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|Ch. 1||The Land and the Amerindians||1|
|Ch. 2||The Newcomers to Boriquen||19|
|Ch. 3||"Discovery", Conquest and Colonization||35|
|Ch. 4||Foreign Attacks and Imperial Neglect, 1570s-1699||59|
|Ch. 5||The Colony is Reformed, 1700-1799||77|
|Ch. 6||Creoles Seek Political and Economic Power, 1800-1830s||105|
|Ch. 7||Sugar, Slavery and Absolute Rule, 1830-1867||137|
|Ch. 8||From the Lares Uprising to Autonomy, 1868-1900||163|
|Ch. 9||Invasion and Occupation by the United States, 1898-1900||195|
|Ch. 10||Portrait of the Society||227|
Posted September 19, 2005
There is much too little historical literature available on Puerto Rico and as such, Olga Jimenez De Wagenheim¿s book on the history of Puerto Rico is very much welcomed. ¿Puerto Rico: An Interpretive History from Precolumbia Times to 1900¿ gives the reader not only the physical and geographical description of Puerto Rico and its surrounding, smaller, islands, but also an idea of the many facets that make the island what it is today. Wagenheim covers the culture, politics, economics, religious beliefs, traditions, education, racial and gender prejudices, and much more. She discusses the original inhabitants of Boriquen -the Archaic, Igneri, Ostioniod and the Taino tribes- and their way of life before Spain¿s conquest of the Island. Wagenheim depicts Puerto Rico as the lush and beautiful island that it was, its people farming and cultivating a variety of foods, such as, yucca, corn, yam, ajies (chili peppers), peanuts, guavas, jobos (grapes), and papaya. . . . The Taino people grew tobacco, hunted iguanas and cories and raised chickens and turkeys for food. This is why Spain renamed Boriquen, Puerto Rico (Rich Port). Wagenheim does a superb job of describing the multi-cultural environment that shaped the Puerto Rican identity and their struggles under Spanish rule, and Puerto Rico¿s forced colonization under the United States after the Spanish-American War. She also depicts what life was like in Puerto Rico¿s society and how they endured their oppression under United States¿ rule: their loss of power and the right to govern themselves, the lack of education and employment, and the lack of support (especially economic) during their hardships, just to name a few. She also describes some of the heroes of Puerto Rico, heroes of the struggle for independence, education, equality, and humanity. As the publisher states, there is little historical information, or evidence available about this early period in Puerto Rico¿s history. Taking this under consideration, the author has done a marvelous job of research and documentation. Her writing opens the historical doors, giving the reader a peek at a place we know too little about, Puerto Rico. I earnestly recommend ¿Puerto Rico: An Interpretive History from Precolumbia Times to 1900¿.
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