THE RESTLESSNESS which swept the entire Caribbean area during the 1930's was less intense in Puerto Rico than in the neighboring islands. One reason was that the Puerto Ricans are peaceful by tradition and nature; another that the United States could spend more money for relief than could the other colonial and sovereign governments. But in Puerto Rico, too, strikes began to occur in the tobacco and sugar areas and political tensions mounted to a high point.
It was one thing to know that colonialism was moribund on the island; it was another to know what to do about the matter. Old political leaders tried frantically to adhere to ideas and methods which had served them for decades; new and younger leaders pushed forward with ideas and methods which may not have been new as far as the world was concerned, but were certainly new in Puerto Rico's history.
The most dramatic of the latter, the one who made the most noise though with the smallest amount of numerical support, was the Harvard graduate Pedro Albizu Campos. He took his basic political philosophy, not from Puerto Rico's realities and needs, but from a reservoir of widespread concepts of patriotism which have by now become classical and dogmatic through the oratory and oversimplifications of history.