The Free State of Puerto Rico is the largest and most populous outlying area
in the United States. It also includes the Spanish Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico,
literally "rich port", consists of the main island of the same name (the
easternmost of the Greater Antilles) and over 20 other small to tiny islands.
After the discovery by Columbus, numerous ships came there, which were supposed
to bring the Inca valuable gold treasures to Spain. Of course there were also
many pirates in the region and there are still hundreds of wrecks from that time
in the sea.
In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the United States then occupied the
islands, which are now a “Free State associated with the United States”.
Weapons tests have been carried out on Vieques by the US Navy since the Second
World War, which only ended in 2003 after years of popular protests.
In addition, the Bacardi company relocated its production facility for the
world-famous rum brand to Puerto Rico. The tourists from the USA are the most
important economic factors of the country.
Around September 20, 2017 the island was devastated by the hurricane "Maria".
|Name of the country
||Free State of Puerto Rico/Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
|Form of government
||Free state under US protectorate
||Greater and Lesser Antilles (Caribbean)
|Head of state
||President of the USA
||approx. 3.2 million (Credit:
Puerto Rico Population)
||predominantly mixed ethnicities from blacks and Europeans
||Roman Catholic: 89%, Protestant Church: 3%.
Natural religions are also widespread among the Indians.
||Cerro La Punta with a height of 1,338 m
||Rio de la Plata with a length of 97 km
|International license plate
|Time difference to CET
||- 5 h
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, frequency
||120 volts, 60 Hertz (North American plug)
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Puerto Rico Historical summary
Until the 15th century
Probably the earliest residents of the Antilles were the Ciboney Indians,
who originally came from the American mainland. They lived as Stone Age
fishermen, hunters and gatherers and were already building canoes and rafts out
of balsa wood.
Abbreviationfinder website, between 600 and 900 BC Taíno Indians from the Arawak tribe from areas of today's
Venezuela and Guyana sailed north with dugout canoes and settled the entire
Antilles, including Puerto Rico. They led a peaceful life and ate agriculture
From the 15th to the 18th century
In the 15th century the Tainó were besieged by the less peaceful Caribs, who
drove them from most of the Lesser Antilles Islands. On his second trip to the
"New World", Christopher Columbus () discovered Puerto Rico in 1493, which from
then on was part of Spanish rule. Fifteen years later, under Juan Ponce de Léon,
the island began to be colonized, with the native Indians being enslaved and
treated as a kind of "subhuman". The people who are very close to their home,
family and tribe often did not survive the horrific treatment, and many of them
also committed suicide. Others fell victim to the diseases brought in, against
which they had hardly any defenses. So the native Indians died out, of which an
ethnic influence only remained through the mixed marriages. Instead, slaves were
introduced from sub-Saharan Africa, whose descendants still live in Puerto Rico
In the course of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, several attempts were made
by European powers to conquer the strategically located island.
Above the western city wall, on the Plazuella de la Rogativa, the memorial
commemorates the bishop and the women who in 1797 caused the English besiegers
of the city to withdraw with a loud nocturnal procession.
In the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries
On September 23, 1868 there was an uprising of the impoverished population
against Spanish rule, but it was quickly put down. The official abolition of
slavery in Puerto Rico followed in 1873. In 1897 the island received internal
autonomy from Spain. However, a year later it was annexed by the United States
of America in the Spanish-American War. The passage of the Jones-Shafroth Act in
1917 confirmed internal self-government in Puerto Rico. At the same time, its
residents received US citizenship, which also made them conscript. That is why
20,000 soldiers joined the US Army during the First World War. The country's
economy boomed in the 1920s, not least because of the rise in sugar
prices. However, the island was hit hard by the global economic crisis that
After the Second World War, a wave of emigration to the USA that lasted two
decades began. In 1949, Puerto Ricans were allowed to choose their own governor
for the first time. Economic reform followed to replace sugar production. On
July 25, 1952, the island received the status of a free state. Legally, it
remained a US territory under the supervision of Congress. In the referendums of
1967 and 1993, the residents decided to keep the island with the United
States. However, conversion to a regular state was refused and Puerto Rico
retained the status of association with the USA, which had been in effect since
Around September 20, 2017, the island was badly devastated by Hurricane "Maria".