What Happened to Puerto Rico During the Spanish-American War?


Quick Answer

Puerto Rico switched from Spanish control to American control during the Spanish-American war. At the time, Puerto Rico belonged to Spain, but United States forces invaded in July and secured the island by mid-August. This victory prompted an armistice that formalized American control of the island, which was then finalized by the Treaty of Paris.

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Full Answer

Despite American control of the island, it remains a commonwealth. In the first three decades of U.S. rule, the government granted U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans and attempted to make English the official language of the country. However, a nationalist movement in the 1930's halted further attempt at assimilating Puerto Rico.

Over the years, Puerto Rico residents have supported statehood to a degree. However, most Puerto Ricans still support their status as a U.S. commonwealth.

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