What Is the Foraker Act?

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The Foraker Act was signed on April 2, 1900 by United States President William McKinley to establish a civilian government in Puerto Rico. This civil law is also known as the Organic Act of 1900, and it was named after its sponsor, Joseph Benson Foraker.

The Foraker Act created a new government to include a governor and executive council to be appointed by the President, a 35-member elected House of Representatives, a Supreme Court within a judicial system and a Congress that included a non-voting Resident Commissioner. All federal laws already in effect in the United States were to carry over to Puerto Rico as well.