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Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917, and enjoy freedom of movement between the island and the mainland. Puerto Rico's future political status has consistently been a matter of significant debate.
As it is not a state, Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the United States Congress, which governs the territory with full jurisdiction under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. territory, American citizens in Puerto Rico are disenfranchised at the national level and do not vote for the president or vice president of the United States, nor pay federal income tax on Puerto Rican income. Congress approved a local constitution in 1952, allowing U. In early 2017, the Puerto Rican government-debt crisis posed serious problems for the government.
Juan Ponce de León, a lieutenant under Columbus, founded the first Spanish settlement, Caparra, on August 8, 1508.
He later served as the first governor of the island.
In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.
They called it Borikén (Borinquen in Spanish transliteration).
Unlike other indigenous cultures in the New World (Aztec, Maya and Inca) which left behind abundant archeological and physical evidence of their societies, scant artifacts and evidence remain of the Puerto Rico's indigenous population.
Scarce archaeological findings and early Spanish accounts from the colonial era constitute all that is known about them.
The island's cultural and demographic landscapes were shaped by the displacement and assimilation of the native population, the forced migration of African slaves, and settlement from the Canary Islands and Andalusia.
In the Spanish Empire, Puerto Rico played a secondary but strategic role compared to wealthier colonies like Peru and New Spain.
is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.