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Puerto Ricans fought alongside General Bernardo de Gálvez during the American Revolutionary War in the battles of Baton Rouge, Mobile, Pensacola and St. During the mid-19th century, Puerto Ricans residing in the United States fought in the American Civil War.

In the 1800s, the quest for Latin American independence from Spain spread to Puerto Rico, in the short lived revolution known as the Grito de Lares and culminating with the Intentona de Yauco.

The recorded military history of Puerto Rico encompasses the period from the 16th century, when Spanish conquistadores battled native Taínos in the rebellion of 1511, to the present employment of Puerto Ricans in the United States Armed Forces in the military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Puerto Rico was part of the Spanish Empire for four centuries, during which the people of Puerto Rico defended themselves against invasions from the British, French, and Dutch.

Presently Puerto Ricans continue to serve in the military of the United States.

They, however were not the only enemies that Spain faced in the Caribbean during this period. The Anglo-Spanish War was not limited to Europe—extending to Spanish and English territories in the Americas.

On October 11, 1528, the French sacked and burned the settlement of San Germán during an attempt to capture the island, destroying many of the island's first settlements—including Guánica, Sotomayor, Daguao and Loiza—before the local militia forced them to retreat. In November 1595, Sir Francis Drake, the vice-admiral in command of the Royal Navy fleet that tackled the Spanish Armada, and Sir John Hawkins attempted an unsuccessful invasion of San Juan.

They introduced Christianity, Cattle, Horses, Sheep, the Spanish language and more to the land (Florida) that later became the United States of America, 107 years before the Pilgrims landed.

Puerto Rico was considered the "Key to the Antilles" by the Spanish because of its location as a way station and port for Spanish vessels.

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