PUERTO RICO'S STATUS DEBATE
Military Dominance, The Foraker Act
and the Statehood Effort: 1898-1910
[Should] the ignorant and lawless brigands
that infest Puerto Rico [become citizens of a State]. . .
or [should the island] be held permanently and
avowedly as a colonial dependence . . . .
-- Judge Simeon E. Baldwin, 1899
The signing of the Treaty of Paris in December of 1898 not only ended the brief Spanish American War but also presented the U. S. with an unprecendented situation: the possession of a modest overseas empire. Three new, noncontiguous territories were ceded to the U. S. by Spain: Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam. The treaty gave the U. S. complete authority to dispose of its new possessions as it deemed necessary. In the past, the procedure for new territories was incorporation as part of the U. S. with provisions toward becoming a new state, but the treatment of these noncontiguous, tropical islands presented a new and controversial phase in both international and domestic policy for the U. S. In this chapter, the early treatment of Puerto Rico and the origins of the statehood effort will be explored in an effort to explain why the statehood process was not set in motion from the start.
It is important to understand the acquisition of Puerto Rico in the context of the broader themes in American history at the turn of the century. By the 1890s, the Industrial Revolution had had a profound impact on the U. S. economy: between 1870 and 1900, gross national product in the U. S. quadrupled. American industry had huge surpluses, and, having exhausted the domestic market, industrialists were anxious to sell their goods to foreign markets. The 1890 census revealed that the U. S. no longer had a frontier: the nation was populated from coast-to-coast. (This realization had non-economic effects as well, as it meant that youth in search of adventure and new frontiers would have to look outside of America's borders to pursue their adventure, a fact which spurred imperialism at the turn of the century.) European markets had tight trade restrictions, so U. S. producers looked to the third world.
The lust for expansionism was justified by two widely accepted doctrines, Manifest Destiny and social Darwinism. Manifest Destiny, or the belief that America's need to expand across the continent was divinely inspired, had justified the annexation of Texas, New Mexico, and California in the 1840s and 1850s. When social Darwinism emerged by the 1890s, Americans could feel justified in even the most ruthless expansionism because it was asserted that the English-speaking race should take over the entire undeveloped (actually, speakers of the day called it "uncivilized") world. Social Darwinism became one of the most popular theories of the time and added to the emerging trend of nationalism in the U. S. Americans began to think of themselves as equal to any other industrialized nation in the world for the first time.
The Spanish American War which erupted in 1898 was precipitated by a growing mood of belligerence and bellicosity in U. S. foreign policy which grew out of the new force of American nationalism. In 1891, the U. S. had almost gone to war with Chile over the deaths of two American soldiers who were murdered in that country, and in 1895, the U. S. threatened to start war with Britain over Venezuela's border with Guiana. Both wars were averted when the opposition backed down, but the sinking of the battleship Maine in Cuba was the straw that broke the camel's back. The U. S. had been avidly interested in a Cuban insurrection against the Spanish empire there since 1895, partly because of American business interests on the island, but also because Cuba had for a long time been considered destined to become incorporated with the U. S. In 1897, the U. S. began to intervene on behalf of the Cuban rebels, demanding that Spain give its colony greater autonomy. Spain seemed willing to work out a compromise and war was nearly avoided, but many doubted the sincerity of Spain's promises, and the sensationalized reports of the Cuban plight which the Yellow Press published generated wild enthusiasm in the U. S. to free the Cubans from their terrible oppressors. Thus, when 252 American sailors died on February 15, 1898 from a mysterious explosion which sunk the Maine, the U. S. was quick to accuse the Spanish government of foul play. Spain broke off diplomatic relations with the U. S. and Congress declared war. Within three months, the "splendid little war," to use the words of Secretary of State John Hay, was over as Spain surrendered.
When the U. S. declared war, Congress disavowed 'any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over' Cuba: the U. S. entered the war expressly to free Cuba. However, the Treaty of Paris gave the U. S. complete authority over several other former Spanish colonies, including Puerto Rico. For the first time, the U. S. was faced with making a foreign policy, rather than individual decisions on foreign affairs. The U. S. lacked both experience and consensus in forging such a foreign policy, a combination that was bound to lead to awkward solutions.
Battle raged before the turn of the century between imperialists and anti-imperialists within the U. S. The anti-imperialists were a loosely organized group centered around William Jennings Bryan and others who claimed that the federal Constitution expressly prohibited U. S. imperialism, and that the U. S. did not need the "burden of barbarian lands". Bryan pointed out the false distinction between the pathology of stealing (called kleptomania) and the uncontrollable desire to grab land (called "manifest destiny"). Nonetheless, Bryan's group was unable to prevent the passage of the Treaty of Paris, which passed the Senate by just one vote. However, as a candidate for the presidency in 1900, Bryan's central campaign promise was to abolish imperialism, a promise which he dropped in the final days of his campaign as he sensed that it was not popular. He was soundly defeated by McKinley, and the imperialists had their way.
Imperialists claimed that the Constitutional pledge that just government must derive its consent from the governed did not apply to "uncivilized" peoples who were incapable of self-rule. They took the doctrines of social Darwinism and Manifest Destiny to heart; at the same time, however, they were fully aware of the commercial possibilities which new territories presented. Navy theorist Alfred T. Mahan argued that to question the morality of expansionism was 'as little to the point as the morality of an earthquake.' Hay hailed imperialism was heralded as 'a fine expression of the American spirit.'
The treatment of Puerto Rico depicts these imperialist beliefs in microcosm. As Senator Albert J. Beveridge (R-Indiana) explained in 1900,
Do not the blazing fires of joy and the ringing bells of gladness in Porto Rico prove the
welcome of our flag? . . . do we owe no duty to the world? Shall we turn these peoples
back to the reeking hands from which we have taken them? Shall we save them from those
nations, to give them a self-rule of tragedy? It would be like giving a razor to a babe
and telling it to shave itself. It would be like giving a typewriter to an Eskimo and telling
him to publish one of the great dailies of the world.
Beveridge's comments exemplify the U. S. spirit of self-assuredness and superiority, as well as the logic of "white man's burden" which was applied to the "little brown brothers", including the inhabitants of Puerto Rico.
* * *
R. A. van Middeldyk, a librarian in San Juan, was one of the first Americans to publish a book on Puerto Rico's history. Writing in 1903, van Middeldyk described the 1890s in Puerto Rico as years of unrest and belated governmental reforms from the Spanish crown. For decades, Puerto Rico had fought against its oppressive colonial rulers who came from the Iberian Penisula, and were finally granted some increased autonomy in the Charter of 1897, including voting representation in the Spanish government. However, the reforms were too little, too late, since Puerto Rico was reportedly "ripe for self-government" long before then. Economically, after a long period of prosperity, the island began to decline in the 1870s, necessitating Spanish legislation on financial reform in 1895. The agricultural depression hit everyone hard, even the well-to-do; according to one eyewitness account: 'Everybody's resources have been wasted and spent uselessly, and many landholders, wealthy but yesterday, have been ruined if not reduced to misery.'
Two important aspects of Puerto Rico's condition at the time of the U. S. acquisition must be kept in mind: first, that the leaders on the island felt they were ready for increased self-government and had just attained their first measure of independence after enduring 400 years of Spanish imperial rule; and second, that same native leadership, the old, land-owning classes, were suffering momentarily from an economic crisis which crippled their efforts precisely at the moment their aspirations for autonomy were greatest. When Major General Nelson Miles of the U. S. Navy landed his troops in Puerto Rico during the Spanish American War in July, 1898, he proclaimed the U. S. intentions to the people of Puerto Rico as follows:
[We] . . . bring you the fostering arm of a nation of free people, whose greatest
power is in justice and humanity to all those living within its fold. We have
not come to make war upon the people of a country that for centuries has been
oppressed, but on the contrary, to bring you protection. . . . to promote your
prosperity, and to bestow upon you the immunities and blessings of the liberal
institutions of our Government.
Such liberal proclamations made it clear why the troops encountered little resistance. Indeed, many Puerto Ricans interpreted the general's words to mean that statehood was just around the corner. Unfortunately, it appears that the Puerto Ricans were completely deceived, since the U. S. Congress issued a "boldly autocratic" statement regarding Puerto Rico's fate in February of 1900, announcing that it had ultimate control over the island.
Implicit in the actions of the U. S. was the belief that Puerto Rico was unfit for self-government, that it was another case of "white man's burden" to rule for the island's inhabitants in their "best interests." Even though the 1900 Republican Party Campaign Platform stated that "employment in the public service in these territories [Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Philippines] should be confined as far as practicable to their inhabitants", self-rule was not considered "practicable" in Puerto Rico. The U. S. could cite the high rates of illiteracy (77.3% in 1898) in Puerto Rico and the fact that 92% of children age 5 to 17 were not enrolled in school as evidence for their assertion. It must be remembered that an illiteracy rate of roughly 45% in New Mexico in 1899 was one factor which contributed to the 62-year delay in the admission of this territory as a state.17
From 1898 to 1900, Puerto Rico was under the military authority of the President of the U. S. as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces which occupied the island. Puerto Ricans were urged to cooperate and trust the President, according to at least one magazine correspondent writing in 1899, who expressed his confidence that the President would "demonstrate the truth of the asserted policy of the war, that it was not for conquest, but for humanity."
Meanwhile, the attitude in the U. S. and even among some Puerto Ricans was that the military government, despite its dictatorial character, was definitely "of great and lasting benefit to the island."19 Numerous changes were instituted on the island, including the establishment of civil liberties, the eight-hour work day for government employees, a Public Health Service, sanitation improvements, and a uniform tax system. Cock fights and lotteries -- favorite Puerto Rican pastimes -- were abolished, although they persisted illegally. Especially beneficial to Puerto Rico were the swift relief measures which followed the first of many severe hurricanes to hit the island under U. S. rule in August, 1899.
A process of Americanization was under way, although in theory the military government was tolerant of both English and Spanish, American and Hispanic culture. Yet it seems that a superiority complex dictated all of the Americans' actions, as one U. S. administrator's statements make painfully clear: 'The great mass of Puerto Ricans are as yet passive and plastic . . . . Their ideals are in our hands to create and mold.' The Puerto Ricans, nonetheless, have proved his claim wrong, as evidenced by the persistence of the Spanish language despite numerous efforts to make English the sole language and the survival of a strong Latin culture even after 90 years of U. S. rule.
* * *
The Foraker Act, 1900
In 1900, Congress debated acrimoniously over the Foraker Act, or Organic Act, which established the form of government for Puerto Rico and the nature of its relationship with the U. S. Partisan politics between a Republican-dominated Congress and the interests of huge sugar and tobacco producers played a large role in the legislative battle over this bill on Capitol Hill. The first draft of the bill, proposed by Senator Joseph Foraker (R-Ohio) in early 1900, contained a provision that would extend U. S. citizenship and the Constitution to the new territories. There was an uproar on Capitol Hill as sugar and tobacco interests, feeling threatened by the prospect of increased competition from Puerto Rican producers, demanded that this provision be struck from the bill. Congress acquiesced to their pressure and eliminated the provision. Instead, they established a 15% tariff on all imports coming from Puerto Rico into the mainland. As a result, the Democrats went on the warpath, charging unconstitutionality and unfair sugar lobbying. They claimed that the Republicans were attempting to turn the U. S. into a nation of half republic, half colonial empire. "Imperialism abroad," they said in their 1900 campaign platform, "will lead quickly and inevitably to despotism at home." Republicans, having the majority in both houses, held steadfast, arguing that the interests of the U. S. had to be put ahead of the island's interests and that the Constitution did not extend to new territories unless specifically ordered through direct legislation. They were certain that the Supreme Court would uphold their position, and they were right. Typical of this "Machiavellian" Republican argument was the following statement by a U. S. Congressman: 'Governments must base their action upon purely selfish considerations. In looking at the question . . . of any foreign territory, the only question that should enter into consideration by us is the one question: is it best for the United States?' In the end, the Democrats' objections were either overruled or appeased, and the act was passed and signed into law by President William McKinley on April 12, 1900. The Foraker Act gave Puerto Rico an autonomous government in name only. A popularly elected House of Delegates was established as the island's legislative arm; executive and judicial branches were also set up, but these position were to be appointed by the President of the U. S. The U. S. retained control over every significant aspect of Puerto Rico's affairs, since the U. S. President held strong influence over the island's governor, and the U. S. Congress retained the right to veto any legislation passed in Puerto Rico. In the aftermath, Democrats included the following statement in their 1900 presidential campaign platform:
Believing in these fundamental principles [i.e., that government without the
consent of the governed is tyrannical], we denounce the Porto Rican law, enacted
by a Republican Congress against the protest and opposition of the Democratic
minority as a bold and open violation of the Nation's organic law and a flagrant
breach of the national good faith. It imposes upon the people of Porto Rico a
government without their consent and taxation without representation. It
dishonors the American people by repudiating a solemn pledge made in their
behalf by the Commanding General of our Army, which the Porto Ricans welcomed
to a peaceful and unresisted occupation of their land.
The platform plank was a biting attack of the Foraker Act, and justifiably so, for on the island, the Puerto Rican people were devastated. Their hopes and expectations had not been fulfilled, at least according to the1899 report of Special Commissioner Henry Carroll. Carroll was sent to Puerto Rico to report what the islanders expected from the U. S. His recommendations included the following:
They expect . . . that they will have an honest and efficient government; the largest
measure of liberty as citizens of the great Republic under the Constitution;
home rule as provided by the territorial system; free access to the markets of the
United States and no customs duties [on U. S. imports]; a school system modelled
after that of the United States . . . .
Commissioner Carroll's advice was completely ignored, which time would show to be a grave mistake.
The U. S. Republican Party, with which the Puerto Rican statehood party was aligned, gained few friends in Puerto Rico for its actions which prohibited the islanders from realizing the goals which Commissioner Carroll had reported. As a result, the statehood effort dwindled. The San Juan News contained frequent criticism of the National Republican Party at this time: 'there are men in this island capable of making good laws, [but] . . . only one or two of these men are in [the Republican's] ranks.'
Other newspapers on the island carried reports which showed an interpretation of the Foraker Act along the same lines. For instance, La Correspondencia stated that the hypocritical and oppressive action of the U. S. Congress was due to a change "from historic expansionism to imperialism in the interest of pressure groups such as sugar and tobacco trusts." This remark indicates that some of the islanders were fully aware of the unfair, manipulative policies of the U. S. Congress toward the island but were apparently unable to take a firm stand against such action. It would seem that the Puerto Ricans were too poor and too weak economically to assert themselves in an organized fashion against the powerful big business interests which influenced congressional action to such a great degree.
In the U. S., the reaction to the Foraker Act varied from applause to outrage. Leading editorials in the Washington Evening Star urged that the 'grave mistake should be rectified while there was still time,' and argued for 'justice and fair play.' A journalist writing in the Yale Review in 1900 expressed profound disapproval of the Foraker Act: "Of economic liberty they will have less than England's most despotically governed crown colonies," and further, he pointed out that although New Mexicans were "no better fitted for self-government than are the Porto Ricans", they were given far more liberal territorial treatment in 1850 than that given to the people of Puerto Rico.
1900 would have been an ideal moment -- like no other since -- for the U. S. to initiate a statehood process for Puerto Rico. Many Puerto Ricans believed that the military government had been instructed by the federal government to organize the island for incorporation as a territory and eventual statehood. Carr observes that, from 1898 to 1900, "most Puerto Rican politicians initially advocated statehood, many of them misconceiving the powers of a state in what they called 'a Republic of Republics.'" In other words, they wanted statehood because they felt that it would be possible to preserve cultural identity and a good deal of autonomy even as a member state of the great colossus to their north. As the Commissioner of Education in Puerto Rico, Martin G. Brumbaugh, stated in his 1901 Annual Report, '. . . the people of Porto Rico have turned to [the U. S.] with a patriotism, a zeal, an enthusiasm that is perhaps without parallel. . . . These islands now stand soliciting early admission to statehood.' Brumbaugh was an active estadista, and his positive assessment of the island's readiness for statehood may reflect his hopes rather than the reality. In fact, even before 1901, more realistic Puerto Rican leaders detected the implicit message of the Foraker Act: "in the articulate and educated circles of the island, rumors were spreading that Puerto Rico was not to become an integral part of the United States, as they had originally supposed." Apparently, the elite had some notion of the tide that was persuading Congress to reject Special Commissioner Carroll's recommendations even before the turn of the century.
A significant part of that tide was the influence of General George W. Davis's report to the Senate Committee on the Pacific Islands and Puerto Rico in February, 1900. After a first-hand look at the island in 1899, he completely undermined Carroll's opinions and suggestions, as the following excerpt of his report indicates:
The people [of Puerto Rico] generally have no conception of political rights combined
with political responsibilities. Privileges they all desire, but they seem to have very
little conception of political responsibility and the obligation of all to bow to the will
of the majority.
The U. S. Congress was apparently fearful of granting too much political power to the wrong hands and unwilling to risk giving much freedom to the islanders. Thus, it decided to respect General Davis's opinion, which represented a less risky policy than Carroll's.
Puerto Rico's treatment was not considered on an isolated, individual basis, as foreign policies of the past had been. Rather, when congressmen debated the treatment of Puerto Rico, they thought in terms of a U. S. foreign policy which would also apply to the Philippines and Guam as well. While many congressmen would have immediately accepted the people of Puerto Rico as U. S. citizens since they were 'peaceful and friendly' and, according to census figures, mostly white, they had a very different view of the Filipinos. One Representative described Filipinos to Congress in 1900 as 'physical weaklings of low stature with black skin, closely curling hair, flat noses, thick lips and large clumsy feet . . . mongrels of the East . . . with harem habits.' In the context of unrestrained prejudice against blacks in the U. S. at this time, these words were a death sentence to whatever hopes for statehood existed in the Phillipines or in Puerto Rico.
Perhaps to compensate for the political privileges which it denied Puerto Rico, Congress opted to extend generous economic concessions to the island. President William McKinley (1897-1904) and his Secretary of War, Elihu Root, encouraged Congress to take economic measures such as granting Puerto Rico free access to the U. S. market. Spain and Cuba had established tariff barriers against the island after the Spanish American War, and the island was left without access to duty-free trade. After these measure were taken, the struggle over imperialism embodied in the treatment of Puerto Rico died down quickly.
* * *
The Early Statehood Effort
Still not discouraged by the indifference of Congress, in 1903 the Puerto Rico House of Delegates initiated some of the first legislation to move Puerto Rico towards statehood. They requested territorial status and a territorial form of government as well as extension of the U. S. Constitution to the island. "It was their hope," wrote historian Edward Berbusse, "to bring statehood closer through the intermediate step of an organized territory. However, the Executive Council, composed of mainlanders for the most part, rejected the Assembly's request in its Judiciary Committee, which, as Berbusse explains, was grossly misinformed about Constitutional processes and realities. This incident is one of many which illustrates the frustrations of a Puerto Rican legislature left powerless under the control of the U. S. government.
Other early statehood efforts were made by the first political party in favor of statehood, the Partido Puertorriqueño Republicano, founded on July 14, 1899. Led by José Celso Barbosa (1857-1921), a black physician educated in the United States, the party was a reorganization of Barbosa's Orthodox Autonomy Party which had fought for autonomy from Spain during the 1890s. From the very start, Barbosa advocated statehood and U. S. citizenship as the door to political equality and dignity. His beliefs are rather ironic in light of the highly unequal treatment of blacks in the U. S. at this time. The party aimed at immediate territorial incorporation, greater suffrage, and swift Americanization. According to Barbosa, not more than ten men on the island in the 1890s would fight for the island's independence, so it would appear that his party had little opposition. He became unpopular, however, for his passive acceptance of the demeaning terms of the Foraker Act in the hope that by displaying loyalty, the statehood process would be speeded up.
Another political party in Puerto Rico which reorganized itself after the American occupation was the Liberal Party, which became the American Federalist Party in 1898. This party was similar to the Republicanos except that it favored more autonomy and less Americanization. Federalists tended to desire all of the privileges of statehood without being completely incorporated as a state. Significantly, they did not favor voting representation in Congress. This party's experience represents some of the confusion and ambivalence surrounding the early statehood effort.
By 1904 the divisions had grown so deep between the Federalists and the Republicans on the island that the Federalists boycotted the elections held that year. A new party was formed in that year, the Unionist Party, under Luis Muñoz Rivera and Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón. The majority of Federalists joined this party, as well as a few from the Republican ranks; they advocated renegotiating a definitive status for Puerto Rico, holding statehood, independence, or increased autonomy as acceptable alternatives. In 1913, however, statehood was dropped from the list of alternatives. This new party dominated Puerto Rican politics from 1904 to 1932.
By the end of the first decade of the new century, the statehood effort was weak and dispersed, making it difficult for the island to become a state even though the legislators in Puerto Rico were not satisfied with the way things stood. Their lack of power to enact the laws that they desired, being under the thumb of the executive branch in Puerto Rico which was mainland- controlled and which held absolute veto power, precipitated the following incident. On the last day of the legislative session in 1909, the Puerto Rican House of Delegates moved to adjourn without passing any budget or appropriations bills for the next year. This action, they correctly assumed, would compel the Governor of Puerto Rico to refer the matter to the federal government, which in turn would be forced to recognize the real issue at stake: i. e., whether Puerto Rico should have the legislative freedom it desired or not. Most Puerto Ricans rejoiced at this daring action, but on the mainland it was a different story. The plan backfired, and Puerto Ricans gained a reputation as troublesome "anarchists." President William Taft (1909-1913) delivered a special message to Congress on how to handle the legislative walkout. Chastising the Puerto Rico House of Delegates members for their irresponsiblity, he advised Congress to amend the Foraker Act with a provision that for any year in which the House of Delegates refused to vote on monetary issues, the island would receive the same appropriations as in the previous year. Taft described Puerto Rico as a 'favored daughter' who was behaving ungraciously, a statement which infuriated most Puerto Ricans but pleased most Americans. The crisis had only briefly awakened Congress to the Puerto Rican question. In Puerto Rico, the U. S. reaction only fed the fire which demanded revisions in the nature of the U. S.-Puerto Rico relationship, especially among Unionist Party members.
The "budget crisis" of 1909 illustrated the lack of understanding between the U. S. and Puerto Rico which would plague U. S.-Puerto Rico relations for years to come, inhibiting chances for a status resolution of any kind. The failure to achieve mutual understanding between the two during the first twelve years of their relationship was to be a crucial factor in subsequent developments. The best chance for statehood had come and passed quickly, since the slate would never be as clean again.
In the congressional hearings which preceded the passage of the Foraker Act, it was clear that a choice had to be made between siding with those Puerto Ricans who wanted the political rights associated with statehood, and those who wanted economic concessions rather than the financial burdens of a state. Perhaps the congressmen should not be faulted, for they were faced with a difficult problem and chose to honor the side which would at least put bread on the table, if not political dignity. However, in retrospect it would seem that had they granted increased political autonomy or even statehood, both bread and political dignity would have been accomplished at once. Furthermore, if they had adopted an anti-imperialist policy, Puerto Rico would not only have acquired dignity, it would have been on the road to self-sufficiency.
Judge Baldwin's remarks from an 1899 issue of the Harvard Law Review are cited in Garcia-Passalacqua, p. 95.
See Grupo de Investigadores Puertorriqueños for an excellent discussion of the experience of all past territories and the statehood process.
See especially Vincent P. DeSantis for a discussion of these trends in his book,The Shaping of Modern America: 1877-1916 (Arlington Heights: The Forum Press, 1973), pp. 123-25.
Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams had discussed this possibility. Cuba was considered Spain's most valuable possession in the Caribbean. See DeSantis, p. 125.
Stephan Thernstron, A History of the American People, Volume Two: Since 1865 (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984), p. 505.
Wiebe, p. 241.
Thernstrom, p. 506. Another anti-imperialist was Mark Twain, who suggested a design for the new flag over the U. S. colonies: "take the Stars and Stripes, paint the white stripes black, and replace the stars with a skull and crossbones."
Wiebe, p. 234.
Cited in Thernstrom, p. 506. Beveridge was an enthusiastic imperialist, whose speech "The March of the Flag" can be found in John L. Beatty and Oliver A. Johnson, Heritage of Western Civilization (Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 1987), pp. 258-63.
The information in this paragraph is contained in R. A. Van Middeldyk, The History of Puerto Rico from the Spanish Discovery to the American Occupation, (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1903), pp. 177-82.
12 General Miles's words are cited in STACOM, Background Studies, pp. 58-9.
13 The only organized, armed resistance to the U. S. invasion was offered by a group called the Macheteros, a small and radical group desiring Puerto Rican independence. See Heine and Garcia-Passalacqua for a discussion, p. 3.
14 STACOM, Background Studies, pp. 58-59.
Johnson, Donald Bruce and Kirk H. Porter, National Party Platforms 1840-1972 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1973), p. 123.
16 Osuna, p. 342. Estimates of illiteracy on the island at the turn of the century vary from 75 to 85%.
17 Henry K. Carroll, Report on the Island of Porto Rico: Its Population, Civil Government, Commerce, Industries, Productions, Roads, Tariffs, and Currency, with Recommendations (1899) (New York: Arno Press, 1975), p. 62.
18 H. G. Curtis, "The Status of Puerto Rico," Forum (December 1899) 28: 403-11.
19 José Enamorado Cuesta, Porto Rico, Past and Present (New York: Arno Press, 1975; first printing, 1928), pp. 41-42.
Cited in Grupo de Investigadores Puertorriqueños, p. 1438. See also pp. 1439-41.
See Edward J. Berbusse, The United States in Puerto Rico, 1898-1900 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966), p. 163, for an editorial from this period which attacks the Congress's actions.
Johnson, p. 112.
For excellent discussions on the debate over the Foraker Act, see Berbusse, pp. 149-163, Grupo de Investigadores Puertorriqueños, p. 1292, and STACOM, Background Studies pp. 59-61. The Supreme Court upheld the Republican position when it ruled that Puerto Rico was an unincorporated territory to which the Constitution could extend in whole, or in part, at the sole discretion of Congress.
Cited in the Congressional Record, 56th Congress, 1st sess., Feb. 26, 1900.
Johnson, p. 112.
Carroll, p. 56.
26 Cited in Berbusse, pp. 181-82.
STACOM, Background Studies, p. 59.
28 Widespread press opposition to the Foraker Act, including this editorial, was cited in ibid., p. 63.
See "The Question of Porto Rico," Yale Review, 8 (February, 1900): 355-59.
Heine, p. 254.
Carr, p. 42.
Brumbaugh's comments are cited in Aida Negron de Montilla, Americanization in Puerto Rico and the Public School System, 1900-1930 (Rio Piedras, Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1975), p. 37. "These islands" apparently refer to the main island of Puerto Rico and the smaller ones which it encompasses, such as Vieques and Culebra.
See Robert J. Hunter's comprehensive chapter, "Historical Survey of the Puerto Rico Status Question, 1898-1965), in STACOM, Background Studies, p. 55.
Ibid., p. 56.
Statement recorded in the Congressional Record, 56th Cong., 1st sess., 1900, p. 2162, as cited by Carr, p. 35.
See ibid., pp. 57-58.
Berbusse, pp. 229-30; also pp. 256-57.
STACOM, Background Studies, p. 65.
Ibid., pp. 65-66.
See Carr, p. 50.
STACOM, Background Studies, pp. 67-68.
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