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"The Changing of the Guard: Puerto Rico in 1898" Topic


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Tango0106 Jun 2019 9:41 p.m. PST

"Of all Spanish colonial possessions in the Americas, Puerto Rico is the only territory that never gained its independence. Internal and geopolitical dynamics during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, nevertheless, brought dramatic political, social, and economic changes to the island, setting the stage for the development of its national institutions and the transformation of its political system as a United States territory during the twentieth century.

After four centuries of Spanish colonial rule, the period between 1860 and 1898 witnessed a pro-independence rebellion, colonial reform, the establishment of the first national political parties, the abolition of slavery, and a short-lived experiment in autonomy under Spanish rule. The political and military strategies of a decaying Spain and the emerging regional power of the United States at the end of the nineteenth century, however, placed Puerto Rico, along with Cuba, at center stage in the Caribbean. The dynamics of this power imbalance culminated in the formal transfer of the island to the United States in 1898 at the end of the Spanish-American War…."
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