Annotated Bibliography

Colonial Era

“Caribbean Business.” Caribbean Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.

This article I more so a timeline of Puerto Rico agriculture within the colonial era. With highlights on Christopher Columbus and his crew when they came on the island of Puerto Rico. This article also briefly talk about the first African American to arrive on the island of Puerto Rico. The article highlight agriculture in Puerto Rico when they mention sugar cane in 1570, and how it became gold. Sadly because of hurricanes and drought in the 18th century the land lost its value and it became a constant threat to Puerto Rico’s land and farming. The article could have talked more on how farmers in 1570 made sugar cane so popular that it became gold. It would’ve been a great information for farmers in this era trying to bring back the importance of farming in Puerto Rico.

Ortiz, Altagracia. Eighteenth-century Reforms in the Caribbean: Miguel De Muesas, Governor of Puerto Rico, 1769-76. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1983. Print.

This book is one of several books that explained Field Marshal Alejandro O’Reilly’s military reforms. Governor Miguel de Muesas contributed to infrastructure, education, and other improvements on the island of Puerto Rico. The book talks about the many nineteenth centuries’ developments applied by politicians and planters started from Muesas’ adjustment to the island. Some economic reforms occurred under Miguel de Muesas’ governorship between 1769 and 1776. His colonial government encouraged commercial land reform and agricultural production. Muesas furthered these reforms and limited the contraband trade. As a result, the island’s internal economy and agriculture grew, but at a slow rate. According to the reading he was one of the few who helped agriculture grow slowly in the 1700s. This book did lack more information on agriculture before and after Muesas’ term was over. It would be great to see the difference between the time he was a governor and whether or not agriculture continued to grow after him.

Rivera, Angel G. Quintero. “The Rural Urban Dichotomy in the Formation of Puerto Rico’s Cultural Identity.” New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids 61.3-4 (1987): 127-44. Web.

This academic article focused on the agricultural history of Puerto Rico within its rural towns. From when Spain colonized Puerto Rico to Unites States invasion. This article gives great highlight to the percentage number of Puerto Ricans who were part of the agricultural work-force from early 1800s and so on. Also important information on how rural towns became city-like towns which resulted in a decline of farming in Puerto Rico. Due to the economic decline and the less number of farming during that time many became poor from living off the land and had to change profession. The article also talked about how Puerto Rico’s rural-agricultural world is dead and the need to bring it back to life. An important aspect of this article is the effect of the US invasion on Puerto Rico’s land and the drastic decline of farming in Puerto Rico since the United States invaded the land. The article however did lack information on how to bring to life the rural-agricultural world. It would be informative to those wondering why agriculture can’t be restored in Puerto Rico’s economy.

Ayala, Cesar J. “Rural Puerto Rico in the Early Twentieth Century Reconsidered: Land and Society, 1899-1915.” Latin American Research Review 37.2 (2002): 65-97. JSTOR. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

This article was completely different from what I have read in the past. Articles in the past stated that it was because of US invasion that is why the agricultural world of Puerto Rico declined so drastically. However the authors of this article believed otherwise. Census data and archival data on land tenure shows that land tenure did not become more concentrated in fewer hands in the year of 1898-1915. Throughout this article we learn that more farmers actually owned land in 1915 than they did prior when Spain had control of the land. This article contradicts all the findings and date others have stated in the past about the US being the reason for the destruction of farming in Puerto Rico. The article gave more than enough date to support their claim.

Bergad, Laird W. “Coffee and Rural Proletarianization in Puerto Rico, 1840–1898.” Journal of Latin American Studies. Cambridge University Press, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

This article brings awareness to the importance of slave labor during the 19th century in Puerto Rico. The author states that many believe that slave labor was unimportant during the 19th century in the production of sugar canes however they played a big role in agriculture during that time. Though the author admits that slaves never accounted for more than I 2 % of total population in the 19th century, while he gives example of Cuba where slaves were over 5 % of total population at one point early in the I9th century. However, new studies, have examined the micro level and have discovered the heavy dependence of sugar production on slave labor. Sugar municipalities and coffee planters depended on slave labors. The only thing that this article lacked was more data on the success of using slave labors whether it was in sugar cane plantations or through helping coffee planters. It would be an added bonus to see the data to help with us understand more his point of view while also using it as facts for this research.

A crusader for economic development named Luis iVIuñoz iViarín (Newspaper Article)

This newspaper article was amazing to read. The article talked about a new governor for Puerto Rico name Munos Marin. He came to become governor around the time when Puerto Rico was at its lowest economically. Puerto Rico had the time had a budget of $660 yearly and had to work with what they were given. Governon Munos would travel to Washngton to demand more for the people of Puerto Rico. He went out of his way to ask the secretary of agriculture at the time to help in revamping agriculture in Puerto Rico. Through those meeting a new deal economist was created to help land reform in Puerto Rico. He went out of his way to meet with new economist on the island in order to work for a better and stronger Puerto Rico. Then by the 1950s an army of new economist came together to help strengthen Puerto Rico. Through his leadership Puerto Rico had received more than $40 million dollars in loan and over 80,000 new jobs. He became a hero to the people of Puerto Rico. The only thing this article was lacking is information on what happened after Munoz left office. Did the economic continue to be on the rise or was there a decline once he left.

Moral, Solsiree Del. “Rescuing the Jíbaro: Renewing the Puerto Rican Patria through School Reform.” Caribbean Studies 41.2 (2013): 91-135. Web.

This article talks about when the U.S. sugar corporations transformed the early-twentieth-century Puerto Rican economy none of the changes favored small farmers and laborers. Small farmers and laborers were still struggling to make ends meet though Puerto Rico was flourishing economically. By the 1920s, there were many effects of U.S. colonial practices which included land consolidation, the transformation of small farmers into wage workers, and increases in levels of rural poverty and standards of living. However, this article informs us that educators emerged with a solution to the “rural problem.” They proposed that the rural school was the key institution that could contribute to the transformation of rural families, social relationships, and the economy. Teachers became an important intermediate group in colonial society, while they also promised the renewal of the emerging of the jíbaro, the man of the highlands. The article gave a great insight to the vision of the teachers to bring back jibaro on the island. The article gave more than   enough information to be used for this research.

Impact of US relation on Agriculture

García-Colón, Ismael. Land Reform in Puerto Rico: Modernizing the Colonial State, 1941-1969. Gainesville: U of Florida, 2009. Print.

Parts of this book focused on the 1930s and the reign of the New Dealers in Washington and how they brought incredible changes to Puerto Rican society. According to the reading some of the changes were a new land redistribution plan, that was formalized in the 1941 Land Law, and was aimed at enfranchising, empowering, and urbanizing the landless workers by resettling them in parcels that they would own. With these new urban communities built, community cooperation and services such as potable water, electricity, education, and sanitation followed. The result was that twenty years after the passage of the Land Law Puerto Rico was cited internationally as a paragon of modern development. The downside of this book is that it was really a small chapter of the book that gave insight to land reform in the 1930s. From the title alone one can infer that the timeline is from 1941-1969. However the small information on land reform in 1930s is really useful to this research.

Solá, José O. “Colonialism, Planters, Sugarcane, and The Agrarian Economy of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Between the 1890s and 1930.” Agricultural History 85.3 (2011): 349-72. Web.

This article presents new research on the impact and consequences of the incorporation of Puerto Rico into the American economic and how much change truly took place during the first decades of the twentieth century. The article also talked about Puerto Rico’s social economic structure after the invasion of the United States. The data collected reveals that, land tenure did not become concentrated in fewer hands. Puerto Rico did experience profound changes with the rapid growth of US agricultural business and the penetration of American capital. In the process of arriving on the island, the United States found a land tenure system in the firm control of local farmers (small, medium, and large). The article also showed that the American invasion and successive incorporation of the island into the American economic/political system as a non-incorporated territory provided the conditions for the increase of farms and farmers in the island during the first three decades of the twentieth century.

“Puerto Rican Economy at a Glance.” Puerto Rican Economy at a Glance. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.

This article is really a timeline of the destruction of Puerto Rico’s economy. It gives percentage of how much of the land was cultivated and the percentage of agricultural labor at that time and how more than over thirty percent of Puerto Rico’s economy came from agricultural labor. Through the tone of the article one can really infer that the author blame the United States for the Puerto Rico’s economy spiraling out of control. The authors are inferring that since 1930 and on Puerto Rico has experienced an increase in economic problems. The cons of this article is that they did not really portray how the United States have helped Puerto Rico’s agriculture. They only refer to the negatives.

Guerra, Lillian. Popular Expression and National Identity in Puerto Rico: The Struggle for Self, Community, and Nation. Gainesville: U of Florida, 1998. Print.

In this moving social history of Puerto Rico and the U.S colonialism, the author Lillian Guerra explores the nature of popular-class and elite political consciousness in Puerto Rico from 1889 to 1940, the period when North American colonialism was taking shape. The author brings awereness to the role of the U.S in shaping the Caribbean today. She talks about how the invasion of the United States into Puerto Rican meant a new meaning for what Puerto Rico would be. The United States changed Puerto Rico’s meaning whether it was politically, socio economically or culturally. She even mention’s cuba’s struggle to gain their independence and the connection between Cuba and Puerto Rico. Though the article was a chapter from a book it had more than enough information that one does not need to read the book to get an understanding.

Mccook, Stuart. “Promoting the “Practical”: Science and Agricultural Modernization in Puerto Rico and Colombia, 1920-1940.” Agricultural History 75.1 (2001): 52-82. Web.

The author Stuart Mccook writes an article based on the idea that the economic growth of many latin countries were driven by agriculture. But over time the export boom became a problem for agricultural ecosystem. Due to natural disaster, diseases and pest, and soil erosions farming in the Caribbean started to decline. This article talks about three groups of people consisting of politicians, planters and scientist began to look at agricultural science to see how they can provide solutions to these problems. Each had their own way of finding solution to the problem. Planters believed it was because of the production of export goods. politicians however believed that practical science would offer the solution. At the end all three groups realized that science cannot provide all the answers to the agricultural needs of the islands. The cons of this article is that at the end there were no solutions to the agricultural problems of Puerto rico. It was just the reasons as to why science is not the answer to the issues within agriculture in Puerto Rico and Columbia.

 “”Agriculture,” from Puerto Rico: A Guide to the Island of Boriquén.”“Agriculture,” from Puerto Rico: A Guide to the Island of Boriquén. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.

This article really gives readers guide to the island’s agricultural history. Filled with information about how agriculture started, and the highs and lows for farmers living in Puerto Rico. It is more of a timeline of Puerto Rico’s agricultural peak and its economic growth through land farming. This articles gives information on the cost of shipping goods exported to the United States while also giving readers statistics to the number of farmers from the past until now. Due to economic struggles of farmers more people migrated away from farming. The article did not seem to lack anything. Every data had more than enough information, whether it was as to why the number of farmers have dropped drastically or to number of exported goods to foreign islands.

The New Era

“Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

This article focused on new age farming, which are students who are in the 4th grade that have found a love for farming because of their teacher. Briefly the article mentions Puerto Rico’s agriculture secretary which was a new factual information that was vital for readers. The author mentioned the secretary’s desire to bring back agriculture in Puerto Rico and to put an end to exporting goods to the US. While this article gave great insights to the new generation of agricultural farmers it did lack more information on agriculture in the past and the reasons why Puerto Rico’s farmers no longer use the land as resource.

“Puerto Rico’s Eco-Farmers Go Back To The Land.” Latino USA. N.p., 27 Dec. 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

This article mainly introduced readers to the jibaros in Puerto Rico. According to the reading jibaros are rural peasants who work their land. They are known as farmers. They use their tools to not only dig for goods within the land but they also plant seeds I order to grow crops to feed their family. The article also talked about how eco farmers are trying to bring awareness to organic agriculture and making a business by selling healthy food to the island. Embedded is a sound cloud podcast that gives more information on jibaros in the island. However the article lacked more information on jibaros and their role in Puerto Rican agriculture. The article felt short and rushed.

 “Young, Beginning and Small Farmers.” – Puerto Rico Farm Credit. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.,-beginning-and-small-farmers.aspx

Gave readers more insight into the income of farmers in Puerto Rico. Talked about how farmers make less than 250,000 in annual gross sales. This website is also a helping hand for farmers in Puerto Rico who has no other means of income and they provide loans and support financially to farmers and their family. As great of a read as this article was it also lacked more information on the reason why farmers lack so much money and what must be changed in order to make more income annually.

Griffith, David, and Manuel Valdés Pizzini. Fishers at Work, Workers at Sea: A Puerto Rican Journey through Labor and Refuge. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2002. Print.

This book describes Puerto Rican fishing families as they negotiate homeland and diaspora. It gave great insights on how wage workers livelihoods are affected and also their identities at home. This book also talked about how independent producers move in and out of global service markets. This book describes Puerto Rican fishing families   Sadly it gave us readers an insight into the struggles these families face to hang on to the sea and all it has to offer.

Mintz, Sidney Wilfred. Worker in the Cane; a Puerto Rican Life History. New Haven: Yale UP, 1960. Print.

Worker in the Cane is honestly a moving testimony of a man name Don Taso, in which he portrays his harsh childhood and also his early marriage. Don also talks about his political beliefs as well as the hardships he had to endure for the fact of how outspoken he was. He then later on became seriously ill while continually struggling through poverty. The last chapters of the book focused on Don Taso’s life changes emotionally and physically while living in rural Puerto Rico. The booked lacked a few more information on agriculture and how it has affected Don Taso’s life.

López, Tania Del Mar. “Urban Expansion and the Loss of Prime Agricultural Lands in Puerto Rico.” Ambio 30.1 (2001): 49-54. JSTOR. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.

One of the aspect of the research is to figure out why in many different countries the economy has shifted from agricultural to industrial.  A lot of the agricultural lands are lost to urbanization. This article describes the rate and distribution of urban growth in Puerto Rico. From the years 1977 to 1994. The data and conclusions arising from the study is through photography and satellite imagery. Because their only basing their conclusion on photos and satellite imagery it does make one wonder if they’re not missing key information which would be essential to their findings. Being there in person to see the changes in land would be more ideal than just going by satellite imagery. Nonetheless the article has many percentages on Puerto Rico being classified as urban which is 11.3%. An important fact taken from the article is that after 17 years, urban areas had increased by 27.4% and urban growth on soils that was suitable for agriculture had increased by 41.6%. This means that there was a loss of 6% of potential agricultural lands. That means that if this pattern continues, Puerto Rico’s potential for food production in the future could be greatly limited.  I think this article helps a great deal in understanding the struggle of the new age farmers that wants to produce food from the land. They must struggle with these percentages in order to grow from the land.