The History of Puerto Rico

(LCS 01:595:371/History 01:508:371)

Instructor: Aldo Lauria Santiago

This course will provide students an advanced introduction to the history of Puerto Rico in Caribbean and American contexts. The study of the post-conquest history of Puerto Rico history covers over five centuries. Four hundred years under Spanish rule and over 100 under US rule. Because of this persistent colonial history Puerto Rico is often presented as an exceptional place with a history unlike any other. Puerto Rico presents some unique characteristics because of its hybridity-a self-identified nation that is thoroughly integrated into the United States; a mostly Spanish-speaking country that considers itself part of Latin America and the Caribbean; a diasporic nation with millions of island-born people living on the US mainland.

Weekly Themes:

Week 1: Requirements and Goals; Geography and Demographics

Week 2: Conquests, Settlement and Marginalization in Caribbean and Imperial Context, 16th-17th Centuries

Week 3: The 18th Century: Cows, Enslaved, Plebeians and Forts:

Week 4: Reconquests, Slavery, Peasants, and Commercial Agriculture, 1812-1868

Week 5: Spanish Colonial Rule and the Landlord Economy, 1868-1898

Week 6: Liberation by Invasion: 1898: The Transition to US Rule in Caribbean Context

Week 7: Elite Politics of Negotiation, Adjustment and Accumulation--Colonial Rule 1898-1920s

Week 8: Working Class Life and Politics, 1898-1930s

Week 9: The Depression and Crisis: Elite Crisis, Labor Revolt and Nationalist Insurgency, 1929-1939

Week 10: New Deal, War and Reform Restructure the Colony, 1939-1952

Week 11: Economic Transformation and the Public Sector, 1948-1980

Week 12: Emigration and Diasporic Culture

Week 13: Manufacturing, Construction and Services: Crisis, Recovery and Crisis, 1975-2017

Week 14: The Never Ending Debate: Autonomy and Colonial Rule

Week 15: Transitions from Crisis, 2018+