According to material provided by the Hispanic division of the library of congress, by the end of the 1800's, Puerto Rico held strategic value for the United States, for both economic and military reasons. Puerto Rico would provide a new market for exported American goods, as well as a strategic naval point in the Western Hemisphere. Leading strategist Alfred T. Mahan, a naval captain, pushed naval power as the core of military success, leading the United States to replace ground warfare with naval movements. From then on, naval strategy drove U.S. foreign policy and military doctrine. These new theories played an important role in the Spanish American War.
[...] (Pousada) Miller was a former teacher and principal in Puerto Rico, so he had slightly more of an understanding about the situation than some other Americans had. Miller's program advocated for Spanish to be used in the classroom from first to fourth grade, both languages used in the fifth grade, and English used for sixth grade and after. This policy was not supported by the Puerto Rican Teachers Association. However, the passage of the Jones Act in 1917, which gave U.S. [...]
[...] This was vetoed by the Governor of Puerto Rico and sent on to President Truman, but it was held up in the Department of the Interior until it was too late. A lawsuit brought by a parent of a Puerto Rican Student finally forced a vote, in which the policy was accepted by the San Juan District Court and then overturned by the Supreme Court. The next Commissioner was Mariano Villaronza, who was forced to resign after revealing his policy of all grades taught in Spanish with English being a mandatory second language. [...]
[...] At this point the Falkner plan was still in place, and by 1911 there was a violent reaction to the “cultural colonization” that it was causing From 1912-1915, the Commissioner of Education Edward M. Bainter was petitioned by a new group, the Puerto Rican Teachers Association. This group desired a new policy of Spanish used in first grade, Spanish and English used from second through eighth, and English used in High School. They also requested that Spanish be used in the rural schools. [...]
[...] The bar association became a “forum for the expression of anti-American sentiments and a factory for the manufacture of legal arguments against Statehood and Commonwealth to be presented to the Decolonization Committee of the United Nations.” (Carr 287) While the effect of Americanization was seen in the law and religion of Puerto Rico, it was probably felt by more people on a larger scale in the education system. For years, the Spanish idea of education dominated the island, in which education for all but the elite was considered dangerous, and the elite were brought back to Spain to be educated. [...]
[...] He feared that if Americanization wasn't successful, the models of French and Spanish education previously in place on the island would diminish U.S. sympathies. (Pousada) In 1900, the Foraker Act was passed, establishing a civil government on Puerto Rico, which enabled the Department of Public Instruction, a regent for public education. Under this system the first Commissioner of Education was Martin Brumbaugh, who wanted to “continue teaching in Spanish while extending the English language until it became the commercial and domestic language of the island”. [...]
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