Puerto Rico - geography. I INTRODUCTION Puerto Rico, freely associated commonwealth of the United States, composed of one large, densely populated island and several small islands in the West Indies. Officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico), it forms part of the Greater Antilles along with the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, and Jamaica. San Juan, on the northeastern coast, is Puerto Rico's capital, chief port, and largest city. Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony for almost four centuries until it was ceded to the United States following the Spanish-American War (1898). Today, it remains geographically and culturally part of Latin America despite its close ties to the United States. Almost all residents speak Spanish as their primary language. Puerto Rico is Spanish for "rich port." The name was first applied to its capital, known as San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico, in the 16th century. Gradually the capital city came to be called San Juan and the island Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is sometimes called the Island of Enchantment. Since the arrival of European settlers in Puerto Rico in the late 1400s, foreign powers have played an important role on the island. Spanish colonial administrators ruled with little input from residents. When Puerto Rico became a territorial possession of the United States in 1898, the United States appointed almost all the governing officials on the island. Although the United States extended U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans in 1917, Puerto Rico remained a territorial possession. During the first half of the 20th century, many Puerto Ricans were dissatisfied with U.S. rule, and a growing movement for independence or at least for self-government in local matters began. In 1952 Puerto Rico achieved local self-government when it became a commonwealth. Under the provisions of Puerto Rico's constitution, residents elect a governor and legislators who control local matters on the island, and the U.S. government maintains jurisdiction over the island's defense, foreign relations, and trade agreements. Since 1952 Puerto Ricans have debated whether the island should remain a commonwealth, attempt to become the 51st state of the United States, or become an independent nation. Puerto Rico has held a number of referenda on this issue. The vast majority of voters remain closely split between commonwealth status and statehood. Puerto Rico has a pleasant tropical climate. On the main island, a fertile coastal plain surrounds a mountainous interior. Puerto Rico's topography and climate have made it an excellent place to produce crops such as sugar and coffee for export to other countries. These export crops began to play a major role in the island's economy by the end of the 18th century. They provided money for Spain, but they did not help develop a balanced, diversified economy. For most of Puerto Rico's history, the economy was heavily dependent on outside markets and sharp fluctuations in demand and prices. The island's economic circumstances improved after World War II (1939-1945), when the island undertook a program to develop light manufacturing and to improve service industries such as banking. Tourism also became a major industry, annually attracting millions of visitors. Nevertheless, the economy remained heavily dependent on outside markets, tourists, and various subsidies from the United States. When the United States suffered a recession in the 1980s, the result in Puerto Rico was high unemployment, and many Puerto Ricans migrated to the mainland United States in search of opportunity. In the early 21st century, however, many mainland Puerto Ricans returned to the island to establish businesses, work in industry and other areas of the economy, or reside as retirees. II PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY Puerto Rico is the easternmost island of the Greater Antilles. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south. Mona Passage separates Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic (on the island of Hispaniola) to the west; the Vieques Passage separates it from its island of Vieques to the east. Puerto Rico is located 1,600 km (1,000 mi) southeast of Florida, and about 965 km (600 mi) north of Caracas, Venezuela. The Virgin Islands lie about 65 km (40 mi) to the east (see Virgin Islands of the United States; British Virgin Islands). The total area of Puerto Rico, including its three largest offshore islands, is 13,792 sq km (5,325 sq mi). The main island is shaped like a rectangle, with a maximum length from east to west (from Punta Puerca to Punta Higuero) of 180 km (110 mi) and with a maximum width from north to south (from Isabella to Punta Colón) of 65 km (40 mi). Hills and steep mountains cover three-fourths of Puerto Rico. A narrow coastal plain and some inland valleys provide the only low-lying terrain. The central mountain chain is the Cordillera Central, which extends east and west and divides the island into its northern and southern regions. Other mountain ranges include Sierra de Luquillo in the northeast, Sierra de Cayey in the southeast, and Sierra Bermeja in the southwest. The highest point on the island is Cerro de Punta (1,338 m/4,390 ft) in the central part of the island. The most famous peak is El Yunque (Spanish for "the Anvil"), which rises 1,066 m (3,496 ft) above sea level in the Sierra de Luquillo. El Yunque is part of the Caribbean National Forest, and it has a tropical rain forest, which is a favorite tourist attraction. The coastal plain, which rings the mountains, is about 16 km (10 mi) wide in the north and about 13 km (8 mi) wide along the southern coast. Puerto Rico possesses several offshore islands, the largest of which are Vieques, Culebra, and Mona. Vieques, which lies to the east, is the largest (population, 2000, 9,106). Its only urban center is Isabel Segunda. North of Vieques is the smaller island of Culebra (1,868). Its main town is Dewey. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protects much of the island as a natural preserve. The third island, Mona, lies to the southwest in the Mona Passage. Much smaller than Vieques or Culebra, Mona Island is uninhabited and is known for its marine life. A Rivers Puerto Rico has many relatively short rivers and streams. Some of the rivers are dammed for hydroelectric power and thus have small lakes along their courses. One such body of water is Lago de Yauco, on the Yauco River. The longest river is the Grande de Arecibo, which flows to the northern coast. Other rivers include the Grande de Añasco, Bayamón, Cibuco, Culebrinas, La Plata, and Loíza. None of the rivers is navigable by large vessels. B Coastline Puerto Rico's coastline is well known for its beaches. It measures some 500 km (310 mi) and has few inlets, natural harbors, or protected bays. The ocean around the island is very deep; the Puerto Rico Trench, north of Puerto Rico, is 8,605 m (28,231 ft) below sea level at its greatest depth. This is the deepest known point in the Atlantic Ocean. C Climate Puerto Rico has an agreeable climate. It is tropical at the lower elevations and subtropical at the higher elevations. There is little difference from season to season, and the length of the day remains fairly constant throughout the year. San Juan has a mean July temperature of 28°C (83°F) and a mean January temperature of 25°C (77°F). The average temperature of the seawater surrounding the island is 27°C (81°F), with little variation during the course of the year. The entire island is cooled by the trade winds from the northeast. This air also contains much water vapor. As the air is forced to rise over the mountains, it becomes cooler and the water vapor condenses and falls as rain. San Juan receives an average of 1,330 mm (52 in) of precipitation each year. The mountain areas receive more rain than almost any other part of the United States, with more than 5,100 mm (200 in) falling each year at El Yunque. The southwestern coastal area generally receives the least rain in Puerto Rico and has a distinct dry season from December to March. Puerto Rico is sometimes struck by damaging hurricanes traveling from the east, especially from August to October. D Plant and Animal Life Most of Puerto Rico's original forests were logged by the beginning of the 20th century. The government began a replanting effort in the 1930s. A commercial reforestation program has also created a modest commercial reserve of tropical hardwoods, including mahogany, ebony, laurel, and satinwood. Puerto Rico contains thousands of species of tropical shrubs and trees, including colorful bougainvilleas, poinsettias, and Sierra palms. There are giant coconut palms, mangroves, and bamboo trees. Orchids and giant ferns grow in the rain forest of El Yunque. Brilliantly hued poinciana trees border most of the older rural roads, lending the flaming red color of their blossoms to the landscape in June. Puerto Rico has very little wildlife and few birds. The mongoose, introduced to control rats on the sugar plantations, is fairly abundant. There are nightingales and sparrow-like birds called gorriones. The coquí, a tiny tree frog that sings at night like a bird, leads many visitors to suppose that the island is filled with nightingales. In the waters surrounding Puerto Rico there are a number of different game fish, including tuna, blue marlin, bonefish, and amberjack. Both the federal and commonwealth governments have stepped up efforts to preserve the island's animal and plant life. Reserves of special note include the Caribbean National Forest, known as El Yunque, a tropical rain forest in the Sierra de Luquillo Mountains; Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve on the northeast coast; and the Carite Forest Reserve in the southeast. On the southwest tip of the island, La Parguera Natural Reserve has a phosphorescent bay that glows at night because of tiny sea creatures that give off a green light when their bodies are disturbed. The island of Culebra is home to the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge. III ECONOMY For its first 250 years as a Spanish colony, Puerto Rico was largely a military establishment fortified to protect the sea lanes between Spain and its American colonies. Most farms were small, and farmers raised subsistence crops, such as vegetables, rice, plantains, and corn. By the end of the 18th century, export crops began to play an important role in the economy. Puerto Ricans exported sugar, coffee, tobacco, and cotton, as well as meat, animal hides, and other items. The economy grew during the 19th century, but agriculture remained dominant. Coffee, tobacco, and sugar became the most valuable export crops during the 19th century. Puerto Rico traded mostly with Spain and other European nations. When the United States gained control of the island following the Spanish-American War, it became the new market for the island's coffee. However, U.S. residents were used to the weaker Brazilian coffee bean and did not appreciate the richer, stronger Puerto Rican variety. Puerto Rico was also struck by two hurricanes in 1899 and 1928, which decimated the island's coffee crops. As a result, sugar replaced coffee as Puerto Rico's main export crop after 1900. The U.S. government allowed the island's sugar to enter the U.S. market tax-free. United States financiers invested heavily in Puerto Rican sugar estates. By 1930 the island's sugar production had risen by a thousand percent, and almost all of it was exported to the United States. By 1940 the sugar industry employed 25 percent of the island's labor force. As the sugar industry grew, corporations bought large tracts of land for sugar estates. Many of Puerto Rico's independent, land-owning farmers went out of business because they could not compete with the corporations. Puerto Rico transformed its economy after World War II (1939-1945). In an attempt to make the island less dependent upon agriculture and to increase employment opportunities, Puerto Rico's leaders decided to emphasize industrial development. With the help of the U.S. federal government, in 1947 the Puerto Rican government established Operation Bootstrap, a program of governmental support for industry through tax breaks. The government hoped to attract industries that would import goods to the island to be finished for export. The Puerto Rican government also worked to develop the tourist industry. It invested directly in the construction of the Caribe Hilton, a large hotel in San Juan that received immediate international recognition. In addition to its economy, Puerto Rico worked to improve its health services, housing, education, and electric power. Operation Bootstrap was a success. It brought many industrial companies to Puerto Rico and created thousands of jobs. Puerto Rico transformed from an underdeveloped island into an industrialized area and an important overseas markets for the United States. By 1965 Puerto Ricans enjoyed the highest per capita income (average individual income) in Latin America. Economic improvements were visible everywhere in the form of new housing, public buildings, and service facilities; new and improved roads and communications; modern factories; and the availability of a higher quantity and quality of food and clothing. Puerto Rico's economy experienced a downturn in the mid-1970s. A severe recession in the U.S. economy resulted in fewer U.S. purchases and investments and a decline in tourism on the island. At the same time, worldwide inflation made imported goods, especially oil, more expensive. Moreover, U.S. minimum wage laws and the island's increased prosperity had resulted in a higher wage level. Higher wages made Puerto Rico less able to compete with other developing areas for labor-intensive, low-capital industries. After rising steadily for years, the gross domestic product (GDP, the total value of goods and services produced in Puerto Rico) and total employment declined in 1975. However, even during the boom years, unemployment remained high, generally ranging from 10 to 13 percent of the labor force. By the mid-1970s, the official unemployment rate had reached 20 percent. In the late 1970s the economy made some progress, only to be buffeted by recession again in the early 1980s. By the mid-1980s, the island's economy began to recover. It benefited when the United States increased its investment to the region through the Caribbean Basin Initiative, a program providing tax-free access to U.S. markets for certain products from the Caribbean region. However, in 1996 the U.S. Congress voted to eliminate over a ten-year period the tax incentives for American companies investing in businesses in Puerto Rico. In response, local officials sought to further develop the service industry, especially tourism. In 1997-1998, 76 percent of Puerto Rico's labor force worked in the services, 22 percent worked in industry, and 2 percent worked in agriculture. In the GDP for the same time period, industry made up 79 percent, services made up 20 percent, and agriculture made up 1 percent. A Agriculture Once the backbone of the economy, agriculture has become less important in Puerto Rico. Less land is under cultivation, and farmers are producing fewer major crops. Farming has stagnated chiefly because large-scale investment has gone into industry rather than agriculture. In 1947 almost 40 percent of the labor force worked on farms. Only about 5 percent worked on farms by 1978; by 2005 agriculture employed 2.1 percent of the island's workforce and produced less than 1 percent of the GDP. By the end of the 20th century, the Puerto Rican government had encouraged agricultural diversification away from the traditional export crops of coffee, tobacco, and sugar. By the 1990s dairy, cattle, and poultry farming had outstripped those traditional crops as money earners. Although fruits and vegetables were grown for local consumption and tropical fruits were exported to Europe, Japan, and the U.S. mainland, Puerto Rico still imported most of its food from the United States. B Fishing and Forestry Much of Puerto Rico's original forest cover was cut by 1900. Despite concerted efforts after 1935 to replant trees, the forestry industry remains small. Commercial fishing plays a relatively minor role in Puerto Rico's economy. Tuna species caught include yellowfin, skipjack, and bluefin. Small-scale freshwater fish farming is a growing economic activity. Fish raised include bass, bluegill, and catfish. C Mining Almost all of Puerto Rico's mineral production consists of construction materials, notably sand, gravel, stone, and material used in the manufacture of concrete. Other minerals are clay, graphite, lime, and salt. D Manufacturing Over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, manufacturing's portion of the island's labor force declined from 20 percent to 15 percent by 1999. Nevertheless, manufacturing produced in 1999 about $26 billion, which amounted to 70 percent of the GDP. In terms of employment, one of Puerto Rico's leading manufacturing industries is apparel making. A modern apparel industry evolved from a small-scale labor-intensive needlework industry of the 1940s. By the 1990s most apparel plants were branches of mainland U.S. firms. San Juan and Mayagüez are the leading centers for making clothing. Large numbers of workers also produce chemicals, electronic equipment, and processed foods. Other major manufactures include pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery, printed materials, rubber and plastics, metal items, furniture and fixtures, and leather products. Since the 1940s the government has encouraged manufacturing by offering incentives such as tax exemptions, loans, and research assistance. The leading government agency for encouraging industrial development was the Economic Development Administration, created in 1950 and generally known as Fomento (Spanish for "development"). Fomento's mandate was to attract manufacturers to the island. To carry this out, Fomento sold or leased plants on favorable terms. In addition, the government waived business income tax dues for several years. Many large American manufacturing companies established plants in Puerto Rico, attracted by tax benefits and wages that were lower than on the mainland. In the 1990s the Puerto Rican Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), a subsidiary of Fomento, became responsible for the industrial development of Puerto Rico. In 1996, as part of budgetary cutbacks on the mainland, the U.S. Congress voted to eliminate over a ten-year period the tax incentives for American companies investing in businesses in Puerto Rico. To counteract the economic losses caused by the phase-out, the Puerto Rican government established a series of local tax incentives to keep or attract new companies to the island. These included a maximum 7 percent business income tax rate, tax incentives for research and development, and deductions for the costs of job training. E Tourism The year-round warm climate in Puerto Rico and its abundant sunshine and coastal beaches attract millions of tourists each year. Tourists were an insignificant source of income before 1940, but the Puerto Rican Tourism Company has promoted tourism with great success. A little over 3.7 million tourists visited the island in 1999. Some 1.3 million tourists arrived via cruise ships. Their primary destination is the San Juan area, the location of numerous luxury hotels. In 1992 the island had 8,400 hotel rooms, but by 2001 this number had increased to 12,400 rooms. This expansion greatly helped not only the tourist industry but the construction industry as well. Tourists spent $1,205 million in 2006. F Transportation Puerto Rico is the transportation hub of the Caribbean. The island's international airport, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, is one of the largest and busiest in the Caribbean. Local airline service links San Juan with the other cities on the island as well as with various points in the Caribbean. International airlines connect San Juan with the Americas and Europe. The San Juan port facility is among the top ports in the world for container shipping. Although transportation facilities have been expanded to meet the requirements of the expanding Puerto Rican economy, transportation facilities outside of San Juan are generally much poorer than on the mainland United States. Trucks move most internal business traffic, and the island's limited railroad system hauls sugarcane. G Communications In 2002 Puerto Rico had 47 AM and 32 FM radio broadcasting stations and 10 television stations, and cable television is available. The commonwealth's first radio station, WKAQ in San Juan, began operations in 1922. WKAQ-TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico's initial television station, first went on the air in 1954. La Gaceta de Puerto Rico, the island's first newspaper, was initially published in 1807. Influential newspapers in Puerto Rico now include the Spanish-language El Nuevo Día and El Vocero de Puerto Rico and the English-language San Juan Star, all published in San Juan. H Trade The island's economy has become increasingly integrated into the U.S. economy. In 1998 about 90 percent of Puerto Rico's exports went to the mainland and 60 percent of imports came from there. Other significant markets are the Dominican Republic, Japan, Germany, and Venezuela, which provides much of the crude oil imported to the island. The volume of trade soared and the makeup of exports changed drastically in the late 20th century. In 1940 exports were valued at $92 million and were largely made up of traditional agricultural products, such as sugar and tobacco, and handicrafts, such as needlework. In 1999 exports were valued at $28 billion and consisted chiefly of chemical products, a wide variety of manufactured articles, refined petroleum and derivatives, and agricultural products. Imports were valued at $21 billion in 1998. Manufactured goods, chemical products, transport equipment, and food were the leading imported commodities. IV PEOPLE According to the 2000 census, Puerto Rico had 3,815,909 inhabitants, an increase of 8.1 percent over the 1990 figure of 3,536,910. The population estimate for 2008 was 3,959,450. The average population density in 2008 was 446 persons per sq km (1,156 persons per sq mi), a higher density than in any state. In 2000 whites constituted 80.5 percent of the population, blacks 8 percent, Asians 0.2 percent, Native Americans 0.4 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race 11 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, were 98.8 percent of Puerto Rico's population. Spanish and English are the official languages of the commonwealth, but Spanish is the primary language. Almost 75 percent of the people are Roman Catholic. During most of the nearly 400 years of Spanish colonial rule, Puerto Rican society was legally divided into castes. The highest caste consisted of whites. The middle caste was composed of free blacks and mulattos (individuals of mixed European and African descent). Slaves made up the lowest caste. Puerto Rican society was also divided into social classes. Within these classes, there was more fluidity. In the upper class were plantation owners, other large landowners, wealthy merchants, and leading bureaucrats. The middle class included small-scale farmers, merchants, artisans, and bureaucrats. The lower class included unskilled laborers, artisans, and small storekeepers. Whites were found in the upper, middle, and lower classes, but they were never slaves. The clergy also spanned all three classes and were generally white. Free people of color were generally in the middle and lower social classes with a few ascending to the upper class. Slaves did not have any social mobility; they consistently remained at the bottom of the society. Following the abolition of slavery in 1873, Puerto Rico's social structure changed. The sharp division between classes began to blur. This process accelerated after the economy industrialized in the 1940s and 1950s. By the early 21st century, Puerto Ricans had increased social mobility and much greater opportunities because of universal access to education and a more developed economy. Although some vestiges of the traditional social structure still persisted and not all remnants of racial prejudice were eliminated, modern society in Puerto Rico by and large permitted a great deal of social and economic mobility. A Population Patterns Puerto Rico's rate of population increase has fluctuated considerably throughout its history, based largely on how many Puerto Ricans had emigrated from the island to the mainland United States. Generally they went to the mainland to seek better economic opportunities. The rate of natural population increase, which occurs when the number of births exceeds the number of deaths, almost doubled between 1899 and 1950. However, it fell during the 1990s as people relied more on various forms of birth control. While life expectancy rates in Puerto Rico have improved significantly in recent years, Puerto Rico still has lower rates than the U.S. mainland. In 2008 life expectancy rates in Puerto Rico were 74.7 years for males and 82.8 years for females. This compares to 75.3 years for males and 81.10 years for females on the U.S. mainland. These differences can be attributed to high rates of poverty on the island, especially in the rural areas, and a system of medical care that received little attention until the late 20th century. In recent years Puerto Rico's age structure changed as the medical care system improved. As death rates declined, the proportion of the population over 65 years of age increased, almost doubling between 1940 and 1970, from 3.4 percent of the total to 6.5 percent. In 2008 people over 65 years of age made up 13.5 percent of the population. However, the proportion of children under 15 remained fairly constant at about 25 percent. In 2001, about two-fifths of the population was either under 19 or over 65. The gender structure of the population has changed somewhat in recent years as well. The number of males per 100 females has declined from about 101 in 1940 and 1950 to 92 in 2008. This decrease is largely because women lived longer lives while many males left the island to seek better economic opportunities on the U.S. mainland. B Principal Cities When Puerto Rico began to industrialize in the 1940s, many people migrated from the countryside to the cities. As a result, the urban population increased dramatically over the following decades. The proportion of the population living in rural areas declined from 70 percent in 1940 to 42 percent in 1970. In 2003, 98 percent of the population lived in urban areas. In 2000 the major cities included San Juan (421,958), Ponce (155,038), Caguas (88,680), Arecibo (49,318), and Mayagüez (78,647). San Juan, the capital and chief port, is the most important city on the island. Government offices, industries, the University of Puerto Rico, and the majority of tourist hotels and entertainment facilities are concentrated in the San Juan area. San Juan is one of the oldest cities in the western hemisphere, founded in the early 16th century. The many colonial buildings and fortresses found in the old section of the city, known as Old San Juan, preserve the Spanish flavor of the city. The population of San Juan itself has not increased greatly over the past several decades, but tremendous growth has occurred in cities within the San Juan metropolitan area. Major cities in the San Juan metropolitan area include Bayamón (2000 population, 203,499), Carolina (168,164), and Guaynabo (78,806). C Religion About 75 percent of Puerto Rico's population is Roman Catholic, although a much smaller number regularly attends religious services. After the United States acquired Puerto Rico in 1898, Protestantism grew in influence and popularity, with all major sects represented. In recent decades, Pentecostal fundamentalism has gained followers. As is typical throughout Latin America, a number of Puerto Ricans practiced religions that blend Catholicism with other traditions. Some islanders ascribe to spiritualism, a belief that spirits of the dead inhabit the island, and others practice Santería, an Afro-Caribbean belief system brought to Puerto Rico from Cuba. There is also a small Jewish community. D Migration In the late 1990s some 3.1 million Puerto Ricans lived on the U.S. mainland, the majority of them in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Florida. In general, Puerto Ricans went to the mainland in search of better economic opportunities. Migration was particularly extensive during the first decades of industrialization, from the early 1940s through the 1960s. As people moved from rural to urban areas, the new manufacturing companies did not have enough jobs to offer. With no jobs in the cities, many Puerto Ricans left the island to go to the mainland to find employment. In fact, one of the reasons that Operation Bootstrap was successful was that hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans migrated to the mainland United States, easing economic pressure on the island. Migration also increased in the early 1980s because of a serious economic recession on the island. As the economy recovered later in the decade, emigration declined. Migration helped to relieve competition for jobs in Puerto Rico and decreased the number of people the relatively impoverished island had to feed. It also provided a source of external income as emigrants on the mainland sent cash to relatives in Puerto Rico, thus somewhat aiding the island's economy. The migration of Puerto Ricans to the United States has created a Puerto Rican presence in the mainland nearly as large as the population of the island itself. By the late 1990s many Puerto Ricans were second- or third-generation residents of the mainland. Some traced their heritage back even further. V EDUCATION AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS Puerto Rico greatly improved its educational institutions throughout the 20th century. By 2005, 94.6 percent of the adult population was literate, compared with some 67 percent in 1940. The governor of Puerto Rico appoints the secretary of education, who heads the Department of Education. The department oversees the public education system. Most of the schools in Puerto Rico are public and are modeled on the public schools in the continental United States. About 20 percent of schoolchildren attend private schools. The Roman Catholic Church runs a number of the private schools. Children must attend school from age 6 to 16. Most attend for 12 years (six years of elementary school, three of junior high, and three of senior high school). The government has gradually spent more money on public elementary and secondary schools, but in 1995-1996 Puerto Rico spent only $4,324 per pupil, compared to an average of $6,146 per pupil in the mainland United States. In the late 1990s the commonwealth's public schools annually enrolled about 452,000 elementary pupils and about 162,000 secondary students. In 1998-1999 the commonwealth had 51 private and 14 public institutions of higher education with a combined enrollment of 164,000 students. The University of Puerto Rico System was founded in 1903. It is the oldest institution of higher education in Puerto Rico, with a number of branches including those in Arecibo, Bayamón, Cayey, Humacao, Mayagüez, Ponce, and San Juan. Besides the University of Puerto Rico, other institutions of higher education include Bayamón Central University in Bayamón; Inter American University of Puerto Rico, with major campuses in Hato Rey and San Germán; Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce; and the University of the Sacred Heart in Santurce. Language has been a central issue in Puerto Rican education and culture since 1898. Until 1930, U.S. authorities insisted upon making English the language of instruction in the schools. They wanted students to speak English in order to expose them to American culture. However, Puerto Ricans strongly resisted the effort to impose English as the primary language in schools. The policy was changed in 1948, when Spanish replaced English in the school system. English became a second language, although students were required to study English at every school level. In 1993 Puerto Rico declared both Spanish and English the island's official languages. Puerto Rico has many libraries, including the Carnegie Public Library, the library of the Ateneo Puertorriqueño (a privately run Puerto Rican cultural organization), and the Volunteer Library League, all in San Juan. Several of the other larger cities and towns also have municipal libraries. Many universities have libraries as well. Many of Puerto Rico's major cultural institutions are in San Juan. These include the Puerto Rico Museum of Art, housing works from pre-Columbian times to the present; the Children's Museum in Old San Juan; and the Museum of the Indian, featuring exhibits about the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean region. Of note, too, is the Ponce Art Museum, which has exhibits of paintings by European and Puerto Rican artists. In addition, metropolitan San Juan is the home of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, and ballet and dance companies. A popular cultural attraction is the Pablo Casals Museum in Old San Juan, which contains memorabilia from the life and career of renowned cellist Pablo Casals. VI ARTS Puerto Rico has enjoyed a long history of artistic expression. Many artists and writers have explored the island's identity in their works. Music and dance also combine various elements of the island's many cultures--indigenous, African, Spanish, and American. The Puerto Rican government has long supported arts and culture on the island and runs a number of artistic events. A Art and Literature The most famous Puerto Rican painter of the 18th century was José Campeche. Francisco Oller was a painter of international renown. Oller traveled to Spain and France in the 1850s, where he was influenced by impressionist painting. In the 20th century, Ramón Frade became the island's most famous impressionist painter. Contemporary sculptors such as Lindsay Daen, John Balossi, and Rafael Ferrer have contributed to Puerto Rico's lively artistic life. A persistent theme in much of the island's literature is the quest for individual and national identity. Puerto Rican writers often focus on political and social topics. Prominent 19th-century writers include Salvador Brau and Eugenio María de Hostos. Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, who also wrote during the 19th century, is considered the father of Puerto Rican theater. One of the leading Puerto Rican playwrights is René Marqués, who achieved broad international recognition during the 1950s and 1960s. Poetry has played an important role in Puerto Rico's cultural and social history. In his poem El Puertorriqueño (1844), and his later book El Gíbaro (1849), Manuel A. Alonso helped define the Puerto Rican identity. José Gualberto Padilla, known as El Caribe, and Lola Rodríguez de Tío hold honored places in Puerto Rico's pantheon of poets. The most famous Puerto Rican poet of the early 20th century is Luis Palés Matos, known for exploring the island's African heritage. Raised in a largely English-speaking environment, a number of Puerto Rican poets on the mainland write poetry in English but place Spanish words tellingly along the way to reveal their deep concerns about identity. Pedro Juan Pietri and Jesús "Papoleto" Meléndez exemplify this trend. An excellent example of this poetry is Pietri's Puerto Rican Obituary (1974). The island's first novelist was Manuel Zeno Gandía, whose first novel was La Charca (1894). Puerto Rico's best-known 20th-century novelist is Enrique Laguerre, who published La Llamarada (1935) and many other important works. Several Puerto Rican novelists who migrated to the mainland have achieved literary recognition. Among them are Pedro Juan Soto and Emilio Díaz Varcárcel. Soto lived in New York City and taught English. He is known especially for Spiks (1956), a collection of short stories, and the novel Usmail (1959). Another novelist who has gained a wide audience is Piri Thomas, who is famous for Down These Mean Streets (1967). Rosario Ferré has become an influential and widely acclaimed novelist both in Puerto Rico and the mainland United States. Her novels The House on the Lagoon (1995) and Eccentric Neighborhoods (1998) were written in English. B Music and Dance In music, Puerto Rico has a long tradition of folk songs and romantic ballads based on African and Spanish rhythms such as décimas or coplas. Ballads are very popular in Puerto Rico, and the most famous composer of ballads was Rafael Hernández. His ballads, composed in the first part of the 20th century, continue to be widely sung in the United States and Latin America. Puerto Rican musicians on the island and on the mainland have contributed greatly to the creation of Latin jazz, and more recently to innovations in salsa, a genre of Latin music. Many Puerto Rican salsa musicians have experimented with a fusion of island rhythms and musical influences from the mainland, particularly from the New York City area. Among the most important of these musicians are Tito Puente and Willie Colón. Puerto Rico also has had a rich tradition of classical music. Among the most important classical composers is Hector Campos Parsi. Classical musicians include pianists Elías López Sobá and Jesús María Sanroma. Two families in particular, the Figueroas and the Hutchinsons, have contributed several outstanding classical musicians. The most famous of all Puerto Rican classical musicians, however, is cellist Pablo Casals, who left his homeland in Spain and settled in Puerto Rico in the 1950s. Casals, whose mother was born in Puerto Rico, became the director of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and the Conservatory of Music. The Casals Festival, an annual twoweek concert series named for him, began in 1957. It attracts artists from around the world. Opera, ballet, and popular concerts also take place throughout the year. The Fine Arts Center in San Juan is the island's main artistic venue. Puerto Ricans are also dedicated to dance. In the island's interior, the seis is the representative dance of the jíbaros (peasant farmers). It is usually danced by six couples, to the accompaniment of a guitar. The bomba is the predominant dance among Afro-Puerto Ricans in coastal regions. By some accounts, it came to Puerto Rico with slaves from Africa. Bomba is played with two drums and maracas, accompanied by vocals. The refined danza is popular with Puerto Ricans of all walks of life. C Government Support The government of Puerto Rico has vigorously supported the development of the arts. About the same time the government began Operation Bootstrap, it launched a program designed to enrich cultural values and expression. Known as Operation Serenity, it supported activities in all branches of the arts. The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture encourages the program and sponsors concert performances, art exhibitions, and literary activity. The Economic Development Administration (Fomento) makes possible the Casals Festival, as well as providing financial support for the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. The Puerto Rican Department of Education has provided employment and other opportunities for many artists and writers. The oldest cultural agency in Puerto Rico is the Ateneo Puertorriqueño, a private organization founded in 1876. It promotes the arts with prizes and exhibits and brings many kinds of musical and dramatic performances to the public. VII RECREATION AND PLACES OF INTEREST Puerto Rico's mild climate and sandy beaches make it a popular recreation area, especially for swimming, fishing, boating, tennis, and golf. Baseball, basketball, volleyball, and boxing are popular sports on the island. Horse racing and cockfighting also attract many spectators. Many famous international sports figures have come from Puerto Rico. In tennis, Gigi Fernández established herself during the 1980s and 1990s as one of the greatest doubles players in women's professional tennis history. In golf, Chi Chi Rodríguez continues to be one of the most popular players on the Professional Golfer's Association Seniors tour. But Puerto Rican baseball players have garnered the greatest success and international fame. Baseball became popular in Puerto Rico soon after the United States occupied the island in 1898. The Puerto Rican Winter League, which runs from November to January, attracts many prominent major league players from the mainland. Puerto Rico has sent many fine players to major league baseball teams in the United States, including Vic Power, who as a first baseman during the 1950s and 1960s won the American League Gold Glove Award seven years in a row. Other more recent Puerto Rican players include Bernie Williams, Juan Gonzalez, and Roberto Alomar. Perhaps the most famous Puerto Rican baseball player was Roberto Clemente, who had a triumphant career with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 to 1972. Playing right field, Clemente won four National League batting championships and twelve Gold Glove awards in a row. In 1973 Clemente became the first Latin American to be elected to baseball's Hall of Fame. Puerto Rico's Spanish heritage is preserved in many sites in San Juan, especially in the part of the city known as Old San Juan. Among these sites is the San Juan National Historic Site, which includes the fortresses of San Felipe del Morro (known simply as El Morro) and San Cristóbal. La Fortaleza was once a fortress and is now the governor's palace; its oldest section was completed in 1540. The area also contains many religious sites, including the San Juan Cathedral, built in the early 16th century, and the Old Dominican Convent, built between 1523 and 1528. VIII GOVERNMENT Under the provisions of its 1952 constitution, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth freely associated with the United States. The Puerto Rican government maintains control over local issues, but the island is required to comply with most federal legislation. Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States. They serve in the armed forces and are subject to nearly all federal laws. Citizens of Puerto Rico are exempt from federal income taxes; they do, however, pay commonwealth taxes. Islanders participate equally in most but not all federal entitlement programs. The U.S. government is responsible for the island's defense, foreign relations, and trade. However, the U.S. and Puerto Rican governments often cooperate on joint programs that benefit the island. Puerto Rican citizens 18 years of age and older may vote. A Executive Puerto Rico's chief executive is a governor, who is elected by the voters to a four-year term and may be reelected any number of times. With the consent of the legislature, the governor appoints the judges of the supreme and the subordinate courts, and the secretaries who head the executive departments of the government. These department heads form the governor's advisory council, or council of secretaries. The governor proposes the annual budget and legislative program to the legislature. The governor also commands the island's National Guard when it is not in federal service. The secretary of state succeeds the governor should the latter resign, die, or be removed from office. B Legislative The Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly is made up of two chambers, a Senate and a House of Representatives. All legislators are elected to four-year terms. Most members are elected in districts, but some are elected at-large in proportion to the popular vote of their political parties. This assures the representation of minority parties that receive a certain percentage of the vote. Because of this provision, the number of senators and representatives can vary. According to the commonwealth's constitution, however, the Senate must have at least 27 members and the House must have at least 51 members. The Legislative Assembly may override the governor's veto of legislation by a two-thirds vote in each house. C Judicial The judicial branch consists of a supreme court, superior and district courts, and, at the lowest level, justices of the peace. The governor appoints judges with the consent of the Senate. Puerto Rico's highest tribunal, the Supreme Court, includes a chief justice and six associate justices, who serve until the age of 70. Appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States are allowed from Puerto Rico's Supreme Court. The U.S. Federal District Court in San Juan serves as the federal trial court for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's laws are based on the Spanish, as well as on the American, legal system. Civil and commercial codes are fashioned after Spanish law, which is known as civil law. Civil law is a code of statutes passed by the government. Judges in the civil law system administer the code but do not interpret it. (Generally there are no juries in civil law trials.) Criminal, procedural, and public (including constitutional) law are fashioned after U.S. law, which is referred to as common law. Common law is based on custom and precedent, which means that decisions in court cases themselves become the basis for future interpretations of the law. Judges in the common law system interpret the law based on common usage, past social traditions, and precedents set by previous court decisions. D Local Government Puerto Rico has 78 municipios (Spanish for "municipalities"), similar to counties in the United States. A popularly elected mayor and municipal assembly govern each municipio. The mayor appoints a secretary-auditor and a treasurer. However, the commonwealth's Legislative Assembly and governor handle most local services. These services include police and fire protection, water supply, and the school system. E National Representation Because Puerto Rico is not a state, the voters do not participate in U.S. congressional or presidential elections. However, a nonvoting resident delegate represents Puerto Rico in the House of Representatives. The delegate is elected by Puerto Rican voters to a four-year term. F Political Parties The major political divisions in Puerto Rico reflect feelings about ties with the United States. The Popular Democratic Party (Partido Popular Democrático, PPD), which favors commonwealth status for the island, became the leading party after 1940. The PPD was responsible for the creation of Puerto Rico's commonwealth status and was the island's dominant party until the late 1960s. The party has traditionally drawn its support from the rural areas. From its beginnings, the PPD advocated land reform in favor of the island's peasantry. The party's motto was Pan, Tierra y Libertad (Spanish for "Bread, Land and Liberty"). As the island rapidly urbanized in the last half of the 20th century, much of the PPD's support eroded as the rural population declined. This shift explains the PPD's loss of influence in recent years. In the 1968 elections, the PPD lost to the New Progressive Party (Partido Nuevo Progresista, PNP), which advocates statehood for Puerto Rico. The PNP viewed statehood as a means of gaining a larger share of federal funds and social programs than the island receives as a commonwealth. The new party also sought statehood in order to undermine a small but vocal movement on the island that favored independence. Most of the PNP's support is found in the urban areas, particularly in San Juan and Ponce. Since 1968 control of Puerto Rico's government has alternated between the PPD and PNP. Despite differences over the island's political status, the two major parties advocate continuation of the same general economic and social programs, and both appeal to a broad cross-section of voters. The small Puerto Rican Independence Party (Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño, PIP) seeks immediate independence. It wants to create a socialist democratic republic, in which the government would play a major role in economic planning, the production of goods, and the distribution of wealth. Several other minor parties also support independence. IX HISTORY Archaeologists believe that the island of Puerto Rico was first settled in the 1st century AD. When the Spanish arrived in 1493, the island was inhabited by an agricultural people belonging to the Arawakan language family. The Spanish called them Taínos, but they were also known as Island Arawak. The Taínos called the island Boriquén (or Borinquén). They lived in settled villages, in small, thatch-roofed houses or huts known as bohios. Their main furniture was the hamanca (hammock). They molded clay into plates, jars, and other domestic items, decorating them with engraved or painted designs. Taíno agriculture was simple, but it produced a sufficient and balanced diet. The Taínos grew cassava, which they ground into flour for bread called casabe. Other crops included pineapples, sweet potatoes, and tobacco, which the Taínos smoked during religious ceremonies. In the rivers and the sea, they fished and gathered clams and snails. They also hunted rodents and iguanas. Taíno society centered around the village, whose chief was called cacique. Taíno society was matrilineal, meaning that family lineage was traced through the female line. The cacique was succeeded not by his son but by the eldest son of one of his sisters. There was a large degree of equality between men and women in Taino society. In many instances a cacica, or female chief, served as the head of a village. A European Conquest and Settlement Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer in the employment of Spain, landed on Puerto Rico in 1493 and claimed it for Spain. He named the island San Juan Bautista. However, Columbus quickly left the island and went to the adjacent island of Hispaniola. San Juan Bautista remained unsettled by Europeans until 1508, when Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León colonized it. He became the island's first Spanish governor in 1510. His primary responsibility was to defend the Spanish settlement on Hispaniola by protecting the Mona Passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico (as San Juan Bautista became known). The Mona Passage was the principal gateway to the Caribbean, and the main sea routes to the Spanish possessions in the Caribbean and Central and South America passed through its waters. When Spanish settlers arrived in 1508, about 30,000 Taínos lived on the island. However, the number of Taínos quickly decreased. They died because of lack of resistance to European diseases and mistreatment by the Spanish; they also fled to escape the colonists. In 1511 the Taínos, who had been forcibly put to work as laborers, revolted, but the Spanish quickly subdued them. Some Taínos were assimilated through intermarriage with Spaniards. By 1550 fewer than 100 Taínos of pure blood remained, but these, too, soon perished. In 1513 Spain authorized the importation of African slaves to Puerto Rico. B Spanish Rule In the early 16th century Spanish settlers focused on mining gold in Puerto Rico, but the sources quickly became exhausted. With a scarce population and a meager economy, Puerto Rico became little more than a military outpost, guarding trade routes and Spanish armies traveling to the American mainland. Ships carrying gold and silver from the Americas to Spain passed by Puerto Rico as well. For three centuries the Spanish governor, whose chief concern was the strategic military role of the island, governed the small population of Puerto Rico with strict authority. The wealthier settlements in New Spain (the Spanish colony in Mexico) paid an annual subsidy known as the situado, which supported Puerto Rico's administrative and military expenses. Many people in Puerto Rico supported themselves through farming. Most of Puerto Rico's farmers were landowners with small farms. They grew subsistence crops such as cassava, corn, vegetables, fruit, and rice. Whenever possible, they sold any surplus produce in town markets to Puerto Rico's military personnel, stationed especially in San Juan, and to ships that stopped at Puerto Rican ports. The island began to produce sugarcane in the early 16th century. None of this farming made the colony a rich one, and it continued to depend on the subsidy from New Spain. Nevertheless, a merchant class evolved to carry out the trade with the ships and between the towns. A wide variety of businesses sprang up. Merchants of many kinds--grocers, artisans, wholesale import-export merchants, and distributors--became important to the economy. By the end of the 18th century Puerto Rico supported several cities with populations of more than 5,000 inhabitants, including the capital, San Juan. For the first 250 years after European settlement, the Spanish authorities ran the Puerto Rican economy under a policy known as mercantilism. Under this system, the Spanish government permitted its colonists to trade only with Spain, prohibiting trade with other Spanish colonies and with foreign nations. This restrictive system favored Spanish merchants much more than it did Puerto Rican farmers and merchants. Spain purchased agricultural products from Puerto Rican farmers and merchants at low prices, but sold items imported from Spain to the colonists at high prices. Throughout this period, Puerto Rico had a thriving illegal trade with other Spanish and foreign colonies. The center for smuggling was the southern port of Ponce. Colonists, and often the governing authorities on the island, bypassed government restrictions to conduct this illegal trade. After 1765 Spain introduced new fiscal and administrative policies to make Puerto Rico a more profitable colony capable of supplying greater tax revenue to the Spanish treasury. The government encouraged immigration and redistributed unused land to individuals willing to cultivate the soil. It worked to improve the island's defenses and its infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. Spain also ended trade restrictions between Puerto Rico and other Spanish colonies. B1 Sugar and Slaves Puerto Rico's economy underwent a major transformation with the introduction of large sugar plantations. Puerto Rico began growing sugarcane on the island in the early 16th century, but it did not become a dominant crop until the 19th century. By mid-19th century, the island had more than tripled the amount of sugar it was exporting. Along with Cuba, Puerto Rico became one of the leading Spanish sugar colonies. There were several reasons why Puerto Rico's sugar industry grew at such a rapid pace. One was the Haitian Slave Revolt, in which slaves in the nearby French colony of Saint-Domingue (on the island of Hispaniola) rose in rebellion against their masters in 1791. This uprising inspired a political revolution that led to the formation of the independent nation of Haiti in 1804. At the time of the revolt, Saint-Domingue was the world's leading producer of sugar. By 1804 Saint-Domingue's sugar production had declined sharply as a result of the turmoil and economic instability resulting from the revolt. Without Saint-Domingue's sugar on the world market, sugar prices rose. In response, Puerto Rico began to produce more sugar. Furthermore, many of SaintDomingue's French sugar planters immigrated to Puerto Rico, mainly to the western region of Mayagüez, and they brought with them money and expertise. The Spanish government helped expand Puerto Rican sugar production in 1815 by passing the Cédula de Gracias, which relaxed trade restrictions with foreign nations. They also encouraged whites and free blacks and mulattos to immigrate to the island, bringing their slaves with them. Large-scale sugar production was heavily dependent upon slave labor, and Puerto Rico began to import more African slaves. Although slaves began to be imported in the 1500s, shortly after Spain authorized slavery, they remained a small part of the population for the next three centuries. In 1765 there were only about 5,000 slaves in the colony. By 1830, with a new emphasis on sugar cultivation, there were more than 30,000 slaves. Although the size of the slave population increased, Puerto Rico did not become a society whose central character was determined by sugar and slaves. In fact, between the mid-1800s and the abolition of slavery in 1873, the number of slaves actually decreased. Because farmers cultivated several other important crops in addition to sugar, Puerto Rico had a much more balanced economy than colonies with stronger sugar sectors. Coffee, which small landholders could grow, became an important crop during the 19th century. In addition, a large population of farmers without slaves continued to grow tobacco, fruits and vegetables, and other subsistence crops. The Puerto Rican slave population during the 19th century never amounted to more than roughly 10 percent of the island's population. In several geographical regions, however, like Ponce and Mayagüez, the proportion of slaves was much higher and the slave system was harsher. Conditions for slaves varied greatly according to where they worked and what they did. Throughout the Americas, slaves on sugar plantations in general suffered the most brutal labor conditions of all slaves. Slaves who lived in the larger cities, such as San Juan, and worked as artisans, water carriers, or street vendors, to mention only a few possibilities, generally did not labor under as extreme conditions. B2 Colonial Society Before the abolition of slavery in 1873, Puerto Rico was largely an agricultural society composed of a few large landowners and many small, peasant farmers. In the agricultural regions, society was traditional, life was slow-paced, and people had few opportunities for social mobility. Puerto Rico also had many towns and cities, however, where greater economic opportunity and social mobility existed. In the main cities, including San Juan, Ponce, and Mayagüez, there were import-export merchants, smaller wholesalers and distributors of goods, many small retail grocery stores, and a range of artisans' shops. Puerto Rican society was legally divided into castes. The upper caste was composed of whites, who enjoyed full legal rights. The middle caste was made up of the free people of color (gente de color), who possessed fewer legal rights than the whites. These free people of color, or coloreds, could be blacks or mulattos. The third caste was that of slaves, who were given very few legal rights. Puerto Rico never had a very large slave population, but it did have a large population of free people of color. Some of them were former slaves who had been emancipated by their masters or had purchased their freedom. Most free people of color were of mixed white and black heritage, the result of intermarriage or informal relations between the races. Free people of color were prohibited from becoming doctors or lawyers, or from becoming members of the civil and church bureaucracies. They were required to serve in the militia, but in segregated units. These sharp and demeaning restrictions limited the range of opportunity available to them. On the other hand, the law extended certain legal and economic rights to this large segment of the population. They could own property, houses, stores, and even slaves. They could also be members of all the craft guilds, some even becoming master craftspeople. Just as in many other places during the 18th and 19th centuries, a social class system began to evolve. At top were the white merchants and other white storekeepers and farmers with large farms. Storekeepers, some artisans, farmers of medium-sized farms, and professionals and civil servants formed a middle group. Most people belonged to the lower group, which included farmers of small farms and unskilled laborers. At the bottom of society were slaves. Social mobility was greater for whites than it was for free blacks and mulattos. B3 The Loyal Colony Puerto Rico remained loyal to Spain between 1810 and 1826, when most of the Spanish colonies in America achieved independence. There were many reasons why a strong independence movement did not develop on the island. First, many Spanish loyalists immigrated to Puerto Rico from nearby colonies, such as Venezuela, when the independence movements began. They often settled on the island, bringing with them families and enough wealth to begin new lives. Second, although Puerto Rico did not have a very large slave population, it was large enough to cause many whites on the island to be fearful that an independence war might trigger a slave uprising similar to the one that had occurred in Saint-Domingue. The planters from Saint-Domingue who settled in Puerto Rico contributed to this attitude. Finally, Puerto Rico was heavily garrisoned with Spanish troops who would have made a successful independence movement extremely unlikely. The island hosted many troops who were sent there to recuperate from military campaigns on the American mainland, as well as many naval ships that docked for repair and provisions. Yet there were some separatists who wanted the colony to strike out for independence. In 1812 the authorities uncovered a planned rebellion before it could be carried out, and they executed two rebel leaders. During the following years, several Puerto Rican creoles (Puerto Ricans of Spanish heritage) were suspected of planning uprisings against the Spanish government in Puerto Rico and were deported or imprisoned. By 1830 all Spanish American colonies were independent except Puerto Rico and Cuba. Spain rewarded its two loyal colonies by lifting economic restrictions. In 1815 Spain issued the Cédula de Gracias, a royal decree designed to improve the Puerto Rican economy. The decree reduced import taxes, known as tariffs, on items imported from Spain. This in turn increased imports of such items as agricultural equipment, which helped expand the sugar industry. Spain also permitted trade with friendly nations, which opened up trade between Puerto Rico and the United States. The decree also encouraged whites and free people of color to immigrate to the island. It granted free white immigrant heads of households about 2.5 hectares (about 6 acres) of land, with another roughly 1.2 hectares (about 3 acres) for each slave they brought with them. Free black and mulatto immigrants who were heads of households received about 1.2 hectares (about 3 acres). If they brought slaves with them, they were granted additional allotments equal to about 0.6 hectares (about 1.5 acres) for each slave. Spain was not as liberal towards Puerto Rico in the political sphere. During the period when many Spanish colonies became independent, the governor of Puerto Rico ruled with an iron hand and attempted to quash any liberal sentiment that called for greater self-government on the island. Spain's new constitution of 1837 deprived Puerto Rico of representation in the Spanish parliament, which had been granted under the constitution of 1812. The new constitution stated that Spain would govern Puerto Rico by Leyes Especiales (Special Laws), which, supposedly, would be more attentive to the colony's needs than traditional governmental means. However, Spain never implemented the Special Laws, and Puerto Rico remained under the near-absolute rule of the Spanish governor. Between 1837 and the 1860s there was very little political unrest in Puerto Rico because the Spanish government and military maintained strong control over the island. Dissidents organized a separatist movement in 1838, but the government discovered the movement, executing several participants and imprisoning others. Additionally, some slave rebellions took place during this period. The situation changed during the 1860s, when representatives from Puerto Rico were invited to Spain to help formulate new laws to better conditions in the colony. The Puerto Rican representatives supported laws to improve economic and political conditions and to abolish slavery. However, the representatives left Spain having only received vague promises that Spain might enact the laws. After having offered Puerto Ricans the possibility of change, the Spanish government had shattered the hopes of many Puerto Ricans. Growing numbers of people began to support autonomy (self-government in internal matters) or even independence. Their reasons were varied. Some were dedicated abolitionists (individuals committed to ending slavery). Others were more concerned with the need to liberalize the political or economic systems. In addition, many Puerto Ricans who were born on the island came to resent the privileges extended to new immigrants from Spain. These immigrants received preferential treatment in areas ranging from hiring for government positions to the availability of credit. Currents of unrest soon came together in Puerto Rico's most famous uprising, which occurred in the town of Lares in 1868. In the uprising, known as El Grito de Lares (the Cry of Lares), several hundred men declared the independence of Puerto Rico and established a provisional government. But the Spanish government easily suppressed the revolt in a matter of days. However, changes in the Spanish government soon had an impact on Puerto Rico. In September 1868 an insurrection in Spain deposed the Spanish queen Isabella II. A constitution establishing a constitutional monarchy was adopted in 1869, and a new king, Amadeo, accepted the throne in 1870. As the Spanish government became more liberal, the abolitionist movement in Puerto Rico found support in Spain. In 1870 the Spanish parliament passed the Moret Law, which ordered the emancipation of all government-owned slaves in Puerto Rico, as well as slaves over the age of 60 or under the age of 2. The government in Puerto Rico soon emancipated about 10,000 slaves. By this time, the issue for slave owners was not whether there would be complete abolition, but whether the government would provide compensation when abolition occurred. In 1873 Spain abolished all slavery in Puerto Rico. The remaining slaves, about 30,000, were set free, but they were required to serve a three-year apprenticeship to their former masters. The government paid compensation to the slave owners over a ten-year period. Former slaves became known as libertos (Spanish for "freed"). Spain also enacted political reforms, which had a profound effect on Puerto Rico. The colony was represented in the Spanish parliament for the first time since 1837, and the island's press had greater freedom to discuss important issues. In this more liberal atmosphere, Puerto Rico's first political parties were formed. The first was the Liberal Reformist Party (Partido Liberal Reformista), followed by the Liberal Conservative Party (Partido Liberal Conservador). The Liberal Reformist Party favored assimilation--that is, it wanted Puerto Rico to become a province of Spain rather than a colony. The Conservative Party wanted to maintain the island's colonial status. Dissent within the Liberal Reformist Party led to the creation of the Puerto Rican Autonomist Party (Partido Autonomista Puertorriqueño) in 1887. The Autonomists desired self-government for Puerto Rico in internal matters while maintaining Puerto Rico's close association with Spain. The first leader of the Autonomists was Román Baldorioty de Castro. When Baldorioty de Castro resigned due to poor health, Luis Muñoz Rivera, a liberal newspaper editor, emerged as the party's most influential member. The Autonomist Party decided to try to align itself with the Spanish Liberal Party, one of Spain's two mainstream parties, to achieve Puerto Rican selfgovernment. The proposed alliance caused great dissension within the party and led to a split in party ranks. From the split, Muñoz Rivera created the Liberal Fusionist Party (Partido Liberal Fusionista), and members of the party went to Madrid to discuss the terms of the island's self-government with the Spanish Liberals. International events contributed to the fulfillment of Puerto Rican self-government. In 1895 a major rebellion against Spanish rule erupted in Cuba that eventually led to the Spanish-American War (1898). As the rebellion spread, Spain made efforts to keep Puerto Rico loyal. In 1897, following the assassination of the Spanish prime minister, a new government came to power in Spain led by the Spanish Liberal Party. The new Spanish government lost no time in decreeing three fundamental reforms for Puerto Rico. It granted all Puerto Rican citizens full political and civil rights, extended the vote to all Puerto Rican male citizens who were 25 years of age or older, and gave Puerto Rico local self-government within the Spanish system. The Autonomic Charter, as the reforms were known, granted Puerto Rico a governor-general, a cabinet, and a bicameral legislature. At the same time, it maintained the island's representation in the Spanish parliament. The Spanish monarch appointed the governor-general, who could dissolve the legislature and suspend constitutional guarantees. Although the governor-general had extensive powers, the legislature had considerable influence in domestic affairs. The legislature consisted of an elected House of Representatives and an Administrative Council, of which 8 of its 15 members were elected. Elections took place under the new system, and the Puerto Rican legislature met for the first time in 1898. C The Spanish-American War Just as Puerto Rico gained its new government, however, the Spanish-American War broke out between Spain and the United States. Eight days after the legislature convened, American forces invaded Puerto Rico, and the short period of autonomy ended abruptly. During the Spanish-American War, U.S. troops landed at Guánica, on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. No serious fighting occurred on the island, and the war was over a few weeks later. Under the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the war, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States. The United States set up a military government for Puerto Rico, while the U.S. Congress was given authority for determining the future status of Puerto Rico. D United States Control In 1900 the U.S. Congress passed the Foraker Act, which established civil government in Puerto Rico but did not clearly define the colony's relationship with the United States. Under the Foraker Act, the people of Puerto Rico became subject to U.S. federal law. However, they did not become citizens of the United States, and they were exempted from paying federal income taxes. Under the new civil government, the president of the United States appointed the governor of Puerto Rico (all Americans until 1946); the governor's Executive Council, executive officers who served as the upper house of the legislature; and the justices of the island's Supreme Court. The lower house, the House of Delegates, was popularly elected. However, the governor or the U.S. Congress could veto any law passed by the legislature. An elected resident commissioner represented the island in the U.S. House of Representatives, but the commissioner could not vote on legislation. In addition, Puerto Rico was not permitted to arrange any commercial treaties. The Foraker Act deeply disappointed the many Puerto Ricans who desired either statehood or independence. For them, the situation would soon worsen. In 1901, in the so-called Insular Cases, the Supreme Court of the United States held that Puerto Rico and other territory acquired as a result of the Spanish-American War was "unincorporated territory" of the United States. This decision meant that Puerto Rico belonged to, but was not part of, the United States. Furthermore, the court held that the Constitution of the United States did not necessarily apply to Puerto Ricans. By the end of 1901, Puerto Ricans were even more disappointed over their status with the United States. D1 Efforts to Establish a Free Status Puerto Ricans began a long series of efforts to decide on and establish a dignified, free status for the island. By 1909 opposition to the Foraker Act was so intense that, as a protest, the Puerto Rican legislature refused to enact any legislation at all. By this time, many Puerto Ricans were talking about independence. After several years of debate about the island's status, in 1917 the U.S. Congress passed the Jones Act. This act granted Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship and allowed them to elect both of Puerto Rico's legislative chambers, replacing the appointed Executive Council with an elected Senate. However, the president still appointed the governor, executive officers, and Supreme Court judges. Furthermore, the U.S. Congress could annul any Puerto Rican legislation. After the United States gained control of the island, the economic situation also changed dramatically. Puerto Rico, which for years had conducted most of its trade with Spain and other European countries, now found itself cut off from its traditional trading partners. After 1900 sugar became Puerto Rico's main export crop. The U.S. government granted the island's sugar tax-free entrance into the U.S. market. United States investors jumped at the opportunity and invested heavily in Puerto Rican sugar estates. By 1930 the island's sugar production had risen by about 1,000 percent. Puerto Rican farmers exported almost all of their sugar to the United States, where it was refined and sold. Most of the profits from sugar sales went to sugar-refining companies in the United States. There was another fundamental problem with Puerto Rican sugar production after the United States took control of the island. Investors from the United States soon played a dominant role in the sugar industry, and large businesses squeezed out independent local farmers. Sugar companies bought up parcels of land and consolidated them into large estates. By 1930 U.S. companies owned or had rights to about 25 percent of all of the island's sugarcane land, and corporations controlled more than 45 percent of all of the land. Puerto Rico's small landowning farmers had little place in this era of modern, large-scale agriculture. D2 Growing Discontent In the late 1920s and 1930s, economic and natural disasters struck the island. San Felipe, a hurricane that hit the island in 1928, destroyed a quarter of a million homes, and another hurricane struck in 1932. During the worldwide depression of the 1930s, the situation worsened. Puerto Rico depended heavily on the sale of its exports, especially sugar, but world prices for these commodities dropped severely. The depression caused unemployment to mount. The situation was also made worse by the increase in the size of the island's population, which had expanded since 1900 as a result of improved health conditions and a rising birthrate. During the 1930s, much of the island's population suffered from severe economic deprivation. The establishment of various relief programs as part of the New Deal policies of U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt did little to alleviate suffering on the island. A movement to establish Puerto Rican independence erupted during this period, led by Pedro Albizu Campos and his small Nationalist Party. Albizu Campos, a fiery public speaker, was a graduate of Harvard Law School and had served in the U.S. Army. Unsuccessful at the polls in 1932, the Nationalists demanded independence at once, as a right to be taken violently if necessary. They marched in protest against the island legislature. Assassins killed the chief of police of San Juan in 1936, a murder that was attributed to members of the Nationalist Party. The worst violence occurred in Ponce in 1937, when police stopped a Nationalist Party parade. It is not clear who was responsible for the outbreak, but about 20 people were killed and 100 wounded. Albizu Campos was arrested and sentenced to prison terms on several occasions for advocating and planning violence against the U.S. government. In response to this agitation for independence, two bills were introduced in the U.S. Congress in 1936 and 1937 demanding independence for the island. Neither bill passed. Opponents argued that Puerto Rico's economic and social conditions had to be improved before its status could be settled. D3 The Statehood Question In 1938 Luis Muñoz Marín, son of autonomist leader Luis Muñoz Rivera, founded the Popular Democratic Party (Partido Popular Democrático, PPD). A highly intelligent individual and an excellent writer, Muñoz Marín had lived for many years on the mainland and was bilingual. He was also a gifted politician. In 1940 the PPD gained control of the Puerto Rican legislature by a small margin. The party pledged to improve conditions in Puerto Rico, leaving aside for a time the question of the island's status. With the support of the United States, the PPD greatly contributed to Puerto Rico's economic growth through the industrialization program known as Operation Bootstrap, which began in 1947. Even as the economy improved, however, Puerto Rico continued to focus on the crucial issue of its constitutional status. In 1946 local autonomy increased when U.S. president Harry Truman appointed the first native Puerto Rican governor, Jesús Piñero, a former resident commissioner. In 1949 Muñoz Marín became the first elected governor after the U.S. Congress amended a law to allow Puerto Ricans to elect their own governor. He was reelected in 1952, 1956, and 1960. Muñoz Marín and the PPD were determined to achieve a relationship with the United States that was more favorable to Puerto Rico, but it wanted to do this through peaceful means. Not all Puerto Ricans agreed, and in 1950, two nationalists attempted to assassinate President Truman in Washington, D.C. The PPD had pledged to seek authority for Puerto Ricans to write their own constitution, but it also sought to maintain existing economic relations with the United States. The U.S. Congress responded to the PPD's efforts by passing a law allowing the people of Puerto Rico to write their own constitution and establish their own government. A constitutional convention convened to prepare the document. In March 1952 Puerto Rican voters approved the constitution in a popular referendum, and on July 25, 1952, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was officially established. E Commonwealth Status The new constitution gave Puerto Ricans much greater control over their own affairs. It maintained an elected governor as chief executive, and an elected, two-house legislature. The governor would appoint officials in the executive and judicial branches (except the judges of the U.S. District Court). The governor and the legislature had authority over the commonwealth's education, health, and social welfare systems, while the U.S. government maintained control of the island's defense, trade agreements, postal system, and foreign relations. Furthermore, branches of the U.S. military kept a presence on the island at U.S. military installations. However, commonwealth status did not satisfy all Puerto Ricans; some still insisted on independence. In March 1954 four nationalists fired shots into the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives, wounding five members. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico achieved rapid economic and social improvements throughout the next decade. The island's unemployment rate declined (although it was still high by U.S. standards) while private investment to the island increased. In addition, Puerto Rico's gross national product (GNP, the total value of goods and services flowing through the economy) increased by an average of 5 percent a year between 1950 and 1960. This was a very impressive rate of economic growth, and the electorate apparently approved of the progress. In the elections of 1956 and 1960 the party responsible for commonwealth status--the PPD--won a majority of the votes. On July 25, 1962, the tenth anniversary of the commonwealth, Governor Muñoz Marín proposed a referendum to determine the future status of Puerto Rico. However, Muñoz Marín had come to the conclusion that for the PPD to be a vital political force in the future, it needed new leadership. Muñoz did not seek reelection as governor in 1964. The party's new candidate, Roberto Sánchez Vilella, became Puerto Rico's second elected governor. The referendum was held in 1967, with more than twothirds of the people approving commonwealth status. In the 1970s Puerto Rico's economic growth stopped under the impact of worldwide inflation and a recession in the U.S. economy. The GNP declined, and unemployment, high in the best of times, rose sharply. Largely because of these economic problems, the PPD candidate was defeated, and the candidate of the New Progressive Party (PNP), Carlos Romero Barceló, was elected governor in 1976. Romero, a firm advocate of statehood for Puerto Rico, chose to play down the statehood issue. After the 1980 elections, he retained his office by only a narrow margin while the PPD scored impressive victories in legislative and mayoral contests. Rafael Hernández Colón, the PPD candidate, overwhelmingly defeated Romero Barceló in 1984 and won reelection in 1988. Four years later the governorship and control of the legislature passed to the pro-statehood PNP led by Pedro Rosselló. Rosselló had promised during his campaign to reduce taxes for the middle class and small businesses and to hold a referendum regarding Puerto Rico's ties to the United States. The referendum, authorized by the U.S. Congress, was held in November 1993. Of the choices of commonwealth, statehood, or independence, Puerto Ricans voted--by a very narrow margin--to maintain their commonwealth relationship with the United States. The final tally was 49 percent for commonwealth, 46 for statehood, and 4 for independence. (About 1 percent of the votes were null.) The Puerto Rican economy suffered several setbacks in the mid-1990s. Hurricane Hortense swept through the island in the fall of 1996, killing at least 20 people and causing extensive damage to homes, businesses, and crops. In 1996 the U.S. Congress, facing budgetary problems at home, voted to end tax breaks for American companies that established businesses or invested profits in Puerto Rico, and to phase out over a ten-year period incentives for companies already established in Puerto Rico. Rosselló remained a popular governor and was reelected for a second term in 1996. In December 1998 voters took part in another referendum to decide the island's future status. Although Governor Rosselló and the PNP urged voters to support statehood for Puerto Rico, about 53 percent of voters rejected statehood. In April 1999 a U.S. Marine jet pilot accidentally killed a Puerto Rican civilian during a practice bombing run at the naval bombing range on the island of Vieques. This incident aroused widespread opposition to the U.S. military presence on Vieques, and more than 85,000 people marched in San Juan to protest the resumption of any military exercises on the island. In November 2000 Sila M. Calderón of the PPD was elected governor of Puerto Rico. Calderón, the first female governor of the commonwealth, pledged to work to halt the U.S. Navy's exercises on Vieques and to remove the Navy presence from that area. In June 2001 U.S. president George W. Bush announced that the Navy would end military exercises on Vieques by May 2003. The land formerly controlled by the Navy became a nature preserve, making up nearly two-thirds of the island. Calderón surprised voters by announcing in 2003 that she would not seek reelection in 2004. Aníbal S. Acevedo Vilá, who had been Puerto Rico's nonvoting representative in the U.S. Congress, won the 2004 gubernatorial contest as the candidate of the PPD. In March 2008 Acevedo faced a 19-count federal indictment on charges of violating election financing and campaign laws. The indictment alleged that Acevedo illegally used campaign funds for personal expenses and received large donations from business executives in amounts that violated campaign financing laws The business executives allegedly received government contracts in exchange for their contributions. Acevedo denied the charges, which he claimed were politically motivated. Contributed By: Jay Kinsbruner Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.