War & Paradise: The Territories Of The U.S.

According to a 2017 poll conducted by the Morning Consult, 50% of Americans don’t know Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and many don’t know the U.S. had any territories at all. But America currently controls five inhabited territories and 11 uninhabited ones. Most of these islands are strategically captured for protection during wartime, as well as for weapons testing. The beautiful islands and atolls will captivate you, while the harrowing wartime stories will break your heart: Here are the stories of the U.S. territories.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

By far the largest U.S. territory, the humble island of Puerto Rico boasts a population of almost 3.5 million people. Should Puerto Rico become a state, it would be the 29th largest one. For example, it has a larger economy and a greater population than the state of Arkansas. It was once seen as an island of citizens, proud of their own culture and unwilling to compromise its sanctity. But now, younger generations of Puerto Ricans are starting to view themselves more and more as Americans. In a June 2017 polling, 97% of those who cast their ballot showed their support for eventual statehood, hoping to finally be guaranteed the voting rights formerly denied to them. Fortunately, Puerto Ricans know the perfect way to forget most of their problems.