A Brief History of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a mountainous tropical island directly in the path of trade winds. These tropical conditions account for its tropical rain forest and tropical wet and dry climates. There is little difference from season to season in the energy received by the sun, and being near the equator the length of the day remains fairly constant throughout the year. Puerto Rico is composed of one large island and several small islands. It is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by the Virgin Passage (which separates it from the Virgin Islands), on the South by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west by the Mona Passage (which separates it from the Dominican Republic). On November 19, 1493 Puerto Rico was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to claim lands for the rulers of Spain, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. In 1493 the island was called Borinquen by the indians who lived there. Columbus named it San Juan Bautista. Later Spanish traders began calling the island Puerto Rico, which means �rich port�, and that name stuck. One of the men who landed in Puerto Rico with Columbus was Juan Ponce de Leon. He was looking for the Fountain of Youth. In 1508 he founded the first Spanish settlement colony in Puerto Rico at a spot near where old San Juan is now located. The ruins are still preserved there. Due to the close proximity of Puerto Rico and the United States, their association had its roots as early as the end of the eighteenth century. This was when the United States had recently won its independence from England and had a great interest in establishing sources of trade. Trade between Puerto Rico and the United States developed so quickly that the United States soon rivaled Spain in trade importance with the island. On September 23, 1868 an army of Puerto Ricans proclaimed independence for the island from Spain in what is known as the Grito de Lares, but the army was quickly defeated by Spanish soldiers....
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