"The term 'Commonwealth' does not describe or provide for any specific political status or relationship. sovereignty that are not states, the term broadly describes an area that is self-governing under a constitution of its adoption and whose right of self-government will not be unilaterally withdrawn by Congress." is the largest insular territory of the United States, and it is located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea.
During the four centuries of Spanish rule, the island's ethnic, cultural and physical landscapes were transformed, as the island was settled overwhelmingly by Spanish settlers, primarily from the Canary Islands and Andalusia, continuing right up until the end of the 19th century, as a result of which it is an overwhelmingly Catholic and markedly Hispanic territory in terms of culture and language.In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States annexed the island under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.Puerto Ricans are natural-born citizens of the United States. territory, American citizens residing on the island are disenfranchised at the national level and may not vote for president and vice president of the United States. A 2012 referendum showed a majority (54% of the electorate) disagreed with "the present form of territorial status", with full statehood as the preferred option among those who voted for a change of status.Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the United States Congress, which governs the territory with full jurisdiction under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950. However, Congress approved a local constitution, allowing U. Following the vote, the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico enacted a concurrent resolution to request the president and Congress of the United States to end its current status as an unincorporated U. territory and begin the process of admission to the union as a state.The terms boricua and borincano derive from Borikén and Borinquen respectively, and are commonly used to identify someone of Puerto Rican heritage.
The island is also popularly known in Spanish as la isla del encanto, meaning "the island of enchantment." Columbus named the island San Juan Bautista, in honor of Saint John the Baptist, while the capital city was named Ciudad de Puerto Rico (English: Rich Port City).Eventually traders and other maritime visitors came to refer to the entire island as Puerto Rico, while San Juan became the name used for the main trading/shipping port and the capital city.The anglicized name was used by the US government and private enterprises.The name was finally changed back to Puerto Rico by a joint resolution in Congress introduced by Félix Córdova Dávila in 1931.The ancient history of the archipelago known today as Puerto Rico is not well known.Unlike some other indigenous cultures in the New World (Aztec and Inca) whose people left behind abundant archeological and physical evidence of their societies, the indigenous population of Puerto Rico left scant artifacts and evidence.