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How the Bourbon Reform had an effect on Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Latin America.


The Bourbon reform was created to have an over exclusive control over colonial resources and receipts of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Latin America was nothing more than to benefit Spain and not the colonials needs as said to be done. The Bourbon reform was an effect of many succession events. It all began with thedeath of Charles II in 1699 and on his death bed he had renounced his throne to Philip d’Anjou, who was also heir to the French throne. Many other nations refused to accept Charles II testament and the matter had to be resolved by war, known after as the War of the Spanish Succession. Later a treaty was established to restore peace among the European, known as The Treaty of Utrecht where Philip had toascend the Spanish throne and relinquish the French throne, he then was named as Philip V.
The reform had brought many changes in Puerto Rico but it had more beneficial effect for the Spaniards and it did for the colony. The reform began shortly after Philip V had taken the Spanish throne and decided to overlook a series of reforms, to increase in his power and help the economical problems ofthe colonies. He was looking into changing the trade system and eliminating the corrupt government, by eliminating the privateers and introducing the free trade policy. In which the colonies had the opportunity to trade with more than one port in Spain, rather than one port. This gave Spain more benefit than it did for the colonies, such as that it also brought a numbers of Spanish- owned tradingcompanies, causing Royal Company of Barcelona to have jurisdiction over Puerto Rico. Also the Company imported many of the foodstuff sold on the islands, such as flour, wine, oil, cheese, olives, and chickpeas and exported to Seville coffee, sugar, and hides. But the problem was that the Spaniards imported only foodstuff and the island shortage of currency caused the importers to barter these forhides and other tropical crops. Then the king had sent Alejandro O’Reilley to investigate the currents conditions of Puerto Rico and Cuba, and offer recommendation to improve their economies and military defenses. He had discovered that the colony’s trade was conducted out of illegal ports, and the items most smuggled were livestock, pepper, tobacco and timber. He came to a conclusion that the onlyway to stop the illegal trading was to extend the free trading policy, in which it authorized Puerto Rico to trade with eight different ports in Spain, and the rest of the Caribbean. Also he implemented the low shipping fees on the trades with Spain and fixed the import and export duties to the rate of 6 percent ad valorem. Yet, the island trading was still limited to San Juan and trading withforeign ports was prohibited. Then around the 1765, the King charted a new trading company, known as the Aguirre and Arístegui, which authorized the supply of slaves to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Margarita. To prevent the new company from smuggling they permitted to import salt-meat, flour, farm equipment, and clothing for slaves. “The company was also given a tax reduction of ten pesos per each slavethat was brought to the colonies.”(Jimenez pg. 80) The flour trade with United State became legalized and allowed the import duty free for every two barrel of flour for every slave sold in Puerto Rico, the smuggling did not stop. The monarchy had encouraged the governor to assign a task that will decimate smuggling, in which they came up with the Corregidor’s or district commander. Where theycould search suspected homes and establishments and send confiscated goods to the San Juan. They were also authorized to close unlicensed store, the cutting of timber, and arrest or jailed any person suspected of smuggling. The Crown also forced the governor to apply the death sentence to any smuggler. At the end Puerto Rico still didn’t receive many benefits and had to struggle with corrupt...
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