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Puerto Rico - History



Puerto Rico - History
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.53

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    rape, commonwealth, progressive, self-rule, conquest, unsuccessful, greatly, refueling, assassinate, revolt, tribal, nation, resistance, citizenship, economic, arrival
     content words:    Puerto Rico, United States, Christopher Columbus, Juan Ponce, San Juan, Many European, Puerto Ricans, Spanish-American War, American President Harry Truman, Puerto Rican


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Puerto Rico - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     Puerto Rico is an island nation in the Caribbean, not far from the United States. And as its history has been affected by the United States, it has been equally affected by countries half a world away. For years, Puerto Rico served as an island "refueling station" for explorers on their way to the "New World," then later as an American possession and major influence in American popular culture.
 
2     Puerto Rico is thought to be home to the earliest Caribbean natives. The Tainos were living on the island when the first European explorer, Christopher Columbus, arrived in 1493. The Tainos were a fairly advanced and progressive people for their time. Both women and men served as tribal chiefs. They had sophisticated religious beliefs, culture, and a language. They were also skilled at sports. In fact, it was the Tainos who invented the rubber ball!
 
3     But the Tainos weren't prepared for what the Europeans were about to bring--slavery, disease, rape, and death. The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in 1508. The Spanish took to enslaving the Tainos, forcing religion on them, and taking their women as wives. The Tainos, of course, objected to the Spanish treatment, and most resistance to the Spanish lasted only into the beginning of the 17th century.

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