Foraker Act

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Foraker Act

Foraker Act, legislation that created a civilian government in Puerto Rico to replace the military regime that had governed the island since its conquest by U.S. military forces during the Spanish-American War (1898–1899). Introduced in 1900 by U.S. Senator Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio, the bill allowed only limited participation by Puerto Ricans. The governor, cabinet, and all judges of the Supreme Court were to be appointed by the president of the United States, a lower house of thirty-five delegates was to be elected by Puerto Ricans. In addition, the Foraker Act provided for Puerto Rico's commercial integration with the United States through the extension of U.S. currency for Puerto Rican coins. In sum, it formalized the colonial relationship that had emerged between the United States and the Puerto Rican people, among whom the act was highly unpopular. In 1917, largely due to skillful Puerto Rican diplomacy, the U.S. Congress passed the Jones Act, which granted Puerto Rico a bill of rights and full citizenship, thus mitigating the effects of the Foraker Act.

See alsoPuerto Rico .


Raymond Carr, Puerto Rico: A Colonial Experiment (1984).

Franklin W. Knight, The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism, 2d ed. (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Bernabe, Rafael. Respuestas al colonialismo en la política puertorriqueña: 1899–1929. Río Piedras, P.R.: Ediciones Huracán, 1996.

Cabán, Pedro A. Constructing a Colonial People: Puerto Rico and the United States, 1898–1932. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999.

                                        Pamela Murray