|Royal Decree of Graces of 1815|
Royal Decree of Graces of 1815
|Original title||Real Cédula de Gracia de 1815|
|Ratified||10 August 1815|
|Location||General Archives of Puerto Rico in the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture|
|Purpose||It is a legal order approved by the Spanish Crown to encourage Spaniards and Europeans of non-Spanish origin, to settle in and populate the colonies of Puerto Rico.|
The Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 (Spanish: Real Cédula de Gracias) is a legal order approved by the Spanish Crown in the early half of the 19th century to encourage Spaniards and, later, Europeans of non-Spanish origin, to settle in and populate the colony of Puerto Rico.
On 10 August 1815, King Ferdinand VII of Spain approved the Spanish Royal Decree of Graces, which granted Puerto Rico the right to have commercial ties with countries which were in good standing with Spain. It also granted free land to settlers, as well as incentives for investing money and providing technology for agricultural development to any Spaniard willing to relocate and settle in those territories.
Puerto Rico was largely undeveloped until 1830, when immigrants from the Spanish provinces of Catalonia, Majorca, and the Canary Islands began to arrive. They gradually developed the sugarcane, coffee, and tobacco plantations, based on the use of African slave labor.Spain had approved Decree of Graces of 8 September 1777 in regard to Venezuela, and the Decree of Graces of 1789, which granted its subjects the right to purchase slaves and to participate in the flourishing business of slave trading in the Caribbean.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Spanish colonies in the western hemisphere fought for their independence. In South America, Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín led colonists to victory against Spanish rule; in Mexico, José María Morelos led the movement.
By 1825, the Spanish Empire had lost control of all of its territories in the Americas with the exception of Puerto Rico and Cuba. These two possessions were also demanding more autonomy, and pro-independence movements had been gathering strength. Trying to forestall the loss of these colonies, the Spanish Crown revived the Royal Decree of Graces of 1815. It printed the decree in English and French, as well as Spanish, and distributed copies throughout Europe to attract non-Spanish settlers. The Crown offered free land on the condition that new settlers swear their loyalty to the Spanish Crown and allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church. They hoped to supplant the independence movement with new settlers.
During the latter part of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, great economic and political changes occurred in Europe. Thousands of farm workers migrated to cities seeking industrial jobs and better opportunities. Those who stayed behind to attend the farmlands suffered the widespread crop failures, brought on by long periods of drought and diseases such as the potato fungus which caused the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s. Cholera epidemics broke out and starvation was widespread in Europe.Social and economic disruption also followed the European Revolutions of 1848, which erupted in Sicily and the German states. The French Revolution of 1848 contributed to the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and more changes.
These conditions led to a massive European immigration to the Americas. Hundreds of Corsicans, Italians, French, Portuguese, Irish, Scots, and Germans, attracted by the offers of free land by the Spanish Crown, moved to the colony of Puerto Rico and accepted the conditions. As soon as these settlers swore their loyalty to the Spanish Crown and their allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church, they were given a "Letter of Domicile". After five years, the settlers were granted a "Letter of Naturalization" that made them Spanish subjects. In 1870, to attract non-Catholic Europeans, Spain's Cortes of Cádiz passed a law granting the right of religious freedom in the islands.
The new settlers soon adopted the language and customs of their new homelands, and many intermarried with the local residents. Many became prominent business and political leaders. The Royal Decree ceased to have effect in 1898, when Spain finally lost her last two possessions in the New World to the United States under the Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish–American War.
The original Spanish Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 is kept in the General Archives of Puerto Rico in the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The population of Puerto Rico has been shaped by Amerindian settlement, European colonization especially under the Spanish Empire, slavery and economic migration. This article is about the demographic features of the population of Puerto Rico, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Puerto Ricans are the people of Puerto Rico, the inhabitants, and citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and their descendants. Puerto Rico is home to people of many different national origins as well.
Yauco is a city (ciudad) and municipality in southwestern Puerto Rico, centered on the city of the same name. Although the city is inland, the municipality stretches to a southern coast facing the Caribbean. Yauco is south of Maricao, Lares and Adjuntas; east of Sabana Grande and Guánica; and west of Guayanilla. The municipality has 20 wards and the main city Yauco zona urbana. It is both a principal city of the Yauco Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area.
Agüeybaná was the principal and most powerful cacique (chief) of the Taíno people in "Borikén" when the Spanish first arrived on the island on November 19, 1493.
From the 16th to the 19th centuries, there was considerable Irish immigration to Puerto Rico for a number of reasons.
Corsican immigration to Puerto Rico resulted in the 19th century from widespread economic and political changes in Europe that made life difficult for the peasant and agricultural classes in Corsica and other territories. The Second Industrial Revolution drew more people into urban areas for work, widespread crop failure resulted from long periods of drought, and crop diseases, and political discontent rose. In the early nineteenth century, Spain lost most of its possessions in the so-called "New World" as its colonies won independence. It feared rebellion in its last two Caribbean colonies: Puerto Rico and Cuba. The Spanish Crown had issued the Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 which fostered and encouraged the immigration of European Catholics, even if not of Spanish origin, to its Caribbean colonies.
German immigration to Puerto Rico began in the early part of the 19th century and continued to increase when German businessmen immigrated and established themselves with their families on the island.
French immigration to Puerto Rico came about as a result of the economic and political situations which occurred in various places such as Louisiana, Saint-Domingue (Haiti) and in Europe.
Afro-Puerto Ricans are Puerto Ricans who are of predominantly African descent. The history of Puerto Ricans of African descent begins with free African men, known as libertos, who accompanied the Spanish Conquistadors in the invasion of the island. The Spaniards enslaved the Taínos, many of whom died as a result of new infectious diseases and the Spaniards' oppressive colonization efforts. Spain's royal government needed laborers and began to rely on slavery to staff their mining and fort-building operations. The Crown authorized importing enslaved West Africans. As a result, the majority of the African peoples who entered Puerto Rico were part of the forced migration of the Atlantic slave trade, and came from many different cultures and peoples of the African continent.
The Captaincy General of Puerto Rico was an administrative district of the Spanish Empire, created in 1580 to provide better military management of the island of Puerto Rico, previously under the direct rule of a lone governor and the jurisdiction of Audiencia of Santo Domingo. Its creation was part of the, ultimately futile, Habsburg attempt in the late 16th century to prevent incursion into the Caribbean by foreign powers. Spain also established Captaincies General in Cuba, Guatemala and Yucatán.
The Jewish immigration to Puerto Rico began in the 15th century with the arrival of the anusim who accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage. An open Jewish community did not flourish in the colony because Judaism was prohibited by the Spanish Inquisition. However, many migrated to mountainous parts of the island, far from the central power of San Juan, and continued to self-identify as Jews and practice Crypto-Judaism.
Racism in Puerto Rico can be traced as far back as the arrival of the Spanish in 1493. Historically, the island, which is now a U.S. territory, has been dominated by a settler society of religiously and ethnically diverse Europeans, primarily of Spanish descent, and Sub-Saharan Africans. The majority of Puerto Ricans are multiracial, including people of European, African, Asian, Native American, and of mixed-race descent.
José Luis González was a Puerto Rican essayist, novelist, short story writer, university professor, and journalist who lived most of his life in exile in Mexico due to his pro-independence political views. He is considered to be one of the most important Puerto Rican authors of the 20th century, particularly for his book Puerto Rico: The Four-Storeyed Country and Other Essays, which was first published in Spanish in 1980.
The Spanish diaspora consists of Spanish people and their descendants who emigrated from Spain. The diaspora is concentrated in places that were part of the Spanish Empire. Countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and, to a lesser extent, Brazil, Belize, Haiti, the United States, Canada and the rest of Europe.
Large-scale Chinese immigration to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean began during the 19th century. Chinese immigrants had to face different obstacles that prohibited or restricted their entry in Puerto Rico.
Brigadier General José Semidei Rodríguez was a Puerto Rican soldier and diplomat. He participated in Cuban independence movement that immediately preceded the Spanish–American War. Before becoming a Brigadier General in the Cuban National Army, Semidei Rodríguez fought in the Cuban War of Independence (1895–1898) as a member of the Cuban Liberation Army, the rebel force which fought for Cuba's independence from Spanish colonial rule. After Cuba gained its independence he continued to serve in that country as a diplomat.
Non-Hispanic cultural diversity in Puerto Rico (Borinquen) and the basic foundation of Puerto Rican culture began with the mixture of the Spanish, Taíno and African cultures in the beginning of the 16th century. In the early 19th century, Puerto Rican culture became more diversified with the arrival of hundreds of families from non-Hispanic countries such as Corsica, France, Germany and Ireland. To a lesser extent other settlers came from Lebanon, China, Portugal and Scotland.
Major General Carlos Fernando Chardón also referred to as "Fernando Chardón", was the Secretary of State of Puerto Rico from 1969 to 1973 and the Puerto Rico Adjutant General from 1973 to 1975.
White Puerto Ricans are Puerto Ricans who are of predominantly European descent. As of the 2010 U.S. census, people who self-identified as White constituted the majority in Puerto Rico, making up 75.8% of the population. People who identified themselves as being of mixed-race origin, predominantly of European and West African ancestry, constitute 3.3% of the population.
Spanish settlement of Puerto Rico began in the early 1500s shortly after the formation of the Spanish state in 1493 and continues to the present day. On 25 September 1493, Christopher Columbus set sail on his second voyage with 17 ships and 1,200–1,500 men from Cádiz, Spain. On 19 November 1493 he landed on the island, naming it San Juan Bautista in honor of Saint John the Baptist.