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The Americanization of Puerto Rico and Its Effect on Law, Religion, and the Spanish Language

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  1. Plans for the Spanish American war
  2. Religion in Puerto Rico after the U.S. takeover
  3. Americanization and its effect on laws and judicial systems of Puerto Rico
  4. Legal justification for furthering the place of English
  5. Commissioner of Education Paul G. Miller
  6. Effects of Americanization
  7. Bibliography

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. [...]

[...] (Sanchez 77) For good reason, changes to the educational system of Puerto Rico and the attempts to replace Spanish with English on Puerto Rico were met with intense opposition. The Puerto Rican Teachers Association has already been mentioned as often protesting the changes, and they were active as early as 1912. Apparently, they didn't mind the ?coexistence? of Spanish and English, but didn't agree with effort to impose English as the vernacular or Puerto Ricans?. (Navarro-Rivera Outside of the school system, many intellectuals opposed the push for English because they were convinced that it would change the national culture of Puerto Rico. [...]

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