Essay on The Impact of Spanish Rule on Puerto Ricans Today

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The Impact of Spanish Rule on Puerto Ricans Today

What was Puerto Rico like under Spanish rule, and how important is that rule to the formation of the Puerto Rican people today? To answer these questions, we must take a look at the history of the Spanish and their colonization of the island of Puerto Rico.

As we know, Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain "found" by Christopher Columbus on November 19, 1493, and remained a colony of Spain for the next 400 years. But the interesting fact remains that Puerto Rico was not truly settled by the Spaniards until almost fifteen years later! In 1508, Juan Ponce de Leon came to settle the land of Borinken, and founded the town of Caparra. This was the start of a proud people that would
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The few surviving Tainos took off to the mountains for survival. The first two important elements of whom and what makes up Puerto Rican people, is here. The Taino Indians are 1/3 of the element. The second element, were the Spaniards.

The Spanish now were the main people of the island, but there was only one problem now. There was no more gold to be found (which was the original reason most of the Spaniards came), and Puerto Rico had to be productive to Spain in some fashion.

Facing the fact that there was no more gold, the Spaniards looked to the rich land and soil for the next way that Puerto Rico could help the Kingdom of Spain. They raised cattle, and they planted staple crops, but sugarcane was the bread and butter so to speak. The only problem was that they could only trade with Spain for a long time and Spain grew their own sugarcane, too. But let’s not jump ahead of ourselves here. What was needed was a labor force to work these fields, and the Taino Indians were living in the Hinterlands. There was no way they were going to work those fields.

This brings us to the third main element that makes up the Puerto Rican people. This third main element, were the African slaves that were brought in. In fact, the three main elements were all together on the island of Puerto Rico in a relatively short time span. The proof of this is