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Christopher Columbus arrived at Puerto Rico in He originally called the island San Juan Bautista, but thanks to the gold in the river, it was soon known as Puerto Rico, or "rich port;" and the capital city took the name San Juan. Soon, Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony on its way to becoming an important military outpost.

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Today this word -used in various modifications- is still popularly used to deate the people and island of Puerto Rico. They were a peaceful people who, with a limited knowledge of agriculture, lived on such domesticated tropical crops as pineapples, cassava, and sweet potatoes supplemented by seafood.

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On April 17, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain ed the agreement to finance and set the terms of Columbus's voyage to the Indies. The document is known as the Capitulations of Santa Fe. The first sighting of land came at dawn on October They landed at San Salvador, in the Bahamas. Thinking he had reached the East Indies, Columbus referred to the native inhabitants of the island as "Indians," a term that was ultimately applied to all indigenous peoples of the New World.

After the success of Columbus's first voyage, he had little trouble convincing Ferdinand and Isabela of Spain, to follow up immediately with a second voyage.

Unlike the exploratory first voyage, the second voyage was a massive colonization effort. The second voyage brought European livestock horses, sheep, and cattle to America for the first time. Originally the newcomers called the island San Juan Bautistafor St. John the Baptist and the town was named Puerto Rico " rich port " for its abundance of natural resources, specially gold and its excellent location. It was not until later that the two names were switched. Spanish colonization begins. It became the first European settlement in Puerto Rico.

Puerto rico's history

Puerto Rican archeologist, Don Ricardo Alegria estimated that the island had some 30, inhabitants. The first repartimiento in Puerto Rico was established, this system consisted of distributing among officials and colonists fixed s of Indians for wage-free and forced labor.

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The Spanish Crown instituted the encomienda after several priests protested against the treatment to Indians under the repartimiento system. The terms of the new agreement specified that Spaniards were obliged to pay the Indians for their labor and to teach them the Christian religion, but they soon reduced the Indians to a condition of abject slavery, claiming that the Indians were inferior and subhuman; therefore Indians were forced to work from dawn until dusk, under threat of corporal punishment and death.

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Juan Garrido is the first African identified in Puerto Rico. Garrido later participates in the colonization of Florida and serves with Spanish explorer Hernan Cortex in the conquest of Mexico. It is told that after they drowned Diego, they watched him for several days until they were sure that he was dead.

Diego Columbus won rights to all land discovered by his father after presenting his case to the courts in Madrid.

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The Canon of Salamanca, Alonso Manso, was appointed bishop of the Puerto Rican diocese and took possession in - the first bishop to arrive in America. On July 28th, the Complementary Declaration was established. Granting natives who were clothed, Christian, and capable could live their own lives. Caribe Indians attacked settlements along the banks of the Daguao and Macao rivers that had been founded by Diego Columbus.

Puerto rico - history and heritage

Puerto Rico became the general headquarters of the Inquisition, after Pope Leo X declared the island the first ecclesiastical headquarters in the New World. The order came into place due to the large of Taino deaths attributed to the continuing bondage systems. A population of 60, was reduced to 4, in seven years. Casa Blanca White House was built.

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The ever arriving Spaniards settlers, many of them gold-seekers, brought no women on their ships. To populate the country, the Spaniard took Indian women. With the arrival of African slaves, other elements were added. This historic intermingling has resulted in a contemporary Puerto Rico without racial problems. He took refuge on La Habana, Cuba, where he died. The convent organized the first library in the island. On their attempt to capture the Island the French attacked many settlements. Only the capital remained.

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The Taino population had almost vanished. Lando's census reports only Tainos remaining in the island.

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The construction of Santa Catalina Palace, the governors house, began. Later the name was changed to La Fortaleza. On July, a hurricane strikes the island. Few weeks later, on August another hurricane strikes the island.

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Many slaves died. Concerned about potential threats from European enemies and recognizing the strategic importance of Puerto Rico, Spain began constructing massive defenses around San Juan. The construction of San Felipe del Morro Castle began. Next the Spaniards constructed a wall, parts of which still survive, around the entire city.

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The coconut tree was introduced to the island. The coconut is indigenous to the Indo-Malaysian region. It spread by sea currents with the average maximum distance of 3, miles, on which the coconut will remain afloat and still remain viable. Considering these limitations there were no or little chance of a coconut seed reach the New World. Most authorities agree that the coconut was introduced to the New World by Portuguese and Spanish traders.

In reality though, the declaration of equality did not end the colonial social class system. On November 22, Sir Francis Drake, hero of the battle of the Spanish Armada, with 26 vessels, in the company of Sir John Hawkins, tried fruitlessly to conquer the island and set San Juan city on fire battlemap.

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On June 15, the British Navy led by George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, landing in Santurce, conquered the island and held it for several months, it is forced to abandon his conquest owing to an outbreak of plague among his troops battlemap. All content included on this website, is not public domain material.

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The content is the intellectual property of Magaly Rivera or her content providers. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is prohibited without express written permission. Skip. Did You Know? To become the 51st state, Congress would have to pass a statute to admit Puerto Rico as a state.

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