................ 51,265 Total............................ 443,139

See Page 3 1869 The first political parties are organized in the island. 1873 Abolition of Slavery in PR

1898 US takes control of PR 1900 First Preseditally appointed governor

Puerto Rico key to the Indies – over the next 300 years PR developed as a fort and colony for the Spanish empire. Fort. – initially PR had no protection and became the site for frequent attacks by both political powers (French, English, Dutch) and pirates. Spanish government changed its strategy (around 1591) to establishing PR as the strongest point in defense in Carabbean. This took a while. So PR’s history was consistently plagued with invasions/attempted attacks. And PR was dependant on Spain for protection and funding for protection, because of the economic system in place. Coloney – PR was directly under the authority of the Spanish empire. All of its income (officially) came directly from the empire. 2 ways – 1. exports –San Juan was the only legal port and legal trade with the non-Hispanic world was forbidden. This was the case until the 1790s

when PR was allowed to directly trade with other nations, however San Juan was still the only legal port. (until 1815) The limitation of legal port cities caused strange population growth around the island. The other cities on the island were orginally generally illegal ports. The Spanish Monolopy drove many of the islanders to illegally trading with other foreign countries and indivudual companies. Smuggling had a crucrual role in the ecomonic infrustructure of the island. Around 80% of the island’s income (from Spain) was never spent legally ( no tax records). Revealing the substantial amount of money going through illegal channels. - major exports are what you would imagine, sugar and coffee. 2. Military work – also paid by Spanish government - Gold Bullion was used as the currency; PR’s

government got paid once a year, on a shipment from Mexico. This lead to a number of problems. 1. Pirates occasionally the shipment would get hijacked, causing (obviously) serisous problems in the economy. – another reason to push people to selling goods on the black market. 2. Distrubting the money – this lead to a habit of corruption by officials in charge of this. Relationships (over need or priority) tended to govern where and how the money was distrubited. Gov’t positions were appointed by Spain. The island has a long and ingrained system of dependence on outside funds, (cash coming from Spain each year) smuggling, and a relationally (rather than priority) driven governmental system. Despite the economic problems the Spanish monolopy over the island

was causing, PR was a coloney of Spain – that is expected of a colony. The people were generally very loyal to Spain; even in the midst of all of the other revolutions during the late 1700s. PR was focused as Spain’s anti-revoultionary bastillion ( or base) in the America’s. Plantaions grew to be a large part of the agriculture system. In 1815 it was declared that foreigners (non-hispanic) could also settle in PR and get free land ( similar to the US homestead act) provided that the settler was Roman Catholic. From 1836 on PR had no voice in Spanish parliament, but had been promised autonomy by the Leyes Especiales, this led to political discontent on the island (waiting for autonomy), in which some precedents were set for revolutionary thought and a few key figures emerged.

PRE 1898 autonomy . In the 1830s ideas of PR autonomy became more recognized, but Spanish loyalties had to weaken before any leaders were to emerge. They were not seeking to be completely independent, but rather autonomous – they make their own civil decisions, but are part of (and protected by) Spain. Not much happened on the search for autonomy until the 1860s. There were a few organized rebellions in the 1860s, but Cuba was much more involved in working towards indepence than PR. (Praise God that they didn’t get independence together; -knowing now, what Cuban US relations have been like -imagine Castro with two major islands rather than one) 1880s there were two Political parties that began to emerge, assimlists and autonomists. ( still concerning relationship with Spanish rule). Munoz Rivera began to

emerge as a leader of the autonomist party (there were others, but that’s a good name to recognize) and is credited with achieving autonomy from Spain, however shortly before the American occupation of Puerto Rico. They worked up a charter, had a system for the governement to run and gained their autonomy. However the first legislature meeting did not convine until July 17, 8 days before the American occupation. The US obtained PR as a result of the SpanishAmerican War. The US government saw it as very important for national security. The idea of Manfest Destiny (that the US has a God given destiney to settle,… basically the continent) played into it. But also to keep from having outside influence in areas so close to our borders – (proved true – Cuban relationship with US) .