Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico
Mónica Ramos
Alexander Vélez
Kyle Ishman
Madison Weitekamp
Aaron Durka
History Before European Contact
Chain of islands located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean
Known to have been inhabited by Native Americans as early as 300 B.C
First settlers were the Ortoiroid people regarded by historians as the first human settlers of
the caribbean.
Eventually a group of people known as the Tainos inhabited P.R, and became the dominate
culture of the island from the eleventh to fifteenth century.
Taino people lived in small villages and survived off of hunting, fishing, and gathering of
indigenous fruits and crops.
During the time the Tainos inhabited Puerto Rico, they called it Boriken which translates to
“Land of the great lords”
When Christopher Columbus discovered the Island on his second voyage, there were about
50,000 Taino people living there.
History After European Contact
1508-1898, Spanish colony providing Spain with cattle, sugar-cane, tobacco, and gold.
1898, Spanish-American War.
The war resulted in “Treaty of Paris” which gave the U.S indefinite control over P.R
1900, Foraker Act established. Apointed governor and formally recognized P.R citizenship
1914-1918, World War I. In 1917, Jones Act amends the Foraker Act and it made P.R an
unincorporated by organized territory of the U.S
1947, Puerto Ricans allowed to elect their Governor
1950, Law 600 is passed granting Puerto Ricans to draw their own Constitution based on U.S
Federal Constitution October 1950, Nationalist Insurrection in Jayuya, Utuado, San Juan and
other cities. U.S re-declares martial law and suppresses insurrection with infantry, artillery,
and dropping bombs.
1952, Revised Constitution passed entering the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico (Estado Libre Asociado)
1954, Three men lead by women nationalist, Lolita Lebron, fired shots at
U.S Capitol in protest for Puerto Rican status.
1980’s, Macheteros Insurrection. Its leader, Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, killed
by FBI in 2005.
2012, Last Referendum
US territory for 100+ years
Jones Act 1917
4 referendums later…
○ Voting rights
○ Cabotage laws
● How are puerto ricans “American”?
○ citizenship
○ Army
○ US Postal Services
● Must obey American Laws
● Do not have voting representation in U.S.
● Merchant Marine
Would save Puerto Rican’s $150 Million
● Do not vote for president
● Covered Under Obamacare
The Movement for Statehood
● This is the 5th referendum for statehood
● The first referendum for statehood was in 1951 and
resulted in Puerto Rico becoming a Commonwealth in
● The last referendum failed to find a majority for
statehood in November 2012
The Last Referendum
● The vote was cast in a two-part system:
○ Voters asked yes or no to current status
○ If answered no, there are three options:
■ Statehood
■ Independence
■ Enhanced Commonwealth
Latest on Puerto Rican Status...
The Obama administration has expressed support for
Puerto Rican statehood, if chosen by Puerto Ricans.
● In January 2014, Obama approved $2.5 million federal
funds to be sent to Puerto Rico in support of yet
another referendum to determine Puerto Rico’s
political status.