1898 military invasion of Puerto Rico by the United States military

1898 military invasion of Puerto Rico by the United States military

  • Type of paperEssay (Any Type)
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  • Number of pages4
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Introduction Presentation of the main idea/ ideas in the essay. What is the essay about? Must briefly introduce all aspects of the topic covered in the body paragraphs. Once you have completed the essay, it is highly recommended to go back and reconsider the introduction. Body Development of the idea/ideas in informative and/or illustrative paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on one aspect of the response. Paragraphs must flow, or follow a logical, natural, understandable progression of events, thoughts or ideas. Conclusion Restate the main idea/ideas, summarize the supporting points in the body paragraphs, and leave an interesting final impression. Introduction and conclusion must correlate with each other.


For nearly five centuries, Puerto Rico was considered part of the Spanish Empire, with which its people, Ricans, fought hard to safeguard themselves against invasions from such prominent nations as Netherlands, France, and Britain. The Ricans joined forces with Americans and helped to fight alongside renowned general Bernardo De Galvez during the American Revolutionary War. By the 19th century, the Ricans decided to reside in the United States and joined the Americans to fight in the American Civil War before the Americans formulated a plan to seize the island. This influence led to the island being invaded by the United States during the Spanish-American war. This paper will, therefore, outline the various history of Puerto Rican resistance to defend the island, an attempted revolt against the Spaniards, and the Spanish-American War which shows how the US operated to colonize the island.

The Struggle over Puerto Rico

The Spanish regarded Puerto Rico as “Key to the Antilles” with the significance that its strategic location was would open up port and station for their vessels. In early 1539, the Spanish acquired many revenues from investing in Mexican mines. The revenues collected were used to build the famous Fort San Felipe Del Morro in San Juan. After the initial stage of the port construction was completed, it then just became the island’s main military protection. The other part of the island, which was now simplified as a captaincy general, would act as protection guide of defending the island against invasion and militant attacks.

However, the island developed main enemies such as Britain and Netherlands. Besides, the imminent threat posed when France sacked and destroyed people’s residences in San German, with the aim of attempting to invade and capture the island. However, the French did not succeed. Other military powers such as the Netherlands, arrived at the island and ordered the governor to surrender the island. The governor refused the order being that he was an experienced military man who would be readily equipped in case of an attack. He immediately had the island fortified which forced the Dutch to take another route to La Puntilla. The Ricans fought immensely just to defend their homeland against the pirates and illegally constituted government.

By the 18th Century, Britain still carried on their invasion into Spanish colonies, and grabbing various minor islands as Vieques, in the east part of Puerto Rico. The Ricans thereafter petitioned the Spanish Crown to serve in the regular Spanish army. The petition saw forward the Spanish acquire the organization of the Regiminieto Fijo de Puerto Rico. The Fijo agreed to help in the defense of the island and other islands in the Caribbean.

American Revolutionary War

When the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1777, the Spanish government agreed to the terms that the Americans may use the island’s ports in exchange of financial gains and arms for their cause in case of an invasion. The two forces then combined, together with other Spanish colonies, and diverted the British from the revolution by seizing Pensacola. The Ricans troop helped the Americans to defeat the British, Indian army and British warships in Pensacola. By the 19th century, an elaborative trade was seen between the ports of the eastern coast of the US and Puerto Rico. According to sources, various ships were now seen traveling to and from the US and the island. Most Ricans also settled in such states as Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York. Besides, when the American Civil war broke out, numerous Ricans joined the United States under their military armed forces.


Revolution against Spain

An attempt was steered in 1882, called Ducoudray Holsten Expedition attempt, that prudently outlined tactics and ways of invading Puerto Rico and declaring it a state. The attempt was organized and planned by General Henri La Fayette Villaume Ducoudray Holsten. The attempt to invade had an intention of making the island an independent republic, and its name replaced by Boricua. The attempt also involved more of a mercantile undertaking instead of a patriotic effort. Nonetheless, the attempt plans were soon discovered by the Spanish government and thus the attempt never emerged.

The Spanish-American War

The war was instigated by US urge of imperialism and the dissolution of the Spanish empire. The war had been formulated since 1894, by the Naval War College. Initially, the plans were directed towards routing a war with Spain with the aim of gaining the valuables that the island was renowned for. It was considered that the island had plentiful valuable commercial products which by then the United States lacked. The war was then declared in 1898, after news broke that US marine battleship had been sunk in Havana port, Cuba.  The war broke out immediately the Rican troops were sent to Santiago de Cuba to fight the invading Americans. The battle, however, had huge impacts on the Ricans, who suffered losses in terms of casualties and destruction of properties, which also involved 75% of their troops either dead, injured, missed in action or prisoned.

The invasion by the Americans was then famously called the Puerto Rican Campaign. By the 25th of June, the US forces stormed San Juan and blocked it. The Spanish forces exchanged fire with the army for nearly three hours, which ended up in the death of Justo Esquivies, the first Rican soldier to perish in the Puerto Rican Campaign. The war then slowly came to an end since other Ricans decided to begrudge the Spanish rule and regarded the Americans as their saviors, making the invasion much simpler. Spain decided to surrender the island to the Americans as spoils of the war as well as the quest of liquidating its war debts. A treaty was signed in December, Treaty of Paris, which made the island a territory of the United States.


Before being part of US territory, Puerto Rico was considered part of the Spanish rule, where its citizens struggled severely just to protect it from invasions from the Netherlands, France, and Britain. The island was strategically located to ease the opening up of ports and stations for Spanish vessels. However, the island faced forceful invasions from the nations who wanted to seize its valuables. The Ricans joined forces with Americans and helped to fight during the American Revolutionary War. Spanish government agreed to the terms that the Americans may use the island’s ports in exchange for financial gains. However, the Americans had other formulated plans invade the island and declare it a state. And then The Spanish-American War broke out in 1898 where most Ricans suffered losses in terms of casualties and destruction of properties. The immense war made the Spanish forces to retreat and surrender the island to the Americans making it a territory of the United States after a signed treaty.