They had migrated for better conditions, as they were leaving economic decline following the revolutions and disruption of societies as nation' gained independence from Spain in the 1810s-1820s.
Third, the Spanish Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 attracted numerous European immigrants to Puerto Rico.
It encouraged any citizen of a country politically friendly to Spain to settle in Puerto Rico as long as they converted to the Catholic faith and agreed to work in the agricultural business.
With such mass migrations, not only the size of the town was changed, but the character of its population was changed as well.
The municipality of Ponce is the second largest in Puerto Rico by land area, and it was the first in Puerto Rico to obtain its autonomy, becoming the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce in 1992.
Ponce is a principal city of both the Ponce Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area.
At the time of the American invasion of the Island in 1898, Ponce was a thriving city, While Europe was celebrating its Belle Époque (Victorian era), Ponce followed suit with its own Ponce Fair.
Following trends set in Europe and elsewhere, in 1877, Don Miguel Rosich conceived an exposition for Ponce.
The area would later receive the name of San Antón, a historically important part of modern Ponce.
In the early 19th century, Ponce continued to be one of dozens of hamlets that dotted the Island.