Full Text

Cuba, struggle for independence from Spain, 1868–1898

Diana Espirito Santo

Subject History » Political History
Study of History » Comparative History

Place The Caribbean » Cuba

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899

Key-Topics colonialism, equality, imperialism, nationalism, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00430.x


Cuba's first war of independence from Spain, known as the Ten Years' War, lasted from 1868 to 1878, and is understood by historians largely in the context of the Creole islanders' concerns with slavery and the viability of the island's continuity as an economic and social system. For the sugar and coffee plantation elites, slavery constituted the primary vehicle for the production of wealth, but was also to be the system that provoked its eventual crisis and ultimate downfall. For the first half of the nineteenth century, the educated Cuban Creole elite pursued fervent opposition to independence, but by the 1860s this sentiment began to shift, as Cuba's own social and economic conditions also dramatically changed. Spain was under pressure by British abolitionist policies from the beginning of the century, but not completely acquiesced in practice, despite the enactment in 1845 of the Law of Abolition and Repression of the Slave Trade in Madrid. Between 1821 and 1831 it is estimated that 60,000 slaves landed in Cuba, while between 1830 and 1850 the average is thought to have been 10,000 a year. Illicit trade was difficult to control, and the colonial authorities could not risk alienating their Creole support base by pursuing its perpetrators or consumers. But the conditions of the treaty did mean that the acquisition of slaves became a more risky, and most importantly, costly business. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top