Puerto Rico is a country with a rich history. This country is located in the northeastern part of the Caribbean. The land was an integral part of the Spanish Empire dating back many years during the time of exploration and colonization (James, David, and Dumenil 16). Puerto Rico was a critical military centre during the years of war between European powers and Spain. The battle was aimed at gaining control of the region in the 15th to 18th centuries (James, et al. 16). Puerto Rico was a stepping stone in the transit from Europe to Cuba, Central America and Mexico as well as other nations in Southern America. Until the 19th century, when the Spanish-American battle when it gained independence from its colonial master, Spain (James, et al. 16). During his second journey to the New World, Christopher Columbus baptized Puerto Rico as San Juan Bautista. This name did not last for long as it transformed back to the original name Puerto Rico which was to mean a prosperous port. It's a capital city is the one who took the name christened previously to the island, and it was named San Juan (James, et al. 16). The Spanish realized that there were rich gold deposits along the rivers and wanted to remain in this place.
In the late 15th century the population of this group of people was growing steadily at around 20,000 to 50,000 (Collazo, Sonia, Ryan, and Bauman 25). The people of Taino lived in Puerto Rico, which they would often call Borinquen. The Taino community warded off an attack by their neighbours, Carib from time to time from a neighbouring island that was to the southeastern part including the Islands Vieques as well as the Virgin Islands.
From the beginning, the people of Puerto Rico engaged in hunting and gathering as an economic activity. These were the first people to arrive on this island over 1000 years before the Spanish arrived. The Taino culture, which was developed by Arawak Indians, had also gotten an area to settle. Taino was a small group of people sharing common ancestors which had socially organized itself into small villages that were under the leadership of cacique. This group of people, unlike those that had arrived on the same island earlier and were engaging in haunting and gathering, this group preferred farming, although they had limited skills and knowledge in agriculture. They participated in agriculture and could plant crops such as cassava, tropical crops, and fruits like pineapples and sweet potatoes, which were supplementing their diet with seafood (Valdes, Nodin 22).
The Spanish colonized this island and made it one of their territories. They set up a government that was governing the island of Puerto Rico. It was during this time that the farmers who were primarily the Taino community developed their agriculture engagements. They adopted advanced methods of farming. This was a notable period as the transition in agriculture system evolved significantly. The food production raised, and the population of the Taino people was dramatically rising. It was during this time that the Taino community started farming other types of crops. They engaged in growing tobacco, sugar cane and coffee (Valdes, Nodin 22). These crops were doing well and became surplus such that they would export them. These crops were the major export crops for this community. The demand for these crops in other parts of the word was rising significantly. The number of local inhibitors was increasing as well, but the population was not enough to provide sufficient labour in the farms.
As a result of reduced labour in the farms due to the rising demand of the exports, the crafted Spanish plans of covering the deficit. As a result, they started importing slaves from Africa to offer cheap labor in these farms (Valdes, Nodin 22). The economy of Puerto Rico was increasing, and for this reason, the island became an integral military base for the Spanish government. The population was rising massively, and the crop production was getting better. All these developments were taking place between the 1760s and 1850s. However, the Spanish government in early 1600 seemed to lack adequate commercial knowledge about sugar cane which by this time was doing well in Puerto Rico (Valdes, Nodin 22). The inadequate commercial understanding was the beginning of falling of sugar cane production. Lack of adequate financial support to the farmers was also a crucial reason. Sugar cane export would start declining. The production of sugar cane was not getting better; it was going lower and lower due to lack of technology to modernize the production and get modern tools to improve production. Sugar cane farming collapsed in Puerto Rico after starting well and leaving other Caribbean countries producing sugar (Valdes, Nodin 22).
In the 1730s, the coffee started to replace the sugar cane farming that had failed. In 1776, coffee in Puerto Rico had already become an imminent crop of export for this country. There were several reasons why coffee farming was doing well. It was doing well such that it replaced sugarcane (Valdes, Nodin 22). One of the primary reasons why its production was high was the fact that coffee production was significantly more comfortable as compared to sugar cane. Unlike sugar cane, coffee did not require particular types of lands to grow. It could grow anywhere where no crop would previously thrive. It was more comfortable growing coffee than sugar cane as it would succeed in mixed farming operations. Compared to sugar cane farming, coffee farming did not require sophisticated technology to produce as sugar cane was. Coffee continued increasing in demand because most of the people who would taste coffee as a drink would enjoy every cup of it hence increasing its demand drastically (Valdes, Nodin 22).
The people of Puerto Rico would embrace organic coffee and other engaging in coffee-related business due to its elevated demand. These businesses would later lead to the growth of the economy. The market was growing more as more countries would then ship in coffee from Puerto Rico. Some of these countries include France, Italy, Germany and Britain, which led to more revenue into the country (Valdes, Nodin 22). For this reason, many people believed that coffee production in Puerto was the reason why the United States of America wanted to attack and invade this island. The white men who were owners of coffee plantations in the US would rent their estates to geo to Puerto to establish plantations there. Puerto Rico was a third world state, its banking and credit systems would affect its crediting ability considering that one of the essential factors of coffee production was marketing as well as credit facilitation to the farmers.
Puerto Rico was a large island in the Caribbean region. Its area was estimated to be around 3500 miles squared. The population was small in the 15th with an estimated population of about 20000-50000 people (Collazo et al. 25). However, this population would continue growing with time. When the country and its people adopted advance farming techniques during the Spanish rule, the population would rapidly increase. However, due to development in agriculture, the labor force would be lower than the labor required in the firms. To cover up the deficit, the Spanish government would get slaves from Africa to work in the farms. Therefore, the population would steadily grow up. Additionally, due to the growing economy from the agricultural sector, the population was also rising. Thus in the 1700s, the population of Puerto Rico was grown from to a considerable population.
The population of Puerto Rico was shaped by Americans and Europeans (Collazo et al. 25). During colonization by the Spanish, agriculture developed drastically. The development of agriculture attracted American farmers who desired to own coffee plantations in this island. As a result, many Americans migrated into this island which was adding positively to the population. However, the original settlers to this island, the Taino community was suffering to diseases which they were unable to manage. The illnesses caused massive loss of life among the Taino, which was an essential factor in reducing the population. In the early 1800s, after the Spanish rule in Puerto Rico, the United States of America took up the island (Collazo et al. 25). During these years, Puerto Rico was partially independent and self-governing. The population had risen to over 3 million people with a vibrant culture which was a blend of Spanish, Americans and the Afro-Caribbean cultures.
Population growth was rising dramatically due to other factors such as immigration from other countries due to economic development as well as agricultural development (Collazo et al. 25). Majority of settles on this island were from Spain, other people would come from Catholics in France to settle in Puerto these immigrations were adding on to the number of the people in this country. Spain while in this country was granting land to other European immigrants. Such European immigrants were from countries like Ireland, Britain, Italy as well as several other countries in Europe.
The population of this country was increasing until the beginning of the Second World War where mass exodus took place (Collazo et al. 25). A majority of the population migrated to America, especially to the New York City and other states in the US. Therefore, the population of Puerto Rico was dropping during this time. This migration had a significant impact on the overall population of Puerto Rico.
Collazo, Sonia G., Camille L. Ryan, and Kurt J. Bauman. "Profile of the Puerto Rican Population in United States and Puerto Rico: 2008." Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America. 2010.
Henretta, James A., David Brody, and Lynn Dumenil. America's history. Worth Publ., 2014.Valdes, Dionicio Nodin. Organized Agriculture and the Labor Movement Before the UFW: Puerto Rico, Hawai'i, California. University of Texas Press, 2011.
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