Cuba was discovered by Europeans in 1492. From 1511 it was a colony of spain and became a base from which Spanish exploration and colonisation took place. Numbers of indigenious Cubans dropped dramatically as a reuslt of European desieases and harsh Spanish rule. Those who remained were converted to Catholicism by missionaries. Cuba became a producer of tobacco and sucre due to its rich soil. The low numbers of indigenous Cubans caused problems for te Spanish, who needed large amounts of cheap labour which lead to importaiton of African slaces to work on the sugar and tabacco plantations. Currently, the population of Cuba is mainly of Spanish and African decent. Although Cuba is a small island, its location meant that it was strategically important to colonising Empires such as Britan and Spain. The Spanish built forts all over the island and maintatined an army to control population and defend its colony. In 1763 Britain made a failied attempt to seize Cuba. Breif Summary of Forces leading to Revolution
Spanish and American Imperialism:
* Cuba was a colony of Spain from 1511 to 1899.
* 1895 Jose Marti led a revolt that severed Cubas ties with Spain, but did not lead to independence. * However, the U.S adoped a protecto ole to prevent European colonisation. * 1898 U.S declared war on Spain which ended Spains rule in Cuba. * Cuban Republic was declared in 1902.
* The platt Amendment gave the U.S th right to interevene and restricted Cubas International political capacity. * U.S supported the Cuban economy by purchasing Cuban sugar. Fulgencio Batista:
* Batista was in cntrol of the army. After leading the Sergeants Revolt, he also controlled the presidency. * Offically president from 1940-1944 where his government drew up a democratic constitution. * 1952 a military coup returned Batista to the position of President where he abolished the constitution. Fidel Castro and the 26th July Movement
* 1953 Castro lead an attack on the Moncada Barracks as a reaction to Batista’s oppression. This failed and Castro was imprisoned. * Castro and his followers formed the July 26 Movement and gathered support and trained in the mountains making guerrilla warfare against the government. * Growing number of Cubans supported Castro. Batista fled the country on 1 January 1959. American and Spanish Imperialism
* As Cuban agriculture thrived under spansih colonisation, movements towards independence grew. * This was fuel by the fact their industries of sugar and tobacco were creating great wealth but all profits went to the Spanish. * First rebellion in 1819 was brutally crushed.
* By 1855 rebellions led the Spanish government passing repressive laws banning Cubans from setting up businesses, taking post, taking legal action against a Spaniard and ravelling without permission. The Monroe Doctrine
* The U.S was interested in Cuba from 1783 when President Adams described Cuba as ‘a natural extension of the Northern American continent’ * In 1823 President Monroe affirmed that the U.S would not become involved in European affairs and Europeans should no longer interfere with the Americas, any attempt by a European power to influence or colonise any independent nation in the Americas would be seen as an attack on the peace ad safety of the U.S. Therefore the U.S had the right to act in order to protect the region. Became known as the Monroe Doctrine * Placed U.S in the role of protector of independent countries of the Americas and became the philosophy behind the American actions in Cuba. Another justification was ‘Manifest Destiny’. The U.S believed that its system of democracy and free enterprise should spread through the rest of the Americas. * By 1850 insurrections were encouraged by the U.S who wanted to end Spanish colonisation and control Cuba. * 1880s America was heavily invested in Cuban economy, particularly sugar....