Essays From When I Was Puerto Rican

This first wave of Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants, mainly upper-middle class intellectuals, lobbied the U. for support to oust the Spanish, and after their successful expulsion hoped that the U. would leave the islands to their own democratic devices. Outside of work, immigrant communities established (mutual aid societies), schools, and social clubs to help their increasing population adjust to a new life in exile.

Despite, or perhaps because of their homelands’ new status as U. colonies, Cubans and Puerto Ricans living in the U. made significant efforts to preserve their cultural heritage, including their work routines and rhythms.

While the Jones Act wouldn’t pass until 1917, the legislative record shows that Congress had effectively decided to collectively naturalize the residents of Puerto Rico three years earlier, before the U. Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico, the debate centered on whether the residents of the island would acquire U. citizenship via individual or collective naturalization. This reflected a larger, longer-term discussion over whether Puerto Rico’s future should be one of independence from the U. The leadership of the Partido Unión, who advocated either territorial autonomy and/or independence, sought to establish a pact supporting the extension of U. citizenship with the leadership of the Partido Republicano, which advocated for statehood as a way of demanding more democratic reforms to the prevailing territorial government.

Unlike the supporters of the Partido Republicano, who believed that the collective naturalization of Puerto Ricans could serve as a bridge to statehood, the leadership of the Partido Unión argued that individual citizenship would provide more civil liberties for Puerto Ricans and would be compatible with either territorial autonomy or independence.

Two additional clauses granted different types of alien residents the ability to acquire U. citizenship by following simple legal procedures within various time frames. Yet, while the Jones Act collectively naturalized the inhabitants of Puerto Rico, it did not change the island’s territorial status. The 1927 amendment made it possible for the remaining 288 Puerto Rican citizens and other aliens residing in the island to naturalize through an expedited process. In addition, this amendment extended the Cable Act of 1922 to Puerto Rico and began to eliminate the application of the doctrine of Coverture in Puerto Rico. Since 1940, Congress has enacted several laws that affirm the Nationality Act’s citizenship provisions for Puerto Rico and grant all persons born in the island U. Even though the Jones Act citizenship was fairly short-lived (1917-1940), it was important historically.

In the end, most Puerto Rican citizens residing in the island acquired U. Puerto Rico remained an unincorporated territory or a foreign territorial possession for citizenship and constitutional purposes. The children of aliens, and of some mixed marriages, born in Puerto Rico could not acquire U. In 1934, Congress introduced a territorial form of birthright citizenship permitting the children of Puerto Ricans born in the island to acquire U. The Jones Act was not only the first law that collectively naturalized the majority of Puerto Ricans residing on the island, but also it was the first law that collectively naturalized the inhabitants of a territory that was not meant to become a state of the United States.This essay highlights some of the most important historical events, beginning in the 1800s, that contributed to the definition of Puerto Rico's historical and cultural identity.The introduction of the printing press to Puerto Rico in 1806 permitted the publication of a wealth of historical and political material throughout the 1800s. Beginning in the second half of the 19 century, Cubans and Puerto Ricans both fought for their independence from Spain. In this regard, the nature, as well as the schedule and customs of work remained practically unchanged, especially in the cigar factories of Key West and Ybor City, Florida.Cubans and Puerto Ricans saw the United States as a beacon and model for democracy, and a potential source of aid in their countries’ struggles for independence. betrayed the Cubans and Puerto Ricans by engaging directly in a war with Spain (1898) and then taking control of its colonies rather than fostering their independence. The reader played an important role in disseminating news (especially news from home), progressive ideologies (such as unionism, socialism, etc.) and literature to his largely illiterate listeners, and helped to make cigar makers the most enlightened members of their class (often to the chagrin of the factory owners).Of all the former Spanish colonies in the Americas, Puerto Rico, the smallest island of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, was the only territory that never gained its political independence.The years between 18, however, paved the way for the formation and development of its political institutions and national identity.It also included a citizenship provision that incorporated the local partisan debates over the manner in which citizenship was extended to Puerto Rico under the terms of Section Five. Only 288 Puerto Ricans chose to retain their Puerto Rican citizenship. citizenship to the majority of the inhabitants of Puerto Rico, it also created thousands of stateless residents of the island. citizen women residing in Puerto Rico to retain their U. Taken together, these corrective amendments sought to collectively naturalize island-born Puerto Ricans who either did not acquire U. It extended a statutory form of birthright or jus soli citizenship to Puerto Rico that was anchored in the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.The first clause of this citizenship provision granted individual Puerto Rican citizens a choice between retaining their status quo or acquiring U. The second clause collectively naturalized island-born Puerto Ricans residing in the island who chose not to retain their Puerto Rican citizenship. In order to address this problem, Congress subsequently amended the citizenship provision of the Jones Act on three occasions over the next two decades. woman acquired the citizenship of her husband as a direct result of marriage. According to the Nationality Act of 1940, birth in Puerto Rico was now tantamount to birth in the United States. But even though the Nationality Act settled questions of citizenship, it did not deal with the larger question of the island’s political future.And Section Seven invented a Puerto Rican citizenship to describe the status of island-born Puerto Ricans. Between the enactment of the Foraker Act of 1900 and the Jones Act of 1917, Congress debated upwards of 30 bills containing citizenship provisions for Puerto Rico.A year later, the Supreme Court affirmed Congress’ power to selectively rule Puerto Rico as a foreign territorial possession in a domestic or constitutional sense. Federal lawmakers supported the collective naturalization of the inhabitants of Puerto Rico for a wide array of reasons.


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