During the first centuries of Spanish rule in Puerto Rico, agricultural operations had had directed by estates, cultivating sugarcane and other fruits. They were not large-scale operations, but they produced enough for local consumption. In the nineteenth century, larger farms emerged. These farms produced enough for local consumption and to export. Later, coffee, and sugarcane became the main export products to markets in Europe.
Puerto Rico has economic and political relations with the United States since the completion of the Spanish-American War in 1898. The economy of the island, which at that point it was largely agrarian, did not achieve such significant economic progress as those achieved after World War II. From that moment, the economy of Puerto Rico has undergone a process of industrialization and long and deep modernization.
During the XVI-XVIII centuries the colonization by Spain made the Puerto Rican economy was based on subsistence agriculture, slavery and mining economy. In the 18th century, specifically in 1898, the government created bases for a national economy: agriculture for export: sugarcane, coffee and tobacco; then Puerto Rico is became a net importer of food.1
Coffee gained commercial importance during the second half of the 19th century, when it was exported to European countries and the United States. In these markets, Puerto Rico coffee enjoyed wide acceptance among the lovers of this product. During the first decades of the 20th century, were large plantations that large part of the Plains and the hills to the cultivation of sugar cane. The economy was oriented towards manufacturing and operating costs increased, most sugar mill closed its operations gradually. From 1898, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. The economic relationship is colonial nature despite the transformations suffered by the island after the war. That relationship influenced significantly the economic boom which took the island from the year 1947 until 1973. Commercial cultivation of tobacco was developed during the first decades of the 20th century, under the sovereignty of the United States. Record exports were made in 1957 to North America, England, Spain, France, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and other countries engaged in the cigar around the world. Until then, Puerto Rico was the fifth in the world's biggest tobacco exporter, after the United States, Mexico, Venezuela and Africa. From 1900 to 1927, Puerto Rico produced around 35 million tons of tobacco annually. Currently, its production is limited, craft, and it is used for the creation of fine cigars. To the sectors of manufacturing, trade and services occupied positions of greatest importance. Starchy foods, such as banana and banana, and the tubers such as cassava, the taro and sweet potato, occupy an important place in the agricultural economy of Puerto Rico and they are an essential part of the Puerto Rican diet. In 1950, agriculture generated 36.2% of total employment in the country. At some point during the 1960's, both in absolute and relative terms, agriculture was no longer the largest employer in the economy of Puerto Rico. The proportion of employment that brought agriculture shrank to 22.8% in 1960 and 9.9% in 1970. Over the last three decades of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century the trend of reduction is maintained. Nowadays, the manufacturing is the main sector of Puerto Rico’s economy. In addition, it serves as a link between the island and the technological trends and the global economy market. The Government has managed to attract and retain a large amount of manufacturing companies engaged in high technology and capital investment. Some of the most important industries within the manufacturing sector are: pharmaceutical, textiles, the petrochemicals, computers, electronics and the companies involved in the manufacture of medical...
References: 1 Rodríguez, C. . (2008, Septiembre). La evolución histórica, la teoría económica. Departamento de Economía , I, 136.
2 CVA. (2014). De la agricultura a la manufactura. 2014, Febrero 15, de CVA Sitio web: http://www.proyectosalonhogar.com/Salones/Historia/1-3/Agricultura_manufactura/Indice.htm
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