November 30, 2012
Nationalism is a form of patriotism based upon the identification of a group of individuals with a nation. In the 1800’s, nationalism was common throughout Latin America. In the early 1800s, nationalism was associated with positive ideas like freedom from foreign control. As time progressed, in the late 1800s, new wealth came to Latin America from increased trade and industrialization, but it was the elites who benefited. Many countries, such as Brazil, Colombia, and Bolivia engaged in nationalism. Although it lagged behind these leading countries and the rest of Latin America in the 19th century, Cuba engaged in nationalism as well. Unfortunately, Cuba did not lead many strong nationalist movements. Overtime, however, Cuban nationalism grew to greater extents. Cuban nationalism, and freedom from Spanish rule, is what lead to its modernization.
For most of its history, Cuba has been controlled by foreign powers. The struggle for not only freedom, but also a national identity, was a complex affair that began in earnest during the late 18th century and lasted well into the 20th century. From about 1511 to 1898, along with Puerto Rico, Cuba was one of Spain's two colonies in the New World. (Seligman, Grant) At that time, Cuba was progressing from a leisurely growing colony into the world's chief sugar producer. After the respite of the Spanish American empire collapsed, Cuba's colonial government steadily became more tyrannical. The affiliates of the planter class and the intellectuals who had originally opposed independence then began to show their discontent. Some, supporting reform over revolution, designated for demanding sovereignty within the empire. (Perez) The view of businesses from Spain faded out after the botch in April 1867 of the Junta de Información convoked by the Madrid government to confer the reforms wanted by the Cubans. Throughout the colonial times, Spain ruled Cuba from afar. Although Cuba strived...
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