Compare and contrast Puerto Rico and Cuba after 1898.

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The fates of both Puerto Rico and Cuba were forever changed by the Spanish-American War, which was fought in 1898. Although Spanish colonial authorities were expelled from both islands, the path forward for each of these places was quite different in notable ways.

The war was ostensibly waged in order...

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The fates of both Puerto Rico and Cuba were forever changed by the Spanish-American War, which was fought in 1898. Although Spanish colonial authorities were expelled from both islands, the path forward for each of these places was quite different in notable ways.

The war was ostensibly waged in order to support the Cuban fight for independence. As a result, Cuba became an independent nation after the Spanish defeat. However, to help with this transition to independence and to ensure the implementation of US interests, political and military control of Cuba was temporarily given to the United States. This allowed the United States to quickly dominate the Cuban economy. This led to huge American investments, often at the expense of Cuban business, as well as the revamping of the island's infrastructure. Local control of the government began in 1902.

Puerto Rico, on the other hand, was immediately annexed as a territory by the United States. While the Foraker Act of 1900 granted limited local autonomy to the Puerto Ricans, the people of the island remained an occupied colony of a foreign power. Whereas Cubans became citizens of their own nation, Puerto Ricans became subjects of the United States. They were eventually granted citizenship in 1917. Like in Cuba, US investments in Puerto Rico rose dramatically after 1898, particularly in the sugar industry.

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