Royal Decree of Graces of 1815

Royal Decree Of Graces Of 1815

Royal Decree of Graces of 1815

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The Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 is a legal order approved by the Spanish Crown in the early half of the 19th century to encourage Spaniards and later Europeans of non-Spanish origin to settle and populate the colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Royal Decree of Graces

On 10 August 1815, King Ferdinand VII of Spain approved the Spanish Royal Decree of Graces (Cédula Real de Gracias), which granted Cuba and Puerto Rico the right to have commercial ties with countries which were in good standing with Spain, and free land and special privileges to any Spaniard who would be willing to relocate and settle in those territories. Puerto Rico had basically remained economically undeveloped until 1830, when immigrants from the Spanish provinces of Catalonia, Majorca, and the Canary Islands began to arrive and gradually develop the sugarcane, coffee, and tobacco plantations. Spain had previously approved other decrees, such as the Decree of Graces of 8 September 1777 in regard to Venezuela and the Decree of Graces of 1789, which granted its subjects the right to purchase slaves and to participate in the flourishing business of slave trading in the Caribbean.

Situation in the Spanish Colonies

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Spanish colonies in South America, under the leadership of Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín, fought against Spanish rule; and in Mexico, under José María Morelos. By 1825, the Spanish Empire had...
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