chapter  Two
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Formative Influences in Puerto Rican Education

This chapter is concerned mainly with the impact of American influence on the development, structure and style of Puerto Rican education. The influence of American educational practices in the Caribbean has been linked with political actions taken during the twentieth century. The principal areas effected include Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the United States Virgin Islands and the island of Puerto Rico. The chapter examines American influence in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico through the historical phases of military territorial government, civil territorial government, and under the present Commonwealth status up to the achievement of educational autonomy in 1947. Education in Puerto Rico as an insular movement begins in 1820 under the influence of the Liberal regime in Spain. The Roman Catholic Church controlled education in Spain and so in 1511 King Ferdinand ordered the establishment of a monastery in Puerto Rico under the auspices of Franciscan monks.