Library of Congress > Researchers > Hispanic Reading Room > World of 1898
1898 HOME > Jones Act
First administrative cabinet under the Jones Act. From left: A. Ruíz Soler (Health), José E. Benedicto (Treasurer), Ramón Siaca Pacheco (Secretary), Hon. Arthur Yager (Governor, 1914-1921), Paul G. Miller (Education), Manuel Camuñas (Labor and Agriculture), Salvador Mestre (Attorney General), Guillermo Esteves (Interior), Jesse W. Bonner (Auditor), Pedro L. Rodríguez (Governor’s Secretary).
Miller , p. 418.
Download an uncompressed TIFF (.tif) version of this image.
On March 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act. This law gave
Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship. The Jones Act separated the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative
branches of Puerto Rican government, provided civil rights to the individual, and created a locally elected
bicameral legislature. The two houses were a Senate consisting of 19 members and a 39-member House of Representatives. However, the Governor and the President of the United States had the
power to veto any law passed by the legislature. Also, the United States Congress had the power
to stop any action taken by the legislature in Puerto Rico. The U.S. maintained control over fiscal and economic matters and exercised authority over mail services, immigration, defense and other basic governmental matters.
Back to top
World of 1898 Home | Introduction | Chronology | Index | Bibliography | Literature | Maps | American Memory
Library of Congress
Comments: Ask a Librarian (
June 22, 2011
Legal | External Link Disclaimer