Puerto Rico map, Map of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Dominican Republic, Caribbean Sea
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Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean, the most eastward of the major islands.  It consists of the main island and many smaller surrounding islands, of which only a few are occupied year-round.  Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, which acquired it under the Treaty of Paris in 1898.  Puerto Ricans are natural-born citizens of the United States.
Unlike other Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico lacked numerous large plantations.  African slaves were imported to make up for the members of the native population who had died from imported diseases, but not in the large numbers that other islands saw.   Without the large plantations of other islands, mixed communities of natives, Africans, Spanish and others sprang up around the island, mostly doing fishing and subsistence farming. A specific Hispanic-creole culture developed, concentrated in the mountains of the interior, (the jibaros).  San Juan itself was heavily fortified by the Spanish.  Sir Francis Drake tried to take San Juan, but failed.  The Dutch commander Boudewijn Hendricksz made a more determined effort in 1625, when he sailed into San Juan Bay and set the city on fire.  However, he failed to capture the Castle of San Felipe Del Morro, and realizing that he had lost, turned back with his remaining ships.
The United States gained Puerto Rico, along with the Philippines and Guam in the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Spanish-American War.   In 1917, residents of Puerto Rico became US citizens.  Puerto Rico may become a US state, or an independent nation, or even remain in association with the US without becoming a state, though it is not clear what a majority of Puerto Rican citizens will vote for.
Capitol: San Juan
Area: 3,515 sq. mi
Population: 3,411,307

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