Puerto Rico, 1900
Philadelphia North American, Rep. : The present condition of Puerto Rico would have been absolutely incredible and inconceivable to Americans of two years ago. We thought we knew our own hearts, and we should have said with entire confidence that wherever our flag went it would go as a messenger of benediction. Has a year and a half of empire stripped us of all the fine feelings of humanity with which we went into war for Cuban liberty, and turned us into a race of mercenary oppressors?
Ex-Attorney-General Smith, of Indiana
“It is conceded that Puerto Rico constitutes part of the territory of the United States and that our title to it was acquired under the treaty making power of the constitution ; and it follows, therefore, that the moment the title passed from Spain to the United States the constitution extended itself over every part of the island. Any attempt by congress to segregate the constitution and extend a part of its provisions to our island possessions is a violation of the letter and spirit of that instrument, amounting almost, if not quite, to an overt act of treason. We took these people from choice, not compulsion, and by that act we extended to them the protection of our constitution. If we have made a mistake in adding this territory to our country it is not too late to correct it. “
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