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Unit 4: The Hope and the Trauma
Transcript of Unit 4: The Hope and the Trauma
The Hope and
Cuban War of Independenc
U.S interest in Cuba
"Remember the Maine"
TR wrote to Senator Cabot Lodge:
"I earnestly hope that no truce
will be granted and that peace will only
be made only on consideration of Cuba
being independent, Porto Rico ours, and the
Philippines taken away from Spain"
"Porto Rico is not forgotten
and we mean to have it"
Attack to San Juan
May 12, 1898
7 U.S. warships attacked San Juan without warning
Some damage to the fort, some hit the town. Some people were killed . . . Most missed their mark . . .
From 8 to 30 deaths are reported.
July 25, 1898
Bay of Guánica
USS Gloucester - few troops symbolically raised the American Flag
Followed by other ships & 3,415 men
Same day troops will disembark in Ponce
Yauco and Ponce welcomed invading troops
Campaign in Puerto Rico lasted nineteen days.
General Nelson A. Miles was commander .
According to the Times, "the north end of Morro Castle was in ruins, the Cabras Island fort was silenced, and the San Carlos battery was damaged. Although the Americans suffered only two casualties and seven injuries, the Spanish Governor General of Puerto Rico issued a proclamation saying eight soldiers were killed and 34 wounded as a result of the bombardment of the forts at San Juan."
Nelson A. Miles
PUERTO RICO BEFORE 1898
As reported by American Geologist Robert T. Hill:
Land of farmers – highly cultivated island – diversified
Island produces enough food for the consumption of its inhabitants
Plantations of sugar and coffee
Small independent farms: Stock raising.
Advances: since Cedula 1815
In wealth and population:
A professional and planter class – prosperous
Peasants farmed: indolent, sagacious, skillful , hospitable.
Race prejudice existed but different
Beginning of railroad system, roads, telegraph, telephone
Autonomy with a premier and House of representatives
Not as advanced as the most advanced regions of the US but ahead of many places in Caribbean – Like many parts of the Deep South
Why land in the South - Ponce?
American spy proposes
More nativist spirit
More anti Spanish
"The island of Puerto Rico," said General Miles, on his return, "was fairly won by the right of conquest, and became a part of the United States. The sentiment of the people was in no sense outraged by the invaders, but, on the contrary, was successfully propitiated. A people who have endured the severity of Spanish rule for four centuries hail with joy the protection of the Great Republic. One of the richest sections of country over which our flag now floats has been added and will be of lasting value to our nation, politically, commercially, and from a military or strategic point of view. The possession of that island also rendered any further resistance of the Spanish forces in Cuba hopeless."
Nelson's "Message to the people of PR"
Justifies the invasion, explain objectives: they were there to stay, bring protection, prosperity, liberal institutions… most conform to military administration of order and justice
A second proclamation July 29 – said military had absolute and supreme power – control taxes, could take property
July 28, 1898, three days after landing U.S. forces on the island:
To the Inhabitants of Puerto Rico:In the prosecution of the war against the kingdom of Spain by the people of the United States, in the cause of liberty, justice, and humanity, its military forces have come to occupy the island of Puerto Rico. They come bearing the banner of freedom, inspired by a noble purpose to seek the enemies of our country and yours, and to destroy or capture all who are in armed resistance. They bring you the fostering arm of a free people, whose greatest power is in its justice and humanity to all those living within its fold. Hence the first effect of this occupation will be the immediate release from your former relations, and it is hoped a cheerful acceptance of the government of the United States. The chief object of the American military forces will be to overthrow the armed authority of Spain, and to give the people of your beautiful island the largest measure of liberty consistent with this occupation. 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, not only to yourselves, but to your property; to promote your prosperity, and bestow upon you the immunities and blessings of the liberal institutions of our government. It is not our purpose to interfere with any existing laws and customs that are wholesome and beneficial to your people so long as they conform to the rules of military administration of order and justice. This is not a war of devastation, but one to give all within the control of its military and naval forces the advantages and blessings of enlightened civilization.Nelson A. Miles,Major-General, Commanding United States Army.
To increase trade
Kick Spain out of hemisphere
Scruples over keeping Cuba but not PR
Military importance of PR in protecting Cuba, a future canal & a Pacific route.
Key pawn in the rising competition of industrial empires.
American view on the population:
“About one-sixth of the population in this island--the educated class, and chiefly of pure Spanish blood--can be set down as valuable acquisitions to our citizenship and the peer, if not the superior, of most Americans in chivalry, domesticity, fidelity, and culture. Of the rest, perhaps one-half can be molded by a firm hand into something approaching decency; but the remainder are going to give us a great deal of trouble. They are ignorant, filthy, untruthful, lazy, treacherous, murderous, brutal, and black. Spain has kept her hand at their throats for many weary years, and the only thing that has saved them from being throttled is the powerful influence in their discipline effected by the Roman Catholic Church. When our zealous missionaries have succeeded in leading them into the confines of other creeds, we shall have all the excitement we want in Puerto Rico, and the part of our army stationed there will have no lack of exercise.”From "A Recent Campaign in Puerto Rico by the Independent Regular Brigade under the Command of Brig General Schwan,"
American Consul Philip C. Hanna says:
Puerto Ricans were happy with new autonomy
Captain general was popular.
Economic relation of the island with the U.S. before war according to Hanna:
Favorable trade balance trade
with PR was more valuable
to the US than trade with many
South & Central Am. republics
Imports of sugar from PR were
less than from Brazil, Cuba,
Mexico, British West Indies &
Venezuela but ahead of the rest
Exports to PR: 10th market for
How was PR different than
all other territory acquired
by US before?
Small cultural nationality:
Indian, Afro, Spanish
Puerto Rico at the turn of the Century
953,243 - high density
Rural (only 21.4 urban)
Higher % of whites in mountains.
Higher % of whites than in rest
of West Indies and Southern US
Agriculture : Leading occupation
Almost 61,000 farms
Double acres dedicated to coffee than sugar
93% of farms occupied by owners ( not absentee)
Colored people owned 9% of lands & leased more. – smaller farms
Sugar – white man’s crop. Coffee – family & diverse. Minifundia
Coffee market was mainly Europe. Sugar depended on American Markets
Sugar was the frontier for expansion of American capital. – sugar became King
Initial Contacts & reactions in the island
Puerto Ricans views on US life and mores:
“Yankee peril” – hypocrisy of ideals,
scandals, fraud, lack of culture
“Yankee model”- freedoms, idealistic,
American markets – be a state
Puerto Rican reaction to the transfer of power
Collaborators - informants & guides
Annexation trend among some of the Separatists
Autonomist council: urged resistance & supports Spain.
Atmosphere in San Juan was grave, restrained
Liberal elite rejoiced
Bands of armed horsemen that helped the invading army
Liga de Patriotas:
Hostos, Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón, Julio Henna, Manuel Zeno Gandía met the President Mckinley
Want: Recognition of PR personality & prepare it for republican democracy & plebiscite.
Luis Muñoz Rivera
Ambivalent on the invasion: distrusted US
Thought Annexionism absurd
PR personality as autonomous state should be respected.
1. brief military occupation,
2. territory with self government
3. soon statehood.
Economic plan – lower tariffs
Public primary education
Not necessary 20 years of Americanization
American Military Governors:
John Rutter Brooke
1st military governor of Puerto Rico
Tactful – Invited the Autonomist Council and did not let them resign
Reserved final decisions but recognized that their recommendations were good
Feuds in the press
clashes between soldiers & civilians
criticism of protestant ministers
Treaty of Paris
December 10, 1898
Article II: "Spain cedes to the United States the island of PR and all others under her sovereignty in the West Indies, and the island of Guam in the archipelago of the Marianas or Ladrones".
Article IX: Civil rights and political status of
the inhabitants of the island were to be determined by Congress.
Brigadier General Guy V. Henry
Strict – admits no contradiction
Wants to improve sanitation, revise election standards
Americanization by teaching of English.
Control freedom of press
Heavy tax on alcohol and tobacco
Puritan strain – same as mandonismo español
Eliminates the Autonomist Insular Council by Feb. 1899
Muñocistas: Federal Party:
Statehood - U.S. is a Republic of Republics - A state of states
No need for tutelage - Autonomy should be respected
Great admirer of U.S
José Celso Barbosa
Barbosistas: Republican Party:
Full identity and incorporation into American System
Accepts 20 to 25 years of tutelage
Eugenio M. de Hostos
Self - Determination - let the Puerto Ricans decide
Vacuum of power: Spanish government institutions stopped working and it will take some time for Americans to take their place.
Hunger and misery of the crisis of 1898 demonstrated the privileges and injustices of the colonial society
Bands had helped the US invasion and it was not easily disbanded
Movement of popular violence took place:
Target: Spanish Merchants and hacendados
Bands of people that attacked Spaniards and sacked Spanish property
Revenge: especially in northwest , Lares
Local judges protected the Puerto Ricans
American troops will persecute, kill some and arrest others
Effects on the Economy of PR
Last Spanish budget had surplus- Brooke found empty treasury.
Island revenues came from customs duties but trading had been interrupted
As part of US tariff system, coffee and tobacco would face new tariffs in other countries
No free trade with U.S.
Exchange of American money for Spanish money hurt the people.
Henry’s relations with Muñoz Rivera:
Muñoz is his pet peeve “bête – noire”
Muñoz insists on self – government
Puerto Ricans are children who do not know what they want – too political
Replaces council with 3 secretaries of his own – American General John Eaton – Public instruction
Muñoz starts campaign of criticism – accuses him of destroying representative democracy.
Press is persecuted
Henry accuses Muñoz of political agitation and planning independence mov.
What happens to Henry
Henry wires DC – March 10, 1899 – about reports on plans for insurrections & wants permission to deal with it.
Superiors do not believe it true & ask him to be tactful.
He was criticized even by the other side – military generals.
Framing of Tutelage
Political pattern established in island:
If you disagreed with American governors – you would be an
“Anti – American”
Political enemies & American groups of traders & bureaucrats in San Juan would discredit them.
“Americanism”- blind acceptance of the official policies.
People dissatisfied would complain to Washington – “personalismo”
Double Standard among Americans
"Partisan Activities, job - hunting, struggling for power"
In Puerto Rican politics it was bad - not acceptable
In American politics – it was common accepted practice.
Brig. Gen. George W. Davis
May 9, 1899, to May 1, 1900
last military governor
Represents American middle class values – more scholarly & tactful but still prejudiced against Puerto Ricans
Defends Free Trade for island with US
Helps shape Colonial tutelage
Centralization of power in the executive - governor & cabinet
“Advisory board” – of distinguished Puerto Ricans – but he believes they are unfit to decide.
Habeas Corpus, U.S. provisional courts, trial by jury, reorganization of judiciary.
Self – government only in municipalities
Cooperation of Political parties would be a sign that they had learned.
“The Principles of Colonial Policy”
Elihu Root – Secretary of War
Conservative – friend of T. Roosevelt- flexible negotiator – Imperialist
US has all the power – people had no legal rights – but moral rights to be treated with justice & freedom
People were not educated on self – government - self control & respect
Nationwide humanitarian effort after San Ciriaco
Receptive to requests from planters and businessmen
“Honest people, mistakenly believing in the justice of their cause, are led to support injustice. “
“The wolf always charges the lamb with muddying the stream.”
“Men do not fail; they give up trying. “
Puerto Ricans right to self – determination was denied by:
Doctrine of Congressional Supremacy
Theory of Colonial Tutelage
According to the Autonomic Charter – only PR had the right to change the political relation with Spain –
Treaty of Paris 1898 violated this principle
Coffee market in decline
Tobacco market closed
American sugar market did not improve because they kept high tariffs
Exchange of pesos for dollars hurt Puerto Ricans – given less than its worth
PR Economic realities after US invasion
San Ciriaco hurricane made it worst.
August 8, 1899
3, 000 lives
Coffee crop destroyed
Haciendas abandoned, destroyed plantains
Why invade Puerto Rico?
The Hope and the Trauma of Colonial Tutelage
Spanish American War
Measures to americanize the island
Adaptation of the political parties and labor movement
Disappointment with the military regime
Tragedy of Hurricane San Ciriaco - August 1899
Spanish citizens born in the Iberian peninsula and residents of the colonies would have the rights to keep the spanish citizenship or accept whatever citizenship was imposed in the territories.
Favorable environment for the expression of anti spanish resentments
Fear, hunger, needs and a sensation that Spain had abandoned the island to its fate
Famous "Proclama" by Miles - optimism
Not many bad incidents between the military and the civilian population
Some groups with economic interests hoped that the incorporation to the US would benefit them
Scarano, Francisco; Puerto Rico, Una Historia Contemporanea,
Segunda Edicion' McGraw Hill, Mexico 2007
Pico, Fernando; History of Puerto Rico, A Panorama of its
People; Marcus Wiener Publishers, Princeton, 2006
Morales Carrión; Puerto Rico, A Political and Cultural History,
New York, 1983
Dietz, James; Economic History of Puerto Rico, Princeton, New
Organized a civilian government
All persons born in the island would be citizens of Porto Rico with right to the protection of the United States
Incorporation of the island into the US navigation system or cabotage, and to the tariff system - controlling our international commerce
Commerce between PR and US would still pay a 15% tax for two years (Money would come back to the island to pay for the colonial government until a tax system was established)
Election of the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico to the US. - with voice but no vote.
Government of Puerto Rico
according to the Foraker Act
Executive Council had 11 members - all named by the President - six were the department heads
Of the 11 only 5 had to be born in PR
House of Delegates - only elected - every two years - 24 members
Electors had to be 21 years old and must know how to read and write.
Power to give exclusive contracts or franchises and permits (public or semi - public services - like trains, telegraphs, electric company - belonged to the governor and the Executive Council -
After the veto powers of the Executive Council and the governor - the US Congress reserved the right to veto any law of our legislature..
Federal Court was established in PR - all proceedings would be in English
Supreme Court in PR would be named by the President too
Insular Cases from 1901 -1904
Anti – imperialists took the issue of colonies to the US Supreme Court: Does the Constitution follow the flag?
A very nationalistic court “rationalized” the issue and approved “empire – building”
Created the “unincorporated territory”
PR “belonged to but was not part of”
Dissenting opinion by Chief Justice Fuller: PR was left “in an intermediate state of ambiguous existence”
Foraker Period: 1900 - 1917
Politics in two fronts:
Colonial dependency imposed by the US Congress created the status conflict - with a group vigorously opposing the system while another supporting the complete assimilation and accepting the regiment.
Inevitable friction between the ruling groups of society and the popular sectors - labor groups - creating social classes conflicts
Politics of disappointment - disenchantment- Foraker Act offended many Puerto Ricans
Rejected the Foraker Act - because it gave Puerto Ricans less democratic rights than the Autonomic Charter
Rejected the "mentoring" of the North Americans
When the Council of Chamber manipulated the electoral map to favor the Republicans - they boycotted the elections.
Reactions by Political Parties in PR
Mayority of them favor the idea of "mentoring" of the Foraker Act - - North Americans would teach them democracy.
Turbas Republicanas" - - gangs affiliated to the Republican Party with resentments to the Spanish - used violence against against the Federals and the labor movement.
- of Muñoz Rivera
Some groups affiliated to the Federal Party used violence against the Republicans
According to Historian Fernando Picó: With the elections of 1900 and 1902, the political life of the country acquired characteristics of partisan intolerance that still exist in our elections.
Federal Party will participate again in the elections of 1902 - - but the Republican Party will dominate the House of Delegates until 1904
Americans here were happy with these results even though in some occasions even the Republicans would oppose some of the actions of the "continentales" or continentals
Patriotic Awakening will result of the disappointment of the Puerto Ricans - - many will stop favoring statehood.
deluge of US investors
favoritism of the government towards foreigners in granting public service franchises
economic and social dislocation which led to the bankruptcy of hundreds of landowners and the immigration of thousands of Puerto Ricans to Hawaii and other countries
All of this led Puerto Ricans to believe they should unite to save the country
Partido Union de Puerto Rico
Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón: lawyer and leader of the Republican Party started a campaign asking for unity of all Puerto Ricans
Federals joined more easily the campaign because although Matienzo was criticizing the Puerto Ricans - he referred to the Puerto Rican personality - 'puertorriqueñidad' - something that many republicans did not like. Plus Republicans dominated government so.... why change that?
Jose de Diego and Luis Muñoz Rivera took the lead and dissolved the Federal Party and organized the group Union de Puerto Rico - which became the new Party - 1904
Most Federals, some unhappy Republicans and organized labor, members of the Free - Federation of Labor - joined this party
A believer of Social Darwinism - but he thought that the weak nations could learn from the powerful ... or they were condemned to disappear.
" The day that those two words, Republicans and Federals, which are truly foolish, disappear - we will be great."
"I find only one solution: to unite everyone: the enemies of the Puerto Ricans are the Puerto Ricans" . . .
José de Diego
En la brecha
¡Ah desgraciado si el dolor te abate,
si el cansancio tus miembros entumece!
Haz como el árbol seco: reverdece
y como el germen enterrado: late.
Resurge, alienta, grita, anda, combate,
vibra, ondula, retruena, resplandece...
Haz como el río con la lluvia: ¡Crece!
Y como el mar contra la roca: ¡Bate!
De la tormenta al iracundo empuje,
no has de balar, como el cordero triste,
sino rugir, como la fiera ruge.
¡Levántate!, ¡Revuélvete!, ¡Resiste!
Haz como el toro acorralado: ¡Muge!
O como el toro que no muge: ¡Embiste!
Colgadme al pecho, después que muera,
mi verde escudo en un relicario;
cubridme todo con el sudario,
con el sudario de tres colores de mi bandera.
Sentada y triste habrá una Quimera
sobre mi túmulo funerario...
Será un espíritu solitario
en larga espera, en larga espera, en larga espera...
Llegará un día tumultuario
y la Quimera, en el silenciario
sepulcro erguida, lanzará un grito...
¡Buscaré entonces entre mis huesos mi relicario!
¡Me alzaré entonces con la bandera de mi sudario
a desplegarla sobre los mundos desde las cumbres del Infinito!
LAURA MÍA: ya sé que no lo eres;
mas este amor, que ha sido flor de
un día, se olvida a solas de que
no me quieres.
Y, en medio de mi bárbara agonía,
¡te llama a gritos, con el mismo grito
de aquellos tiempos en que fuiste mía!
Yo necesito hablarte, necesito
saber por qué me arrojas al destierro,
de tu perjuro corazón proscrito,
cuando feliz en su adorable encierro,
al ideal querido me acercaba,
con fe sublime y voluntad de hierro; .....
1904 - 1928
Defending the rights of the People of Puerto Rico
Platform or Program: Status must be defined
Based on the doctrines of the U.S. - the government of the island must derive its power from the 'consent of the governed'
Government of the island must be based on self - government - autonomy
In its famous "Base quinta" - they proposed that Puerto Rico could become a state of the Union (therefore acquiring self -government) or an independent nation under a U.S. protectorate (like Cuba)
They accepted the three options - what they would not accept was the Foraker Act
It won the first elections in 1904 - probably because it was the first that all males over 21 could vote