Category: History

Puerto Rico- Its political history and future
From Tugwell's socialism to the 21st Century
by Richard R. Tryon

Tryon begins his study with a review of the published book of one time Governor Rexford P.Tugwell entitled “The Stricken Land” ;and a 1965 review of the island’s progress as a result of the Tugwell legacies by Prof. Charles Goodsell of Harvard University, as found in his book entitled “The Administration of a Revolution”. He updates this review with an analysis of events since that time until the turn of the century, with a view to offering the reader a chance to better understand how the people of PR and of the mainland of the rest of the U.S. think about the issue of status on this island.

Author Richard R.Tryon is a long time student of political history of the world in general and Puerto Rico in particular. He has also lived on the island part-time since 1970 and has written extensively on many issues involving the perpetual ‘status’ debate. This is easily the islanders most commonly discussed and cussed subject and has been so for perhaps much of the past five hundred years.


The author, a 1954 graduate of Kenyon College with a degree in Economics and a minor in Political Science, devoted most of his working career to the printing and publishing industry, but he has always enjoyed and accepted the challenge of responding to the need to help others understand his perspective. For the people of Puerto Rico, he has always been careful to note that he offers no suggestion as to what he thinks is right for anyone that connects themselves by birth, family or otherwise to the right to decide anything about PR beyond one perspective. He contends that he has lived and spends a lot of time on the mainland of the U.S. and therefore is able to help communicate to the people of the island how some other Americans view P.R.- especially those that are not in one of the ‘connected groups’ noted above, living on or off of the island.

It is his hope that the people of P.R. may be given the chance to make an informed choice about their political status and economic future. He would like such a choice to be based upon issues that might be more important than the question of Olympic games and beauty contest eligibility under a separate flag, but has no objection, if all things considered, the people vote for independence for such reasons alone; or in combination with perceived feelings of national spirit, or cultural and language identity; or if they manage to find a way to keep the ‘status quo’ which relates to a relationship that labels PR as a Commonwealth, subject to the whim of Congress to which it sends one non-voting delegate, and to a U.S. President for whom it has no voting right to encourage or discourage.

His mission is to trace the way that history has given P.R., especially in the last hundred years, an opportunity to experience a socialist experience started by Governor Tugwell and continued, with help from many liberals in the U.S. Congress for the past 60 years. He wants to show its effect upon the ability of the people to make an informed choice within the context of an association with the mainland that offers evidence of confusion and a lack of direction that might help the islanders find their rightful place in the world today.


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