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Foraker Act (Organic Act of 1900)
On April 2, 1900, U.S. President McKinley signed
a civil law that established a civilian government in Puerto Rico. This law was
known as the Foraker Act for its sponsor, Joseph Benson Foraker (an Ohio statesman),
Organic Act of 1900. The new government had a governor and an executive council
by the President, a House of
Representatives with 35 elected members, a judicial system with a Supreme Court,
and a non-voting Resident Commissioner in Congress. In addition, all federal
laws of the United States were to be in effect on the island.
The first civil governor of the island under the Foraker Act was Charles H. Allen,
inaugurated on May 1, 1900 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.