~~May 3, 2019~~
VERY SIMPLISTIC TERMS
Learn about Puerto Rico’s complex history, starting with its Spanish rule to becoming a U.S. territory.
See how its eventual commonwealth status, the 2006 recession, and 2017’s Hurricane Maria have caused political and economic upheaval.
There’s a lot more detail to the Puerto Rico-USA relationship.
This short video is a start.
This is a simple summary of facts for those who may me interested.
Originally populated by the indigenous Taíno people, Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was contested by French, Dutch, and British but remained a Spanish possession for the next four centuries.
The island’s cultural and demographic landscapes were shaped by the displacement and assimilation of the native population, the forced migration of African slaves and settlement from the Canary Islands and Andalusia.
Spain’s distant administrative control continued up to the end of the 19th century, producing a distinctive creole Hispanic culture and language that combined indigenous, African, and European elements. In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.
Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917, and enjoy freedom of movement between the island and the mainland.] As it is not a state, Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the United States Congress, which governs the territory with full jurisdiction under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950.
However, Puerto Rico does have one non-voting member of the House called a Resident Commissioner.
As residents of a U.S. territory, American citizens in Puerto Rico are disenfranchised at the national level and do not vote for president and vice president of the United States, nor pay federal income tax on Puerto Rican income. Like other territories and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico does not have U.S. senators. Congress approved a local constitution in 1952, allowing U.S. citizens on the territory to elect a governor.
Puerto Rico’s future political status has consistently been a matter of significant debate.
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