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Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico
General information
Location

Caribbean Sea

Points of interest

San Juan

Notable inhabitants

Juan Ponce de León[1]

Societal
Population

Spanish colonists

Affiliation

Spain

Behind the scenes
First appearance

Armada of the Damned

Latest appearance

Armada of the Damned

Puerto Rico was an island in the central Caribbean Sea. Surrounded with an archipelago of smaller islands, it was discovered and colonized by the Spanish during the early 1500s. Though it was the smallest island of the Greater Antilles, it soon became one of the most important Spanish colonies in the New World.

History

Originally populated for centuries by indigenous tribes, the island was claimed by explorer Christopher Columbus during his voyage to the Americas in 1493. Under Spanish rule, the island was colonized and the indigenous population was forced into slavery and wiped out due to, among other things, European infectious diseases. In the beginning of the 16th century, the Spanish began to colonize the island. Juan Ponce de León was appointed as the first governor of Puerto Rico.[1] As provincial governor, Ponce de León built the town of San Juan.

To avoid that enemies take the island of Puerto Rico and use it as a base from which to attack the Spanish Treasure Fleets, Spain authorized the fortification of San Juan. The construction of El Morro de San Felipe Castle began in 1539. Other small forts were also built. In 1595 El Morro was attacked by Sir Francis Drake and his fleet. Fortunately for the Spaniards El Morro proved itself worthy for battle and the enemy was repelled.

George Clifford, the count of Cumberland along side his large fleet took the city but they couldn't take El Morro. After suffering of exhaustion in the sun they were forced to leave. The Dutch also attacked Puerto Rico twenty seven years later under General Boudewin Hendricksz. They sieged San Juan and burnt down a great part of the city. Not being able to take El Morro, they also left.

Sj mansion 002

James Sterling before the governor's mansion in San Juan.

During one period seven years passed and not one ship came from Spain. Since Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain and could not commerce with any other country, contraband flourished with neighboring Dutch, French and British islands. Even local officials were involved in the smuggling business which became the most important part of the economy in Puerto Rico. The coastal towns were constantly being visited by pirates, James Sterling among them.

Behind the Scenes

Appearances

Sources

External links

Notes and references

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