The Foraker Act, Pub.L. 56–191, 31 Stat. 77, enacted April 12, 1900, officially known as the Organic Act of 1900, is a United States federal law that established civilian (albeit limited popular) government on the island of Puerto Rico, which had recently become a possession of the United States as a result of the Spanish–American War. Section VII of the Foraker Act also established Puerto Rican citizenship. President William McKinley signed the act on April 12, 1900 and it became known as the Foraker Act after its sponsor, Ohio Senator Joseph B. Foraker. Its main author has been identified as Secretary of War Elihu Root.
The new government had a governor and an 11-member executive council appointed by the President of the United States, a House of Representatives with 35 elected members, a judicial system with a Supreme Court and a United States District Court, and a non-voting Resident Commissioner in Congress. The Executive council was all appointed: five individuals were selected from Puerto Rico residents while the rest were from those in top cabinet positions, including attorney general and chief of police (also appointed by the President). The Insular Supreme Court was also appointed. 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. This law was superseded in 1917 by the Jones–Shafroth Act.
- Race Space and the Puerto Rican citizenship
- The World Almanac & Book of Facts 1901, p93
- CONSEJO DE SALUD PLAYA DE PONCE v JOHNNY RULLAN, SECRETARY OF HEALTH OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO (PDF), The United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, retrieved 2009-12-20