Puerto Rico and the United States, 1917-1933

The most inclusive scholarly history to date of the relationship between the United States and its Caribbean possession.

From 1917 to 1933, the United States kept Puerto Rico in limbo, offering it neither a course toward independence nor much hope for prompt statehood. The Jones Act of 1917 gave Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship, but the status of the island didn't change. In 1922, a Supreme Court decision reaffirmed the 1901 principle that island possessions had no right to equal treatment with continental territories and states. Clark unfolds with clarity the painful truth of the United States' unsavory attempt at being both a democratic and imperial nation: governors were sent without the consent of the Puerto Ricans and with little training; no positive measures were taken to improve the poor economy; little thought was given and no formal policy established to resolve its status or foster self-government.

about the author

Truman R. Clark

Truman Clark was professor of history at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles/Malibu California, the University of Pennsylvania, and Tomball College, near Houston. He also served for seven years as professional historian for the US Air Force.

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Truman R. Clark