Which Of The Following Caribbean Republics Was Influenced By French Culture

What Caribbean republic was influenced by French culture? – SidmartinBio

Dominican Republic’s historical development Finally, in 1697, the western half of Hispaniola (present-day Haiti) was placed under French administration, while the eastern half remained under Spanish administration. This divide continues today, with the Dominican Republic and Haiti sharing the island.

Which Caribbean islands speak French?

Francophone countries include Guadeloupe, Haiti (official language), Martinique (official language), Saint Barthélemy (official language), French Guiana, and Saint-Martin.

How many islands in the Caribbean are French?

A total of 30 territories (dependencies, overseas departments, and sovereign states) make up the area, which has a population of more than 43.6 million people and is divided into 30 countries. A total area of about 1,063,000 square miles is covered by the Caribbean. The French-speaking countries of the Caribbean are listed below.

Rank Location Population
5 Saint-Barthélemy 7,492
6 Saint-Pierre and Miquelon 7,044

Had colonies in what is now Cuba Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico?

Who was it that established colonies in what is now Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico in the early 1500s? Spain established colonies in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, among other places.

Where are French Antilles?

Who was it that established colonies in what are today Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico in the early 1500s? Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico were all colonized by Spain.

Which is better Guadeloupe or Martinique?

The resort is the ideal word to describe the touristy side of Martinique. Guadeloupe appears to be a more vibrant island than Martinique. It is also far larger than Martinique, resulting in a more extensive metropolitan infrastructure. In addition, it is better renowned for its nightlife, which, according to many residents, is more vibrant than that of the other islands in the group.

What did Spain call the Caribbean?

“Las Antillas Occidentales” (also known as “Las Antillas Espaolas” or simply “Las Antillas Espaolas” in Spanish) were a group of Spanish colonies in the Caribbean that were established in the 16th century.

Which is Caribbean republics was affected by French culture?

How did French culture influence the people of which of the following Caribbean countries? Haiti The Spanish, driven by a need for wood, were responsible for the deforestation of vast tracts of Middle America. T/F True Maquiladoras are enormous communal farms in northern Mexico, close to the border with the United States of America. False if T/F

What kind of influences did the Caribbean islands have?

Traditional island food is the product of a mash-up of several cultural influences. Various European countries, namely the British, French, and Spanish, have fought for and claimed ownership of the islands over the centuries.

Which is the best example of Caribbean culture?

The influence of Ulster immigrants to Barbados has had the effect of minimizing Irish influences in Caribbean culture and highlighting British influences instead, until the 1980s. While French Caribbean culture is the most obvious example, Spanish influences have allowed the survival of non-English dialects.

What are all the countries in the Caribbean?

Islands and nations ranging from Cuba to Curacao to Dominica to the Dominican Republic, the French Antilles to Guadeloupe and Martinique, Haiti to Jamaica to Trinidad and Tobago to the Virgin Islands are all included in the region’s diversified landscape.


Islands and nations ranging from Cuba to Curacao to Dominica to the Dominican Republic, the French Antilles to Guadeloupe and Martinique, Haiti to Jamaica to Trinidad and Tobago to the Virgin Islands are all included in the region’s geographical scope.


The island was formed as a result of volcanic activity. Dominica is home to a number of volcanoes that are currently active, however eruptions are infrequent. In addition to fumaroles (volcanic vents), hot springs and other indicators of geothermal activity can be found. Boiling Lake, located in the southern hemisphere at 2,300 feet (700 metres) above sea level, with water levels that are frequently 3 feet (1 metre) above normal due to the pressure of releasing gases. The soils of the island are rich in alluvial and volcanic deposits.

Mount Diablotins (4,747 feet) and Mount Trois Pitons (4,747 feet) are the highest points in a range of high forest-clad mountains that runs north to south and is broken in the middle by a plain drained by the Layou River, which flows to the west; the highest points in the range are Mount Diablotins (4,747 feet) and Mount Trois Pitons (4,747 feet) (4,670 feet).


Dominica has a lovely climate, which is especially noticeable during the milder months of December through March. Summer temperatures average 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). Winter temperatures are not significantly lower, with typical highs ranging from 84 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (29 to 30 degrees Celsius). Winter runs from February to May, while the summer runs from June to October, which is also the most likely time for storms to hit the island (tropical cyclones). The amount of rain falls varies, with the mountainous interior receiving the most.

Plant and animal life

Dominica is the island with the greatest amount of forest cover in the Lesser Antilles. The forest is home to a wide diversity of birds and animals, including several endangered species. Dominica is home to just two parrot species: the imperial parrot, or sisserou (Amazona imperialis), and the lesser red-necked parrot (Amazona arausiaca), both of which are endangered. There are many different types of hummingbirds, but the blue-headed hummingbird (Cyanophaia bicolor) is exclusively found in Dominica and the neighboring island of Martinique.

Dominica’s Roseau River valley is home to a tropical rainforest with a variety of wildlife.


The majority of the population is of African heritage, with a few Europeans, people from the Indian subcontinent, and Caribbeans thrown in for good measure. Dominica is the only island in the Caribbean that is home to a somewhat substantial and distinctive population of Carib Indians, who are descended from the people who lived on the island prior to the arrival of Europeans. The majority of Dominica’s remaining Caribs, with the exception of a tiny number who are purely of Carib heritage, live in the approximately 3,700-acre (1,500-hectare) Carib Territory in the island’s easternmost region, where they are among the island’s poorest citizens.

The Roman Catholic faith is practiced by the majority of the people, although there are also Methodists, Pentecostals, and Seventh-day Adventists.

This wave persisted until the 1980s, but it became more modest in the 1990s. In 1992, the government launched a contentious program to provide “economic citizenship” to foreign investors who invested in the United States.


Dominica is one of the most impoverished countries in the Caribbean. This country’s economy is based mostly on agricultural production, which is periodically damaged by storms. A developing tourist business and a modest offshore banking sector are examples of attempts to diversify that have had some success. DominicaA cruise ship port in the Dominican Republic’s capital, Roseau. Photograph courtesy of Richard Goldberg/Shutterstock.com

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

Both in terms of total employment and contribution to gross national product (GNP), agriculture remains the most significant sector of the economy. Bananas, citrus fruits, and coconuts are the primary crops grown in the country. Dominica’s banana export revenues accounted for about half of the country’s total export earnings in the 1980s, but the banana crop was frequently damaged by storms in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. During the 1990s, production fell as a result of a World Trade Organization ruling that the European Union had violated free-trade rules by granting preferential access to the European market to Dominica and other former European colonies, particularly other eastern Caribbean banana-producing islands, in violation of free-trade agreements.

Dominica is self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables, and it exports food to Guadeloupe and other Caribbean countries.

Following Hurricane David’s devastation of the fishing sector in 1979, when virtually all of the island’s fishing boats were destroyed, a new fishing port and market were built in Roseau (and later rebuilt and refurbished) with Japanese financial assistance, which began in the 1990s.


Pumice is the most significant commercial mineral since it is an avolcanic rock that is mostly utilized for construction. There are also clay and limestone deposits in the area. A large number of copper resources in the northeast have been studied for the possibility of commercialization.

Manufacturing, trade, and services

The agricultural industry is responsible for the majority of the country’s principal goods and exports, which include copra, coconut oil, soap, bay oil, and fruit juices. Soap, which is made from coconut oil, is a major export from the country. There is a tiny garment assembly industry in the country. Wood items, such as furniture, are made using locally sourced timber. Portsmouth is the primary boatbuilding center in the United Kingdom. Food, mineral fuels, and manufactured products are among the items that are imported.

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Over 80,000 “stay-over” visitors visit the island each year, while the ports of Prince Rupert Bay and Roseau serve more than 300,000 cruise-ship passengers on day trips each year, according to the Department of Tourism.

It has attempted to build reserves of its distinctive flora and wildlife in order to attract tourists, and it touts itself as the Caribbean’s “nature island.”

French West Indies – Wikipedia

French West IndiesAntilles françaises
Flag of France
Location of the modern territories of the French West Indies
Status Colony ofFrance(1628–1946)
Capital Basse-Terre(1628-1671)Saint-Pierre(1671-1674)Fort-Royal(1674-1851)14°40′55″N61°1′50″W / 14.68194°N 61.03056°WCoordinates:14°40′55″N61°1′50″W / 14.68194°N 61.03056°W
Common languages FrenchCreole
1628-1636 Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc
1849–1851 Armand Joseph Bruat
Company of the American Islandstakes possession ofDominica(1632), formerly as Compagnie de Saint-ChristopheGuadeloupe(28 June 1635 to 1649)Martinique(15 September 1635 to 27 Sep 1650)St. Lucia(1643 to 27 Sep 1650)St. Martin(23 March 1648)St. Barts(1648)Grenada(17 March 1649 to 27 Sep 1650)St. Croix(1650) 1628
Foundation of the colony ofSaint-Christophe (French colony) 1625
Peace of Ryswick 1697
Treaty of Paris 1763
Massacres in Haiti 1804
Departmentalization law 1946
Disestablished 1946
Currency Franc

The termFrench West Indies orFrench Antilles (French: Antilles françaises,) refers to the sections of France that are located in the Antillesislands of the Caribbean: the Antilles, Martinique, and Martinique-Martinique.

  • Guadeloupe, which includes the islands of Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Les Saintes, Marie-Galante, and La Désirade
  • Martinique
  • And Saint-Martin.
  • Saint Martin is the northern half of the island with the same name, while the southern half is known asSint Maarten and is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Saint Barthélemy is the southern half of the island with the same name
  • Saint Barthélemy is the northern half of the island with the same name
  • Saint Bar


Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc was a French trader and adventurer in the Caribbean who, in 1635, created the first permanent French colony, Saint-Pierre, on the island of Martinique, which became the first permanent French colony in the world. In 1625, Belain set out for the Caribbean, seeking to create a French settlement on the island of St. Christopher. He was unsuccessful (St. Kitts). Upon his return to France, he gained the favor of Cardinal Richelieu, who granted him permission to create French colonies in the region.

  1. The corporation was not especially successful, and Richelieu had it restructured as the Compagnie des Îles de l’Amérique after it had failed to achieve success.
  2. D’Esnambuc returned to St.
  3. He was succeeded by his nephew, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, who inherited the power of d’Esnambuc over French possessions in the Caribbean and rose to become governor of Martinique in 1637.
  4. The French were forced from Saint Kitts and Nevis (Saint-ChristopheinFrench) by the British and eventually established permanent settlements in Martinique and Guadeloupe.
  5. When Jacques Dyel du Parquet (1606–1658), the nephew of Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc and the first governor of Martinique, chose to build Fort Saint Louis to safeguard the city from enemy invasions in 1638, he was the first governor of the island.
  6. Du Parquet was born in Martinique and raised in France.
  7. The Governor General of the company would be appointed by the King, while the Governors of the several islands would be appointed by the company.

It dissolved itself in 1651, after which it sold its exploitation rights to a number of other parties.

The sieur d’HouilacquiredGuadeloupe,Marie-Galante,La Desirade, and the Saintes, among other islands.

In 1665, the Knights of Columbus surrendered the islands they had gained to the newly created (1664)Compagnie des Indes occidentales, which took over the islands the Knights had acquired.

The island was called by Christopher Columbus after the day of the week on which he discovered it, which happened to be a Sunday (domingo in Latin) on November 3, 1493.

At the time, it was populated by the Island Caribs, also known as the Kalinago people, and when European forces advanced into the region, more people began to settle there after being pushed from adjacent islands.

Over time, these woodcutters became permanent inhabitants on the French islands.

During this time period, the Antillean Creole language began to evolve.

In 1805, the British government established a tiny colony on the island.

Despite the island’s strategic location, the occupying Spanish had made little contribution to its development in Trinidad and Tobago.

Laurent, a Frenchman living in Grenada, was successful in obtaining aCédula de Población from the Spanishking Charles III on 4 November 1783, allowing French planters with their slaves, free coloreds, and mulattos from theFrench AntillesofMartinique, Grenada, Guadeloupe, andDominicato to migrate to Trinidad.

It was also aided by the French Revolution, which prompted this exodus.

Trinidad’s population increased from a little under 1,400 people in 1777 to more than 15,000 people by the end of 1789. Trinidad and Tobago became a British crown territory in 1797, with a mostly French-speaking population.

Islands of the French West Indies

Name Largest settlement Population(Jan. 2017) Land area(km 2) Population density(inh. per km 2) Status
Martinique Fort-de-France 372,594 1,128 330 Overseas department/region
Guadeloupeproper(Basse-TerreGrande-Terre) Pointe-à-Pitre 375,467 1,436 261 Overseas department / region
Saint Martin Marigot 35,334 53 667 Overseas collectivity, detached from Guadeloupe on 22 February 2007.
Marie-Galante Grand-Bourg 10,760 158 68 Forms a part of the Guadeloupe region.
Saint Barthélemy Gustavia 9,961 25 398 Overseas collectivity, detached from Guadeloupe on 22 February 2007.
Les Saintes Terre-de-Haut 2,578 13 198 Forms a part of the Guadeloupe region.
La Désirade Beauséjour 1,448 21 69 Forms a part of the Guadeloupe region.
French West Indies 842,247 2,834 398

Guadeloupe and Martinique are the two recognized French overseas departments in the Caribbean. Since 2007, the islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy, which were formerly part of the department of Guadeloupe, have been recognized as independent overseas collectivities. These CaribbeanDépartements et Collectivités d’Outre Merare sometimes referred to as the French West Indies because of their location in the French West Indies.

French Caribbean

The French Caribbean (also known as the Francophone Caribbean) is comprised of all of the nations in the area that speak French as a first language. A blend of French and Caribbean cultural influences may be found in music, food, fashion, architecture, and other aspects of life in the region. The Francophone Caribbean is a subset of the larger Francophone America, which encompasses all of the French-speaking countries in the Americas as well as the French-speaking Caribbean. The meaning of the phrase changes depending on how it is used and in what context it is used.

Unlike the word “French West Indies,” which refers exclusively to the islands that are French foreign departments, which implies that they are subject to the same rules and regulations as departments on the French mainland, “French West Indies” is ambiguous.

The following Caribbean regions have a high concentration of French-speaking and/or French Creole-speaking populations: Neither country was able to achieve independence from the United Kingdom.

Former French West Indian islands

In addition, some of the islands in the current and former British West Indies were originally under the control of the French Empire (France). Some of them speak a creole language based on French, but others speak a language that is on the verge of extinction; exact phrases and expressions may differ depending on which island you are on.

See also

  • West Indies (American and British)
  • Danish West Indies (Danish and Dutch)
  • List of governors general of the French Antilles
  • Spanish West Indies (Spanish and Swedish)
  • West Indies (American and British)
  • West Indies (Danish and Dutch)


  1. James Trager is the author of this piece (2005). The People’s Chronology dates back to 1635. (3rd. ed.). The following resources are available: Gale ebooks
  2. “Téléchargement du fichier d’ensemble des populations légales en 2017″(PDF)(in French).INSEE. Retrieved2020-12-09
  3. “Base chiffres clés: évolution et structure de la population 2010″(in French).INSEE. Retrieved2014-02-25
  4. “Actualités: 2008, An 1 de la collectivité de Saint-Martin”(in French).INSEE. Lynn Marie Houston is a writer living in Houston, Texas (2005). Christina Johnston’s Food Culture in the Caribbean, p. xxi. ISBN 0313327645, retrieved on March 17, 2015. (2005). The French and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History. ISBN 9781851094113. Retrieved 17 March 2015
  5. Cobley, Alan Gregor. Crossroads of Empire: The European-Caribbean Connection, 1492-1992. ISBN 9789766210314. Retrieved 23 September 2015
  6. Manuel, Peter. France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History. ISBN 9781851094113. (1988). Retrieved on April 10, 2015, from Oxford University Press’s Popular Musics of the Non-Western World: An Introductory Survey (p.72). ISBN 0195053427. the martinique carabinier
  7. Gramley, Stephan
  8. Pätzold, Kurt-Michael
  9. Carabinier Martinique (2004). Retrieved on 5 September 2015 from A Survey of Modern English, p. 265.ISBN020344017X. Edward Mitchell is the author of this work (2010). St. Lucian Kwéyl on St. Croix: A Study of Language Choice and Attitudes, p. 210. St. Lucian Kwéyl on St. Croix: A Study of Language Choice and Attitudes ISBN9781443821476. 5 September 2015
  10. Retrieved 5 September 2015

External links

The National Council for the Social Studies published a report in 2000. All intellectual property rights are retained. Politics in the Caribbean: A Question of Diversity Paul Sutton is a writer and a musician who lives in the United Kingdom. The Caribbean is an area with a great deal of political variety. It contains established liberal democracies, overseas territories that are variously associated with the United States and European countries, “fragile” liberal democracies that have emerged from a recent authoritarian past, a “failed” state in Haiti, and one of the world’s last remaining communist states in Cuba, all within a relatively small geographical area.

The region is defined in its broadest sense to include the “rim” countries of Belize, Guyana, and Suriname as well as French Guiana’s territory.

The nations with the highest per capita income are some of the world’s richest emerging countries, as well as Haiti, which is one of the world’s poorest countries.

As a result, there is a persistent sense of insularity among islands, which leads to each island asserting its uniqueness from its neighbors; this is true even among nations that are traditionally grouped together, such as the Commonwealth Caribbean (all former or existing colonies of Britain).

  1. As a result, it is difficult to develop a shared Caribbean identity as well as common Caribbean interests.
  2. However, they do not include every Caribbean state or “associated/dependent territory,” as the case may be.
  3. A Shared History What is the best way to describe this?
  4. The Caribbean has borne the brunt of history more than any other region of the developing world, and the colonial legacy has lasted longer than anyplace else in the globe.

In addition, Bermuda has been a British colony since 1609, Curaçao has been a Dutch possession since 1634, and the French overseas territories Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana, which were all formerly French colonies for hundreds of years, have been constitutionally designated as départements of France since 1946.

  1. Kitts-and-Nevis (1983), were controlled by Britain for more than 300 years until becoming independent.
  2. Throughout the Caribbean, the traces of colonial control may be traced in the political cultures, as well as in the official administrative laws and regulations that govern political life in the various countries.
  3. As a result, it is simple to identify the past colonial rulers in each independent Caribbean country, regardless of whence they originated.
  4. Lucia, St.
  5. It is also true in Cuba and Haiti, where violent revolutions tore apart colonial power that had been entrenched.
  6. The authoritarian governments that have predominated in Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, and the democratic regimes that have predominated in the English-speaking Caribbean, are the two sorts of regimes that are most frequently compared.
  7. Across Haiti’s history, military authority and dictatorship have been the norm, and they have both contributed to the chronic poverty that can be seen throughout the country.

Now that the Dominican Republic has achieved democracy, its recent history suggests that it may be possible to make a successful transition from an authoritarian system to a democratic regime in the Caribbean.

Since the first vote under universal suffrage was conducted in Jamaica in 1944, more than 125 general elections have been held in the independent states of the Commonwealth Caribbean, with elections resulting in a change of administration in every Commonwealth country in the area since 1944.

The outcome has been the institutionalization of democratic politics in the majority of nations, resulting in the protection of political rights and political involvement, as well as a broader discussion of political topics.

Historically, political tensions have existed between people of African heritage and those of East Indian descent in the countries of Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively.

In general, however, the Commonwealth Caribbean has a high incidence of political stability as well as an excellent track record of effective government.

They have nearly all instituted democratic practices and politics, but the continuation of the metropolitan link has served to protect civil freedoms and ensure that they will continue to exist.

As a central and ongoing theme in relations between Puerto Rico and the United States, and given the nearly equal division in Puerto Rico between those who want to maintain the current “associate” status and those who want to see a change (for statehood or independence), this issue is likely to continue to dominate the agenda in the foreseeable future.

  1. These have reinforced their interest in extending the metropolitan link, so diminishing the movement toward independence, which has become almost non-existent in recent years due to a lack of political will.
  2. As a result, the Caribbean is poised to continue as an area in which external political pressures, which have played a significant role in shaping the region’s history, will continue to exert impact in the future.
  3. As early as the twentieth century began, it acquired Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, and it also occupied Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic for varying lengths of time in the early twentieth century.
  4. As soon as they gained independence, these nations desired a deeper connection with the United States, mostly because of the economic and security benefits that this partnership provided.
  5. As part of this strategy, as well as the ongoing policy of isolation and containment against Cuba under Castro’s leadership, operations in the Dominican Republic in 1965 and in Grenada in 1983 were carried out.
  6. Since the conclusion of the Cold War, the United States has reduced its interest in the Caribbean and redirected its interests in the area toward combatting drug trafficking and migration control, both of which are key concerns on the domestic political agenda of the United States.
  7. For example, the unequal influence of socioeconomic classes and ethnic groupings is among the most significant.
  8. The following are examples of a typology developed by Colin Clarke: 1 These broad classifications are as follows: Societies with several stratifications.
  9. Societies with multiple segments.
  10. Societies that are stratified by social class.

Societies that are considered “folk.” A scattering of individual islands, each characterized by highly personalist politics and a reliant relationship with a larger political jurisdiction, such as Saba (Netherlands Antilles), Desirade (Guadeloupe), Barbuda (Antigua), and Anguilla, are included in this category (British Overseas Territory).

The political figures that have dominated politics in the recent past or who continue to do so today may be traced back to at least one in every Caribbean country, and in many cases to several.

2 However, while the dominance of such personalities can be explained by differences in size, with the smallest countries experiencing the greatest impact of personality, the fact that a highly personalist form of politics can be found everywhere in the region suggests that social and cultural factors are at play in explaining this phenomenon.

  • Insularity versus belonging to a community As a result, it is necessary to examine and understand political life and political systems in the Caribbean in terms of specific countries and territories, no matter how little.
  • There is also an intangible sense of belonging to a larger Caribbean “community” that is frequently invoked and, on occasion, serves as a catalyst for positive change in society.
  • The ACS is open to all Caribbean countries (independent, “associated,” and “dependent”), as well as mainland countries in Central America and countries in South America with Caribbean coastlines.
  • Due to this, it is a larger organization than is often seen in the Caribbean, which has resulted in operational difficulties for the organization.

However, its potential has been limited so far because of the desire of individual Caribbean states to maintain sovereignty and independence of action, and because, despite the fact that Caribbean states would clearly benefit from closer cooperation, most lack the political will to pursue such a path vigorously.

Even among states that are similar in size and social structure, such as the former British colonies in the eastern Caribbean, political union is still a long way off in some parts of the region, such as the English-speaking states of CARICOM.

Because they have chosen to remain separate, most Caribbean countries are leaving themselves vulnerable to powerful economic and political forces against which they have little ability to fight back—although Cuba has demonstrated that resistance is possible even in the most difficult of circumstances.

  1. These repercussions of globalization may have political ramifications, including increasing political instability and new challenges to U.S.
  2. Cuba is included in this scenario because the country’s massive economic transformation has not been accompanied by an equal effort to alter the communist state’s political structure.
  3. intervention that will further exacerbate the situation.
  4. The countries are united by common themes and shared experiences, but they are also divided by their political systems to a significant degree.

Politicians and islands alike take pleasure in being different, and both those who migrate to the metropolitan centers of the United States, Canada, and the European Union, as well as those who remain on their respective islands and enclaves, have a strong attachment to their respective locations.

  1. Kitts-Nevis (42,000 people), the Nevisians (8,000 people) have recently sought greater autonomy, despite the fact that they are only two miles across the sea from the island of St.
  2. This may be difficult to comprehend in a huge country such as the United States.
  3. Notable references1.
  4. Dame Eugenia Charles in Dominica, Sir Eric Gairy and Maurice Bishop in Grenada, Forbes Burnham and Cheddd Jagan in Guyana, Robert Bradshaw and Sir “Son” Mitchell in St Kitts and Nevis, Desi Bouterse and Dr.

Eric Wi in Suriname are just a few of the people who have made significant contributions to their countries. Paul Sutton is a professor of politics at Hull University, which is located in the English city of Hull.

The Changing of the Guard: Puerto Rico in 1898

Of all Spanish colonial possessions in the Americas,Puerto Ricois 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 withCuba, at center stage in the Caribbean.

Located at the north east of the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico was key to the Spanish Empire since the early years of conquest and colonization of the New World.

Throughout most of the nineteenth century, Puerto Rico and Cuba, remained the last two Spanish colonies in the New World and served as the final outposts in Spanish strategies to regain control of the American continent.During the early 1860s, local Spanish authorities, alarmed by conspiracies from separatist groups, applied severe measures against all acts of dissidence on the island.

The island was ruled by “leyes especiales”; extraordinary decrees dictated by the Captain Generals, or governors, appointed by Spain.By 1867, Puerto Rico had 656,328 inhabitants; its population recorded as 346,437 whites and 309,891 “of color” (this category included blacks, mulattos and mestizos).

The majority of Puerto Ricans lived in extreme poverty and agriculture-the main source of income-was limited by lack of roads, rudimentary tools and equipment, and natural disasters-such as hurricanes and periods of drought.

In addition, Puerto Rico suffered at the time a severe economic crisis due to increasing tariffs and taxes imposed by a mercantilist Spain on most import and export goods-the Spanish Crown badly needed these funds to subsidize its troops in an effort to regain control of the Dominican Republic.Frustrated by the lack of political and economic freedom, and enraged by the continuing repression on the island, an armed rebellion was staged by the pro-independence movement in 1868.

  • The so-called ” Grito de Lares ” broke in September 23, 1868.
  • Ramón Emeterio Betancesand Segundo Ruiz Belvis, who in January 6, 1868 founded the “Comité Revolucionario de Puerto Rico” (Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico) from their exile in the Dominican Republic.
  • These statements soon circulated throughout the island as local dissident groups began to organize.
  • Most were “criollos” (born on the island).
  • The stronghold of the movement was found in towns located on the mountains of the western part of the island.Although original plans called for the insurrection to begin on September 29, Spanish authorities on the island discovered the plan forcing the rebels to move up the date.
  • Some 400-600 rebels gathered on that day in the hacienda ofManuel Rojas, located in the vicinity of Pezuela, on the outskirts of Lares.
  • They looted local stores and offices owned by “peninsulares” (Spanish-born men) and took over the city hall, proclaiming the new Republic of Puerto Rico.

The following day, September 24, the Republic of Puerto Rico was proclaimed under the presidency of Francisco Ramírez.

The rebel forces then departed to take over the next town, San Sebastián del Pepino.

Upon an order from the governor, Julián Pavía, the Spanish militia soon rounded up the rebels and quickly brought the insurrection to an end.

On November 17, a military court imposed the death penalty, for treason and sedition, on all prisoners.

The liberal reforms extended to the island, to include the status of Diputación Provincial (making the island a Province of Spain), and paved the way for the establishment of the first national political parties.

The conservative faction, mostly represented by “peninsulares”, favored a continuation of the status quo that would maintain the local government under hand-picked Captain Generals ruling by decree, and favored slavery, as well as all the privileges until then given to the predominantly Spanish ruling class.

  • They also called for the abolition of slavery and ample political reforms at the local level.
  • Its leadership, however, was divided into two factions; one supported total assimilation to Spain, while the other, the “autonomistas”, called for self-government under the Spanish flag, similar to the British political arrangement with its former colonies.
  • Soon thereafter, the conservatives founded the Partido Liberal Conservador (Liberal Conservative Party), using the newspaper Boletín Mercantil as the conservative means for disseminating their views.
  • In this, censorship of the press was particularly effective as were government repression and political persecution directed at the liberal camp.In 1873, the Spanish Constitutional Monarchy was replaced by a republican government.
  • While the new law was considered a step forward by Puerto Rican liberals, it did not provide for immediate and total freedom of the island’s black population.
  • Spanish authorities once again appointed as governor José Laureano Sanz, who immediately overturned all established democratic practices.
  • During the mid-1880s, they worked on a party platform calling for self government and renamed themselves the “Partido Autonomista Puertorriqueño” (Puerto Rican Autonomist Party).
  • The local monopoly of Spanish merchants fueled resentment and led to the establishment of secret societies-organizations promoting the boycott of Spanish merchants and greater support for local business.
  • The government and its Civil Guard responded with a series of raids and imprisonments, applying severe torture measures which became known as “compontes”.
  • In addition to a lack of civil liberties, approximately 85 percent of the population remained illiterate.

Nevertheless, by the time of the first elections in March 1898, tensions were already building up between Spain and the United States, and the short-lived self-government experiment came to an abrupt end one month later with the advent of the Spanish-American War.The dawn of a new colonial era under the United States.

The island’s value to US policy makers was as an outlet for excess manufactured goods, as well as a key naval station in the Caribbean.

Mahan became the leading strategist and advisor to his government during the 1880s.

Mahan formulated a strategic doctrine based on naval power as the main element of military supremacy.

US naval power in the hemisphere, resulting from the ascendancy of its naval technology at the time, thus became the strategic basis of US military doctrine and foreign policy during the late nineteenth century.Mahan played a key role in the Spanish-American War, as a military strategist and close advisor toPresident McKinleythroughout the conflict.

In 1896, a formal war plan was developed by Lieutenant William W.

The stated objective was to ‘liberate Cuba’ from Spanish rule.

According to this plan, US naval power would be employed against the Spanish Navy at those points where the enemy would face an equal or superior force.Accordingly, the US Department of the Navy began operational preparations early in 1898.

The mysterious explosion of theMaine battleshipin the Havana harbor, killing some 300 US marines on February 15, 1898, was the turning point for the United States to start its war operations.

Although the US war effort had, in retrospect, its tactical and logistical faults, its unquestionable military superiority over Spanish forces led to a quick US victory.The Spanish-American war lasted some four months.

Given the weakness of the Spanish forces, the US then decided to expand its campaign, and bring in ground troops.

US troops landed in Cuba late in June and on July 17 destroyed the Spanish fleet stationed inSantiago de Cuba Bay, thus securing total control of the waterways in the Caribbean.

The evacuation of Cuba by Spanish forces and its transfer to the United States was the prelude to imposition of order and formation of a stable government on the island.

On July 18,General Nelson A.

Some 18,000 US troops with a naval escort departed for Puerto Rico from Guantánamo Bay and the east coast of the United States.

The US troops then proceeded north towardsSan Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital and the main military post of Spanish forces on the island.

The formal transfer of Puerto Rico to the United States took two months, from August 12 to October 18, when the last Spanish troops sailed back to Spain and the US flag was raised in most public buildings on the island.

Brooke.The Treaty of Paris gave the United States full control over all former Spanish military installations as well as some 120,000 acres of land formerly owned by the Spanish Crown on the island.

Puerto Rico remained under direct control of US military forces until the US Congress ratified theForaker Lawon April 12th, 1900, bringing a civilian government to the island.Back to top

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