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ERIC Number: ED002020
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1958-Feb
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
PUERTO RICO AND THE PUERTO RICANS.
STERNAU, HERBERT
PUERTO RICO WAS DISCOVERED BY CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS IN 1493. THE PROCESS OF COLONIZATION BEGAN IN 1508, WITH THE ARRIVAL OF PONCE DE LEON AND HIS SPANISH SOLDIERS. PUERTO RICO WAS GOVERNED BY SPAIN FOR ABOUT 400 YEARS, AND THE GREAT MASS OF PEOPLE REMAINED POVERTY-STRICKEN, UNDERNOURISHED, AND ILLITERATE. THE ISLAND WAS CEDED TO THE UNITED STATES IN 1898, U.S. CITIZENSHIP WAS EXTENDED TO PUERTO RICANS IN 1917. MOST PUERTO RICANS REGARD 1940 AS THE BEGINNING OF THE ISLAND'S MODERN ERA, FOR IN THAT YEAR A NEW POLITICAL PARTY CAME INTO POWER, AND THE STRUGGLE FOR PROGRESS BEGAN. ON JULY 25, 1952, PUERTO RICO BECAME COMMONWEALTH OR FREE STATE. AS NEITHER AN INDEPENDENT NATION NOR A U.S. STATE, PUERTO RICO IS SELF-GOVERNING IN LOCAL AFFAIRS WHILE PRESERVING ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL TIES BENEFICIAL BOTH TO THE UNITED STATES AND TO THE ISLAND. THE ISLAND'S TWO MAJOR PROBLEMS ARE OVERPOPULATION AND LACK OF NATURAL RESOURCES. SINCE 1940, GREAT STRIDES HAVE BEEN MADE IN IMPROVING ALL FACETS OF PURETO RICAN LIFE. INCREASE IN TOTAL NET INCOME, RISE IN AVERAGE FAMILY INCOME, DEVELOPMENT OF A MIDDLE CLASS, DECREASE IN DEATH AND BIRTH RATES, INCREASED LIFE EXPECTANCY, ADVANCE IN PUBLIC HEALTH, A DOUBLING OF SCHOOL ENROLLMENT, PUBLIC HOUSING AND SLUM CLEARANCE PROGRAMS, AND RURAL SETTLEMENT ARE EXAMPLES OF THE GREAT PROGRESS MADE SINCE 1940. SINCE PUERTO RICANS ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS, THERE IS NO RESTRICTION ON MOVEMENT BETWEEN THE ISLAND AND THE MAINLAND. AN EXPANDING LABOR MARKET ATTRACTS THOUSANDS OF PUERTO RICANS TO THE U.S. EACH YEAR FOR INDUSTRIAL, AGRICULTURAL, AND PROFESSIONAL JOBS. PROBLEMS FACED BY MIGRANTS INCLUDE GENERAL ADJUSTMENT, PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION, THE LANGUAGE BARRIER, HOUSING, AND DEPENDENCY ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: NEW YORK; New York (New York); PUERTO RICO