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The text in question provides important insights into the history of Puerto Rico from the prehistoric times until the end of the nineteenth century. The author dwells upon such areas as politics, economy, and even lifestyles. Monge provides specific dates and numbers that make the text informative and plausible.
It is also necessary to note that the author’s writing is not overwhelmed with pure facts and numbers. The author tells an interesting story with a variety of examples. The text in question is aimed at a wide audience as it is understandable and interesting. The text can be divided into such major parts as: international relationships, politics and demographics, economy and lifestyles. The author tells the story of Puerto Rico with the help of these parts.
The part concerning international relationships starts with a short account of the first settlers. Notably, the author mentions that the first wave of Amerindians peopled the area as far back as 2300 BC (Monge 5). This information is quite significant as the reader understands that the area had been populated before Spaniards came there and invaded the New World. The author also enumerates the ethnic groups that inhabited the area.
The author notes that Indians were the most manifold group in the 17th century, though this changed in the eighteenth century. The author provides specific numbers to show the extent to which demographics changed. It is also mentioned that population density was different in different regions.
The author pays a lot of attention to the role the area played on the international arena. Thus, Puerto Rico was a colonial state for about three centuries. The author stresses that most of time the state was under Spanish rule. The author also pays a lot of attention to the relationships between the Empire and the colony. This information is very important as it helps understand why Spanish influence is so strong.
At the same time, the author mentions that the state was conquered by such strong powers as Great Britain and France. Notably, it is important to remember about those changes which resulted in high demographic diversity in the region. The author mentions that the rule of different countries also had significant impact on the political and economic life of the country.
Noteworthy, the author provides a brief analysis of the nature of Spanish rule. The author notes that there was no proper administrative power in Puerto Rico. Landowners and rich Spaniards ruled in the towns. It was not until the 19th century when people of Puerto Rico managed to obtain their constitution. The author pays a lot of attention to the political life in the country and this helps the reader understand how political views were developing in the country.
Monge notes that Puerto Rico was “a garrison, or presidio, standing over other Spanish possessions in the area” (6). Remarkably, the author notes that the country’s position did not positively affect development of its economy as it was underdeveloped until the nineteenth century. The author notes that the country’s economy was largely based on agriculture. This information is important as it helps understand the way the country developed.
Monge also provides certain information concerning people’s life in the end of the nineteenth century. The author stresses that the majority of people lived in poverty, were illiterate and hardly had any rights (17). This information is valuable as it helps understand people’s aspirations and fears at that period of time. Importantly, the author stresses diversity of traditions and habits of Puerto Ricans.
The author also mentions peculiarities of arts. What is more, Monge depicts the way people spent their free time. Historians often neglect this part of people’s life. However, this is very important as this part of people’s life makes them what they are. Therefore, it is possible to note that the author focuses on really important issues.
On balance, it is necessary to state that the text in question provides valuable insights into the history of Puerto Rico. The author reveals significant and interesting facts concerning development of the country. The author pays a lot of attention to politics, international relationships, demographics, economy and lifestyles and traditions.
Basically, the author covers all major topics that help the reader obtain the background knowledge on the history of Puerto Rico. This knowledge can be essential for understanding of the trends that existed in the twentieth century. The author provides specific data that make his narrative plausible. However, the narrative is not overwhelmed with pure facts and numbers.
The text is an interesting account of the history of the country. Another distinctive feature of the text in question is its clear and concise narrative. The author uses simple terms to talk about serious issues. Admittedly, this specific style makes the narrative understandable. It is possible to note that the author has managed to provide a brief analysis of the county’s development in the way which is clear for a wide audience.
Monge, José Trías. Puerto Rico: The Trials of the Oldest Colony in the World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. Print.