Puerto Rico and How it Became a Commonwealth
In 1898, Puerto Rico was invaded by the United States at the beginning of the Spanish-American War and Puerto Rico was run by a United States military regime. In 1917, the Jones-Shafroth Act gave Puerrto Ricans US citizenship. They could be recruited actively for World War I and they were.
The Great Depression impoverished Puerto Rico and some nationalists followed Pedro Campos, who asked the US. for independence.
In 1946 President Harry Truman appointed the first governor Jesus Pinero. In 1947, they were allowed to elect their own governor.Luis Marin was the first governor.
In 1950 two politicians who wanted independence tried to assasinate President Harry Truman. Truman allowed the country then to hold its' first referendum in which Puerto Rico drafted their own constitution.
In 1952 they picked a common wealth as their prefered relationship to the United States.
Since then they have had narrow victories between the two parties: one for keeping the common wealth status and one for acquiring statehood status. In 2005 Preident CLinton and President GeorgeW.Bush called for a federal election in Puerto Rico to settle the matter.Many people in Pueto Rico (including here in Jland) are asking Americans to promote their desire for statehood. They think that this would stabilize the country, give them benefits of citizenship and make theri safety an well being a higher priority to most Americans today.