(1839--1903), educator and politician, was born on January 11, 1839 in Rio Cañas, Mayagüez. Hostos received his elementary schooling in San Juan and then went to Spain for both secondary studies and law school. Hostos was educated in Spain and became active in republican politics as a university student there. He left Spain when that country's new constitution (1869) refused to grant independence to Puerto Rico. He went to the United States, where he became editor of the Cuban independence journal La Revolucién in 1870. In Santo Domingo (1879-88) he founded the first normal school and introduced advanced teaching methods, but nine years later he had to leave the country because of his liberal views. He subsequently traveled widely throughout South America and taught in Chile. As professor in the Univ. of Chile, he was instrumental in having women admitted. He returned to the United States in 1898 and participated actively in the Cuban independence movement, but his hopes for Puerto Rican independence after the Spanish-American War (1898) were disappointed when the . government rejected his proposal for autonomy and instead established its rule over the island as a territory. Hostos returned to the Dominican Republic. Hostos played a major role in reorganizing the educational system of the Dominican Republic. He is widely known throughout Latin America as a publicist of civic reforms, as a rationalist in ethics who believed that to be civilized and to be moral is the same thing, and as a writer of sober, graceful, and didactic prose. He wrote many essays and treatises on social-science topics and was one of the first systematic sociologists in Latin America. His most important was " La Peregrinacién de Bayoán " (1863), a seminal work promoting Cuban independence and revealing on a fiction tone restrictions of the Spanish Colonial regime. The book was suppressed by the Spanish Government. He was also known as a supporter of women's rights. He even wrote his own epitaph: "I wish that they will say: In that island [Puerto Rico] a man was born who loved truth, desired justice, and worked for the good of men." Other works: Moral social (1888); Lecciones de Derecho Constitucional (1887); and a superb essay, Hamlet (1873). He died on August 11, 1903 in Santo Domingo.
By the late 1700s the country dance (French contredanse, Spanish contradanza ) had come to thrive as a popular recreational dance, both in courtly and festive vernacular forms, throughout much of Europe, replacing dances such as the minuet. By 1800 a creolized form of the genre, called contradanza, was thriving in Cuba, and the genre also appears to have been extant, in similar vernacular forms, in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and elsewhere, although documentation is scanty. By the 1850s, the Cuban contradanza—increasingly referred to as danza —was flourishing both as a salon piano piece, or as a dance-band item to accompany social dancing, in a style evolving from collective figure dancing (like a square dance) to independent couples dancing ballroom-style (like a waltz, but in duple rather than ternary rhythm). According to local chroniclers, in 1845 a ship arrived from Havana, bearing, among other things, a party of youths who popularized a new style of contradanza/danza, confusingly called "merengue." This style subsequently became wildly popular in Puerto Rico, to the extent that in 1848 it was banned by the priggish Spanish governor Juan de la Pezuela. This prohibition, however, does not seem to have had much lasting effect, and the newly invigorated genre—now more commonly referred to as "danza"—went on to flourish in distinctly local forms. As in Cuba, these forms included the musics played by dance ensembles as well as sophisticated light-classical items for solo piano (some of which could subsequently be interpreted by dance bands). The danza as a solo piano idiom reached its greatest heights in the music of Manuel Gregorio Tavárez (1843–83), whose compositions have a grace and grandeur closely resembling the music of Chopin, his model. Achieving greater popularity were the numerous danzas of his follower, Juan Morel Campos (1857–96), a bandleader and extraordinarily prolific composer who, like Tavárez, died in his youthful prime (but not before having composed over 300 danzas). By Morel Campos' time, the Puerto Rican danza had evolved into a form quite distinct from that of its Cuban (not to mention European) counterparts. Particularly distinctive was its form consisting of an initial paseo , followed by two or three sections (sometimes called "merengues"), which might feature an arpeggio-laden "obbligato" melody played on the tuba-like bombardino ( euphonium ). Many danzas achieved island-wide popularity, including the piece " La Borinqueña ", which is the national anthem of Puerto Rico. Like other Caribbean creole genres such as the Cuban danzón, the danzas featured the insistent ostinato called "cinquillo" (roughly, ONE-two-THREE-FOUR-five-SIX-SEVEN-eight, repeated).