Asynchronous Assignment on I’m Boricua, Just So You Know!

Yo soy Boricua Pa’ Que Tu Lo Sepas! I’m Boricua, Just So You Know! (Rosie Pérez, 2006)

Rosie Perez is a Nuyorican actress, community activist, talk show host, author, dancer, and choreographer.

What is the context in which the documentary was written and produced?

Using the Puerto Rican Day Parade as a backdrop and questions about the roots of Puerto Rican pride, Nuyorican artist, Rosie Perez, her sister, and cousin embark on personal research about the history of Puerto Rico and its colonial dependency with the United States. The processes of Puerto Rican migration and community building in the U.S. are also discussed in the film.

What is the documentary’s central argument?

Rosie Pérez and her family, argue that to understand Puerto Rican migration to the United States, one has to discuss the history of imperialism and colonialism in the island and comprehend how the United States has benefitted from Puerto Rican land, resources, and people.

Pérez also argues that Puerto Rican pride comes from ongoing cultural and political resistance both on the archipelago and in the diaspora.

 

ASYNCHRONOUS ASSIGNMENT 

Instructions

In the comment section down below, write a 225-word response based on ONE of the following prompts (due on 2/8 before class):

OPTION ONE

What are some specific effects of Spanish and US colonialism in Puerto Rico? Expand on at least one case presented in the documentary.

OPTION TWO

Beyond the parade, how Puerto Ricans defend their cultural legacy and community in the US? Expand on at least one example presented in the documentary.

OPTION THREE

Making references to the history and ideas presented in the documentary write a poem in which you identify the struggles of being a colony but also the cultural vibrancy of Puerto Ricans.

21 thoughts on “Asynchronous Assignment on I’m Boricua, Just So You Know!”

  1. Option 2

    Public displays of Puerto Rican pride within many Nuyorican communities have become threatened by the consuming spread of gentrification. In the film “Yo Soy Boricua, Pa’que tu lo sepas!”, we saw evidence of booming Puerto Rican culture by way of the “casitas” designed to resemble the communities on the island. These little houses were built within small unoccupied and underdeveloped pieces of land usually wedged between two tenement buildings. Walking in one of the casitas one could find folk art culture, agriculture, and music as a small taste of the rich culture from the island. In El Barrio NYC, on 103rd and Park avenue, there was a casita whose rooster would wake up the neighborhood at dawn. The older neighborhood natives would gather there to play dominos and drink because a liquor store was one door down. The casita has since been torn down and transformed into a church, the liquor store is still next door. Another casita across the street was bought out by Disney and turned into a playground and community garden that is often kept locked preventing children and neighbor’s access. Another casita on 104th between Park and Lexington was also torn down and replaced by a massive residential/commercial building that resembles a jail wedged right between the small tenement buildings that remain and the housing projects right across the street. Also, there was a famous botanica on 104th and Lexington that has appeared in many music videos and in the Hector Lavoe movie “El Cantante”. Many would go in there for spices, candles, incense, and other culturally spiritual items of the Puerto Rican culture. Yet, that too was demolished and replaced by a 7-11. Gentrification is taking over El Barrio causing an increase in cultural erasure as the years progress. The film “Yo Soy Boriqua…” mentioned the legacy of the Young Lords. This group of Puerto Rican revolutionist bravely stood up for the rights of Puerto Rican people neglected within the poverty-stricken communities they were limited to. This was an example of affirmative action and the beginnings of Puerto Rican political activism within the United States. El Barrio needs community organization and unification to preserve the cultural richness brought in by the many ancestors who migrated there in the past and made it their own.

  2. Option 2

    Throughout history Puerto Rican have been affected by colonialism. However, Puerto Rican kept their orgullo what is known as our pride and defended their country, their legacy, and the community that has been built. In the documentary “Yo Soy Boricua Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas!” emphasizes the history of Puerto Rico and the struggles they have encountered but mentions how they never stood down. In history, Puerto Rico didn’t independence and still doesn’t. Taxes are being paid but if you are a resident in Puerto Rico you aren’t allowed to vote for president. They show that Puerto Rico was a testing place. Women were testing out birth controls without it being approved by the FDA and there were incidents where they felt like they were going to pass out. The population was being controlled that women were getting sterilized and it seemed as if that was the only options for women. As history continues and the more suffrage that happened, that didn’t stop them. As a Puerto Rican we have created our own lingo where we speak English and Spanish and made it our own. As stated in the video we don’t speak Spanish we speak Puerto Rican meaning that we have our own language. Most people learned Spanish as their first language and learned English later on and at some point, we began to speak both English and Spanish at the same time known as Spanglish. Dances were created just to pass time down and as it passes down years after years we are now all getting together even if one another don’t know each other. We had great leaders like Pedro Albizu Campos who spent his life fighting for the right of Puerto Rico and the people. There was the Puerto Rican national anthem that was called “La Borinqueña” and it was written for Puerto Rican independence against Spain. Now after all the history that Puerto Rico has and the battles they have faced, they fought back. They had great leaders, used music, dances, parades, buildings, and so much more to get not let the legacy die and fight for the community.

  3. Option 1:

    Spanish and U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico affected Puerto Rican culture and life in several ways. The documentary “Yo Soy Boricua Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas” goes into great detail about these effects. The natives who originally inhabited Puerto Rico were raped and subjected to slavery, essentially being forced into mining gold and other precious resources by the Spanish. As a result, the natives fought back despite being outmatched by the Spanish’s superior weaponry, and suffered heavy casualties as a result. Spanish became the official language with catholicism being forced on the natives. This can be argued to have strengthened the Puerto Rican pride that is very prevalent today, with many choosing to display their flags as a symbol of solidarity. They also choose to retain their culture, something that many people lose once they relocate to the United States, as they adopt an attachment to their homeland.
    However, United States colonialism impacted Puerto Rico negatively, as they were essentially tricked into believing that the United States would grant them independence, as they were occupied by Spain for centuries. After the United States annexed Puerto Rico, they began to make significant changes. They gained more rights, becoming a commonwealth under the United States. This means that they became citizens of the United States, but living there meant that they had to pay taxes to the government, but would lose rights such as voting for president. There were other drawbacks, such as being forced off of farmland, poverty increase, and overpopulation of major cities. As a result, roughly half of Puerto Rico is in poverty. These changes had been because the United States began to occupy more land, which was another effect of colonialism.

  4. Option 2:
    The documentary Yo Soy Boricua Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas provides many examples on how Puerto Ricans defend their cultural legacy and community in the US. Puerto Ricans are known for being extremely prideful of their culture and where they come from, no matter where they are or who is around them. In the US, Puerto Ricans have created communities of their own, where you can find our flag displayed through home and shop windows. Our music flows through the streets, bodegas, markets, and community centers. The documentary shares that throughout neighborhoods in New York, you can find what are known as casitas, which are smaller houses that carry Puerto Rican culture and community within them. In 1975, Jose Chema Soto decided to preserve a piece of abandoned land in the Bronx and create a small oasis for Puerto Ricans to visit and feel at home once again. Since then, there are now hundreds of casitas that keep our culture alive within the busy city of New York, and allow for older generations to pass down their knowledge and legacies to younger generations. In addition to this, we have defended our voices through groups such as the Young Lords, made up of young Puerto Rican activists who helped establish Puerto Rican identity in the US. They fought against injustices within our communities and demanded to be seen and respected. The Young Lords fought for our communities to be kept clean, given proper health care, and have safe spaces for those in need. Their efforts are seen through various programs and initiatives throughout the city today, and played a large part in Puerto Ricans having a political voice today.

  5. Option 2
    Puerto Ricans defend their cultural legacy and community in the US in multiple ways. Yes, they do parades and have so much pride in their beautiful flag, but Puerto Ricans are known to hold onto their culture. For example, when they go to school, they speak English. Then when they go home, they speak Puerto Rican. They then formed sort of English/ Puerto Rican language called Spanglish. Not only that, just like how there are China Town and Little Italy in certain places in New York, Bushwick is known to have a huge population of Puerto Ricans. There, the culture is once again kept alive by Puerto Ricans opening shops such bodegas and markets that represent their culture such as food and music. Not forgetting “Casitas”, which were small houses hidden in vacant areas around New York. In the middle of South Bronx, “La Cansita de Chema” was created by Jose Chema. He basically rescued a “junk” abandon land and begin preserving it for fellow Puerto Ricans. Music was being played. Farm animals such as roosters and rabbits, were roaming around. For New Yorkians, it was like a mini-Puerto Rico. They came together and sang. They would play drums, bomba and plena. People of all ages were able join and hangout. This continued and was pass down to the younger ones as years further.

  6. Option one
    Spanish and US colonialism greatly affected Puerto Ricans and their country in many ways. Rosie Perez’s sister explained how Puerto Ricans lost a feel of identity due to the US. Many Americans considered them foreign and exotic while some Puerto Ricans did not consider them Puerto Rican enough. Puerto Rico was mostly viewed as a commonwealth and not a state. Because of this they were left with very little aid and resources from the states. Many saw Puerto Ricans as savages and immigrants and because of this, Puerto Ricans did not have the opportunities as many others did.
    The US also took advantage of Puerto Rico. A lot of land was acquired by the states in order for the growth of sugar. They took away the properties of many farmers and people. With this came extreme levels of poverty. Almost 50% of the territory was in poverty, and this was only 20 years after the US came in. The US had also used a lot of Puerto Rican land as test cases for bombs and had many military bases there. Puerto Ricans at that time were able to serve in the army and fight and die for the US but were not allowed to have a vote in the presidency elections. With all the limited rights that they had, many of them decided to start a movement and wanted to make a change. Puerto Ricans began to hate their land and were forced to learn English in order to have a voice. Many Puerto Ricans also died within this movement. Such important activist leaders such as Pedro Albizu Campos fought for the basic human and civil rights for Puerto Ricans. With the fight for their rights came the Puerto Rican flag. Although many Puerto Ricans went through racism, poverty and much more life-threatening obstacles, they developed a more united and prideful relationship with each other.

  7. Oh Preciosa! Oh Preciosa!
    Who would have thought that you are still alive?
    They came to your shores without an invitation.
    They raped your women and killed your men.
    They thought they would rise but your children fought back.
    Your children did not win the fight but at least they tried,
    You saw them fighting with all their hearts.
    Oh Preciosa! Your children fell into the trap.
    It is not their fault, for you taught them to be humble and polite.
    Time passed and the three of them became one.
    Oh Preciosa! What happened the second time?
    Didn’t your children learn their lesson the first time?
    You saw the Gringos that came from the North, they also came through your shores.
    They came to fight the invaders and promised your children the sky,
    But they kidnapped you and sent many of your children to their land.
    They took almost everything away from you, and your children have ná.
    I am so far away but I still see that you are fine.
    They took the material things but not your shine.
    We promise you that we will keep alive what you taught us and who we are.
    Many of your children pray to our God because we want you back.
    By the way, the Gringos think we are lost in their land,
    But they do not know that we are going to fight.
    Oh, mother of mine, why don’t you fight back?
    Then I remember that you are the Island of The Lamb.
    Never forget that we love you and miss you,
    And please tell my brothers and sisters that I sent my love and blessings from the Gringo’s land.

  8. Spanish and US colonialism in Puerto Rico had major effects on the population and development of culture on the island. Early colonist and tyrant Christopher Columbus led a genocide against the native Tainos and killed 90% of the population, enslaved the remaining men, and raped the remaining women (genetically wiping out a lot of native descent). During the American imperialist takeover, Puerto Rico became a huge sugar plantation and military base for the US military which consisted of corporate takeover and outright poverty within people living on the island. Thousands of farms and rich land was destroyed. Most men joined the military and took them away from their families for trips at 6-8 months at a time. Furthermore, the US government developed authoritarian control over the island through forced legislation and political/economic oppression. Operation Bootstrap was a mass exportation of people living on the island to the US, where half a million Puerto Ricans left for NY. During mass protests on the island in the 1930s, the military and police engaged in mass bombings, massacre of the protestors and military takeover of the island. A legislative act 136 of 1937 required the sterilization of women throughout the island to prevent the growth of the population. (majority of the women were led into hospitals, and given this procedure without being informed of its effects). Despite the outright desecration of the population of Puerto Rico over hundreds of years, us Puerto Ricans have been able to maintain our heritage and culture. Pedro Albizu Campos led a huge independence movement on the island and fought hard for Puerto Rican rights during the 1930s, and helped the people of Puerto Rico built a rigid and extensive pride in their culture. The oppressive US political officials restricted the use of a famous protest chant and even the use or presence of the Puerto Rican flag. Moreover, in the midst of this political upheaval, a protest chant that was suppressed among the protestors became the national anthem of the island, “La Borinquena”. Following the mass exportation of Puerto Ricans into New York, in the 1970’s the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican civil and human rights organization hand in hand with the Black Panthers, was founded and made its mark in the states. The annual Puerto Rican day parade was created, healthcare and food was administered to poor Puerto Rican communities, educational opportunities were provided, and so on. We brought our culture with us into the states, and held onto it through bodegas, music, dance(s), and small businesses/safe spaces for other Puerto Ricans here (for example, La Cansita de Chema in the Bronx). In conclusion, Puerto Ricans have faced a huge erasure of their culture at the hands of their colonizers, but this only refined a strong, resilient group of people who uphold these cultural roots at all costs.

  9. Option 2

    Besides the Puerto Rican Day Parade, Puerto Rican’s in the US today continue to expand on their cultural legacy through parties and more specifically, block parties. Although less common now because of Covid, Puerto Rican’s are and have always been known for block parties. Block parties are known to the everyday New Yorker as a rather minority based event where people from the neighborhood or beyond are both invited and uninvited but nonetheless, still welcomed, and join in partying for no specific reason other than to have a good time.
    I would think that dancing in itself is a form of human celebration that could be present throughout any culture but we see something in Puerto Rican culture that dates back to its Taino influence of a sense of celebration in the community. This is to say that they go beyond just familial bonds but similar to the expressed nature of the Tainos, they are warm and welcoming to whomever.

    It was interesting to hear the documentary mention that this similar idea of a block parties was developed and practiced by Taino culture. They too would gather and celebrate in dance for no reason other than to past time. This ancient group of people have somehow managed to maintain modern day influence over the very same practices that we today see in US neighborhoods. Their influence has gone beyond borders and affected not just people of their own descendants but intrigued others who would have otherwise never known of Puerto Rican’s or the Taino people.

    1. The native Tainos indeed had many types of communal gatherings and created a society that enforced the well-being of the whole tribe and their environment. Dancing was full of purpose and it took place in religious ceremonies during agricultural landmarks.

      Although block parties seem more laic, they are also summer festivities, meaning that people are celebrating good weather and the possibility of being together after common long winters in NYC.

  10. The effects of colonialism in Puerto Rico were great. The documentary goes into details on both Spanish and American colonization. When the Spaniards colonized the islands, they abused the native Tainos in many ways. They were enslaved into laboring on behalf of the Spaniards for natural resources and were inevitably killed when they revolted. The native language was removed and replaced with Spanish, and native populations were forced to convert to Christianity. Because of this, many Puerto Ricans are Christian, and the native language as well as many of its traditions are no longer prevalent on the island.

    The United States also used the islands for its natural resources such as sugar. Many people’s lands that they lived off of were taken away, leaving farmers in poverty. The US also used Puerto Rican land such as Culebra as test sights for military weapons and military bases. Puerto Ricans are able to be drafted to fight under the US flag, but aren’t allowed to vote in federal elections. Additionally, Puerto Ricans are often forced to learn and speak English, further changing the culture of the people who live there.

  11. Option 2

    In New York City, Puerto Rican culture is present among the 5 boroughs. Puerto Rican culture has had an Influence on food and restaurants, clothing, music, and popular culture. The memory of the island and its heritage still influences Puerto Ricans in the city, oases called casitas were built to resemble Puerto Rican homes back on the island. You can find these throughout the city especially in the Bronx where the largest population of Puerto Ricans reside. Within these casitas, community gardens and cultural gatherings are held. The one highlighted in the film, “Yo Soy Boricua Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas!” was founded by Jose Manuel Chema Soto originally built on a vacant lot in the Bronx where Garbage was thrown and not maintained by the city. In order to maintain its cultural roots and ties to their motherland, a political fight had to be won to bring awareness to the voices of not only the Puerto Rican people but also all the Latinos that were in the city. The Young Lords fought to maintain basic human needs for their people and in result sprouted community centers, breakfast programs and daycare centers that helped teach and maintain the youth. As mentioned in the film, there were very few Puerto Rican political leaders at the time and even going into the 2000’s, with mainly actors, actresses, and musicians taking the spotlight. The Puerto Rican people will do whatever it takes to preserve their cultural heritage within New York City, whether it be from the annual Puerto Rican day parade all the way down to the cultural casitas scattered throughout the 5 boroughs.

  12. I chose the second question option to answer.

    Puerto Ricans in mainland United States have continuously defended their place in society, even before 1917. The parade that began in 1958 was a revolutionary way of being present and proud in their ethnicity and to pay tribute to their ties back on the island, regardless of where they were born. However, the pride and defense of culture does not stop there. The pride alone in being Puerto Rican and displaying flags to represent their pride and home really within itself is the scream of pride in their culture and community. The documentary named the Young Lords, where the leader, Jose Cha Cha Jimenez, was influenced by the Black Panthers to stand up for Puerto Ricans, not only in Chicago, but in the United States in general. This alone was saying, we are here as well and we need to be seen, a defense for their community. In addition, bringing culture, such as music, food and other aspects, also is a fight for the community and for presence in the U.S. To be on the diaspora in mainland U.S. from Puerto Rico and have to navigate through assimilation and mainland specific norms, it is difficult to find a sense of belonging or self, as it is for many non-mainland migrants, even those in which are commonwealths of the U.S. The Puerto Rican community has defended their culture and community in the United States by standing proud in their island roots, managing code-switching and creating their community here in different cities all around the U.S.

  13. Option one

    Spanish, as used by Puerto Ricans, connects one who may be in the US to the archipelago. The language although once forced upon the indigenous people of Puerto Rico is then transformed by the people, creating what seems like a language unique to them. As for Puerto Ricans in New York, like Rosie Perez, the demand maintain their native language changes; being in America they are told and forced to learn english in schools but at home need spanish to communicate with their parents. What happens is a disconnect to ones culture and family, when one cannot communicate then stories are lost and misinformation occurs. Rosie and her cousins did not understand the extent to which there was a Puerto Rican presence in America, which is a result of their not being a space to properly communicate this. When she visits the island or when she tries to communicate in spanish she even says that she would be made fun of for not having an accent. However, how can one have an accent when they were never properly taught that language? What comes out of that “improper” speak is spanglish, unique to them so they become able to communicate in a way that keeps them connected to their home, families, and own communities. It goes against the need to assimilate and provides comfort in ones native language, it establishes a dominate present when you can then use that language to claim your space. This is done and seen in places like East Harlem where spanish and english signs can be seen on every other block. Not only creating a connection for the Nuyoricans but the Puerto Ricans back home as well, where they transform a language to create a disconnection from those who previously colonized them. The need to fight for self identity and create a voice even when being oppressed transcends being home to being in America. Spanish is used as a symbol to show rebellion through connection, Puerto Ricans have not let themselves be quiet but continue to speak out to gain respect they deserve.

  14. Spanish colonization had a major impact on Puerto Rico. Before Spaniards came to the island, Taino Indians were living there peacefully with their own government and ways of life. The colonizers came in raped the women and killed the men. They flipped the islands language to Spanish and presented Catholicism as a major religion. This had an extremely long lasting effect on Puerto Ricans. To this day the main language spoken in Puerto Rico is Spanish and Catholicism is practiced heavily amongst Puerto Ricans.
    When it comes to the US, they completely took advantage of the poverty that Puerto Ricans lived in. They offered them spots in the military but did not let them vote. They had them move to America for opportunities, but we saw them end up in ghettos working in factories barely making it. The USA exploited Puerto Ricans for labor and war and gave them nothing in return.

  15. Option 2

    It is not hard to see how prevalent Puerto Rican culture is in New York City. I can see it in my own day-to-day life, between the Puerto Rican flags either hung from someone’s car or someones home, or even as simple as Puerto Rican slang typical to Nuyoricans such as Rosie Perez herself. It is not hard to distinguish a Puerto Rican from another kind of hispanic person in NYC, even though we all come in such a wide range of shades from the fairest skin tones to the deepest skin tones. Most of these typical Nuyorican slang terms, can be seen as effects of colonization and the moving to the states. Most Puerto Ricans, even including myself, speak what can be called “Spanglish” instead of proper Spanish. This is because when the spaniards colonized the island, the native language was taken with it, and changed to Spanish. Then since Puerto Rican’s were among the first latin speaking islands to move to the states, where English is what is primary spoken, “Spanglish” became a common way of communicating, otherwise known as the mixing of Spanish words with English words. Another more concrete example of how Puerto Rican’s wanted to bring the culture to the states, and continue to honor that culture is through the “casitas” which are small houses in areas that are vacant, built to resemble homes from back on the island. It is clear to see that puertorriqueños have managed to upkeep their culture, in order to respect and honor where they came from, and continue to be one of the proudest cultures to be seen in NYC.

  16. OPTION 2
    Puerto Ricans are known by others to be some of the proudest when it comes to expressing their culture. Yes, of course there is the famous Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City, but Puerto Ricans show their pride 365 (366 if it’s a Leap Year) days a year. Whether it be by rooting for one of your Puerto Rican brothers or sisters, holding a strong sense of community that’s entwined with rich Puerto Rican culture, or displaying the Puerto Rican flag on your house… your car… your clothes… your potted plants… your social media pages etc. etc. While this may leave some saying, “We get it, your Puerto Rican.”, the truth is they probably don’t get it. The pride that Puerto Ricans feel for their culture is far beyond just the warmness you get for simply being part of a group where you feel you belong. There is a deep history of overcoming and a feeling of power that comes with knowing that those who came before you did everything they could so that you could do what you do right now. In this country, Puerto Rican men and women were not only trailblazers for future generations of Puerto Ricans, but for all the Latin communities that have come to the United States, they walked so the rest could run. As Puerto Ricans and Nuyoricans it’s as if we can feel all of this, not only within our community, but within ourselves, and it makes the love we have for our culture so much deeper and an even greater influence in our lives. So, when you see a house whose windows are plastered with little Puerto Rican flags it’s because the people that live there are so happy and so proud to be what they are. It’s our way of shouting from the rooftops that Puerto Ricans are amazing. When you see a Puerto Rican Flag it’s a reminder of our history and the power that our history holds and it makes us smile.

  17. Option 1

    The effects of Spanish and US colonialism have had a large impact on Puerto Rico. It all started when the Spanish first encountered the Taínos, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico. The Taínos brace them with open arms, until the Spaniards start taking advantage of them. They enslaved and raped the Taínos, forcing them to fight back. In the end the Spaniards killed them all, changing the lands name to Puerto Rico, “rich port”, changing the religion to Catholic and the national language to Spanish.

    Then comes the conquest of US using Puerto Rico for their benefits only. The US promised democracy and freedom to the people of Puerto Rico, but in the end using them for labor and soldiers. The US turned Puerto Rico into one big military base and sugar plantation. If the people of Puerto Rico weren’t working in the sugar plantations, they would be troops fighting with the US. They would fight for the president but weren’t allowed to vote for him. Now fifty percent of the population in Puerto Rico is living in poverty. Whether growing up in Puerto Rico or the US Puerto Ricans have been exploited by the US. This is all due to colonialism and how larger countries come in and take the peoples freedoms away for the mother countries benefit.

  18. From Nick ReisGerzog
    Spanish and U.S. colonialism has had a very strong impact on both Puerto Rican History, and the Puerto Rican reality of today. The documentary “Yo Soy Boricua Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas” delves into both the historical hardships Puerto Ricans faced at the hands of imperialist oppressors, as well as the lasting impacts of that treatment today. The indigenous people of Puerto Rico were subjugated to slave-like treatment, and the nation was robbed of its precious natural resources. In response to this oppression, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico began to stand up against the Spanish imperialists with Violence, which eventually led to a firmer grip of power by the Spaniards. Many historians argue that this original resistance against Spanish rule and Spanish rulings, such as the reliance on Catholicism, led Puerto Rican’s to foster a culture fond of banding together to stand for freedom in the face of oppression.

    This attitude is so strong and commonplace within Puerto Rican communities due to the fact that it has occurred again and again. After centuries of being subjugated to the unfair rule of the Spanish crown, Puerto Ricans were excited to believe the United States would lead them on a path to independence. Instead, they now believe that their conditions and treatment have more of a semblance to the days of harsh treatment under the Spanish crown than with true independence and freedom. Many feel “duped” by the United States government, further widening the divide between Native Puerto Ricans and those that venture to the United States and other nearby nations.

  19. Effects of Spain and U.S. Colonialism in Puerto Rico
    Spain and U.S. were the significant colonial power that influenced Puerto Rico’s political history. The Spain colony moment on the Island started with the establishment of its colony in 1493. On the other hand, U.S. started invading the Island around 1898 (Www.nationalgeographic.com, 2020). The colonization of Puerto Rico by Spain and the U.S. led to some significant effects on the colony’s political, social, and economic aspects.
    Impact of Spain
    The first significant effect of Spain on Puerto Rico soil was regional turmoil and reforms. The rulers ordered the colonial masters to sweep administrative and economic reforms to enhance trade between the Island and Spain, promote agricultural activities, and unify various military units (O.Bey, 2016). The results were the conversion of Puerto Rico to an economically strong territory. Next was the political and economic transformation. In the 1830s, the region established plantations composed of coffee and sugarcane (Www.history.com, 2017). The products promoted trading and ties with Spain and U.S. The result was the establishment of foreign trade deals (O.Bey, 2016).
    On the other hand, politics during the nineteenth century was marked by conservative and liberal reforms. The changes were associated with Spain’s system of administration. The territory experienced denial of political freedom. The only time they enjoyed freedom is when Spain treated the Island as part of Spain. Later, Spain lawmakers reinstated that the colonies be ruled using special laws since they argued that they did not truly belong to Spain. Such political shifts adversely affected the colonies. The other effect of Spanish colonialism on the territory was a shift towards self-rule. A colony opened a commission that recommended substantial political reforms. The commission necessitated the abolishment of slavery. Pro-independence activism formed a significant movement towards the liberalization of the colony. American colonialism in the colony was associated with some specific effects as well.
    Effects of U.S.
    First, the U.S. impacted socioeconomic agendas. A significant result was the Americanization of the colony’s language, institutions, and political systems (O.Bey, 2016). Next, the U.S. also reorganized the colony’s economy affecting trading habits. Enormously sugar production was boosted by the financial reforms and the introduction of U.S. currency. Social changes were marked by reduced death rates with the incorporation of modern knowledge in health care. Second, U.S. impacted political developments. The Island’s political parties since 1898 aimed at modifying political ties with the U.S. government (Www.history.com, 2017). The Nationalist Party and Republican Party adopted autonomy and statehood, respectively. PRRA party introduced redistribution of power on the colony (Www.history.com, 2017). Other effects were the colony’s shift from the agricultural to economy relying on industrialization. Some of these reforms associated with colonial powers became part of Puerto Rica even after gaining constitutional rights later.

    1. You did strong supplemental research on the history of Puerto Rico. I’ll like to read too how that topic was presented by Rosie Pérez in her documentary. Remember that the asynchronous tasks are our way to discuss the sources in the syllabus.

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