When Christopher Columbus arrived in 1493, the island was inhabited by the peaceful Arawak Indians, who were being challenged by the warlike Carib Indians. Puerto Rico remained economically developed until 1830, when coffee, sugar cane plantations were developed gradually snuff. After Puerto Ricans began to press for independence, Spain granted the island broad powers of autonomy in 1897. But during the Spanish-American War of 1898 American troops invaded the island and Spain ceded to the U.S. Since then, Puerto Rico remains a U.S. territory incorporated To all the people of Puerto Rico were granted U.S. citizenship under the Jones Act in 1917, were allowed to choose their own governor, from 1948 and now fully administer their internal affairs under a constitution approved by the U.S. Congress . UU. in 1952. Despite widespread popular support for the autonomy of the Commonwealth government and a rapidly modernizing industrial society, there have been expressions of dissatisfaction. Puerto Rico dramatized his desire for independence with an attempt to assassinate President Truman on November 1, 1950 and March 1, 1954 wounded five congressmen in an attack on the U.S. Capitol
A self-help economic development and social welfare (called “Operation Bootstrap”) was forged in the 1940’s by four-time governor Luis Muñoz Marín. In little more than four decades, much of the extreme poverty of the island was removed. This was done in part through the development of manufacturing and service industries, the latter related to a huge growth in tourism. Moreover, many Puerto Ricans migrated to the big cities in the mainland U.S.
Puerto Rico is an important trading center in the Caribbean, with many finance, tourism and communications. San Juan is one of the busiest ports in the world of cruises, and the standard of living in Puerto Rico continues
to be one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Their future political status, however, remains unclear.On March 4, 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that called for binding elections in Puerto Rico to decide the permanent political status of the island.
Since the 1940’s, the U.S. Navy had used the island of Vieques as a bombing range. The protests against the exercises grew for many years, and in a referendum in July 2001, residents of the island voted overwhelmingly to close the base. The Navy withdrew from Vieques in May 2003.
The elections of November 2, 2004 for governor took a count of two months and the courts. On January 2, 2005, Anibal Acevedo Vila, the Popular Democratic Party, was declared governor. He received 48.4% of the votes and his main rival, Pedro Rosselló, the New Progressive Party, 48.2%. Acevedo supports the current U.S. stateterritory of the island, Rossello supports statehood for Puerto Rico.
In May 2006 a political crisis led to a budget crisis two weeks that resulted in the partial shutdown of government, including all public schools. More than 100,000 workers went without pay.