During the French Revolution when revolutions were rising all over Latin America, Cuba was not eager to become one of those countries. It was amongst the last countries in Latin America to revolt; in addition, their revolution was not successful. This led to many problems and a long history of instability in Cuba. In 1791, the Haitian Revolution began. The slaves, who wanted revenge and freedom, revolted and burned plantations and executed Frenchmen. The people in Cuba knew of this happening and the mie do al negro [fear of the black] developed.
The non-blacks did not want anything similar to the Haitian Revolution to start in Cuba. While innumerable slave ships came in from Africa, the citizens of Cuba became more and more afraid of a violent revolution. While there were elite whites, mestizos, and mulatto's leading revolutions to over throw slavery all over Latin America, no one stepped up to do so in Cuba because of the mie do al negro (Encarta, Cuba). The mie do al negro was a false image that a lot of the whites believed in. Blacks were given a bad name because of the corruption of the slaves during the Haitian Revolution. There were small slave rebellions planned, but they all ended in failure.
Not many people wished to lead slaves into revolutions and all the attempts were easily stopped. The insurrectionists were obviously executed immediately. Later in 1865, slave trade to Cuba was declared illegal. However, the trading did not stop. Throughout the 1800 s, there were a lot of unsuccessful rebellions. In addition of the pathetically small slave revolts, other people were also conspiring to free the country from Spanish rule.
The Cubans started to realize that Spain was controlling the country and all the profit from the sugar and tobacco exports went to Spain. The Cubans unsuccessfully rebelled against the Spaniards beginning in 1819. The other countries of Latin America had already freed themselves from Spanish rule. Cuba, however, attempted time after time and failed (RUIS, 24-25).
Like the abolitionist, the freedom fighters were also executed. In 1868, a rich plantation owner named Carlos Manuel de C' decided to take a stand against slavery and also the Spanish rule. He freed his own thirty slaves and led them to rebel against Spain. This was the start of the Ten Years' War, Cuba's major war of independence.
C' recruited 12, 000 men to join his side within one month's time. However, he did not put abolishing slavery as his priority and lost a lot of support that he could have had (West, Encarta). Another problem that caused the downfall of the rebellion side was that the Spanish government was able to use mie do al negro against them. The Spanish convinced the revolutionaries that the Cuban generals, brothers Antonio and Jose Maceo (Cuba, Encarta), favored blacks and were trying to form a black republic.
The war ended in 1878 when the Pact of Zan j " on was signed. The Pact did not gain independence from Spain nor did it abolish slavery. The results of the Ten Years' War were 208, 000 Spanish and 50, 000 Cuban dead, in addition to $300 million worth in damage (West, Encarta). Years later, the Spanish eventually left Cuba alone.
However, their fight for independence did not end there. They were then left to deal with Americans who tried to rule Cuba themselves (RUIS, 40-42). They were amongst the last to get rid of the Spanish rule and slavery. Because the Cubans failed to have a true revolution, they were not able to establish their own government for a long time. Works Cited [ bibliography ]"Cuba," Microsoft (R) Encarta (R) Africana. 1999 ed.
Microsoft CorporationRUIS. Cuba for Beginners, New York. Pathfinder Press. 1970. pp. 24-35 West, Alan.
"Ten Years' War," Microsoft (R) Encarta (R) Africana. 1999 ed. Microsoft Corporation.