Governorate of Cuba

Since the 16th century the island of Cuba had been under the control of the governor-captain general of Santo Domingo. The conquest of Cuba was organized in 1510 by the recently restored Viceroy of the Indies, Diego Colón, under the command of Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, who became Cuba's first governor until his death in 1524.

Velázquez founded the city of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa in 1511 and convoked a general cabildo (a local government council) to govern Cuba, which was authorized by the king of Spain.

Hernán Cortés's Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was undertaken from Cuba. Cuba was incorporated in New Spain after the conquest of Mexico.

Governorate of Cuba

Cuba
1511–1521
Flag of Castilla de Oro
Flag
Coat of arms of Castilla de Oro
Coat of arms
Islands and Mainland in the Ocean Sea at 1513
Islands and Mainland in the Ocean Sea at 1513
StatusGovernorate of Castile (Spanish Empire)
CapitalNuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa
Common languagesSpanish
Religion
Roman Catholicism
GovernmentMonarchy
List of Castilian monarchs 
Historical eraSpanish Empire
• Established
1511
• Incorporation to New Spain
1521
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Captaincy General of Santo Domingo
New Spain

References

Captaincy General of Cuba

The Captaincy General of Cuba (Spanish: Capitanía General de Cuba) was an administrative district of the Spanish Empire created in 1607 as part of Habsburg Spain's attempt to better defend the Caribbean against foreign powers, which also involved creating captaincies general in Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Yucatán. The restructuring of the Captaincy General in 1764 was the first example of the Bourbon Reforms in America. The changes included adding the provinces of Florida and Louisiana and granting more autonomy for these provinces. This later change was carried out by the Count of Floridablanca under Charles III to strengthen the Spanish position vis-a-vis the British in the Caribbean. A new governor-captain general based in Havana oversaw the administration of the new district. The local governors of the larger Captaincy General had previously been overseen in political and military matters by the president of the Audiencia of Santo Domingo. This audiencia retained oversight of judicial affairs until the establishment of new audiencias in Puerto Príncipe (1800) and Havana (1838). In 1825, as a result of the loss of the mainland possessions, the Spanish government granted the governors-captain generals of Cuba extraordinary powers in matters of administration, justice and the treasury and in the second half of the 19th century gave them the title of Governor General.

Cuban Revolution

The Cuban Revolution (Spanish: Revolución cubana) was an armed revolt conducted by Fidel Castro's revolutionary 26th of July Movement and its allies against the authoritarian government of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. The revolution began in July 1953, and continued sporadically until the rebels finally ousted Batista on 31 December 1958, replacing his government with a revolutionary socialist state. 26 July 1953 is celebrated in Cuba as the Day of the Revolution. The 26th of July Movement later reformed along communist lines, becoming the Communist Party in October 1965.The Cuban Revolution had powerful domestic and international repercussions. In particular, it transformed Cuba's relationship with the United States, although efforts to improve diplomatic relations have gained momentum in recent years. In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, Castro's government began a program of nationalization and political consolidation that transformed Cuba's economy and civil society. The revolution also heralded an era of Cuban intervention in foreign military conflicts, including the Angolan Civil War and the Nicaraguan Revolution.

Cuban War of Independence

The Cuban War of Independence (Spanish: Guerra de Independencia cubana, 1895–98) was the last of three liberation wars that Cuba fought against Spain, the other two being the Ten Years' War (1868–1878) and the Little War (1879–1880). The final three months of the conflict escalated to become the Spanish–American War, with United States forces being deployed in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands against Spain. Historians disagree as to the extent that United States officials were motivated to intervene for humanitarian reasons but agree that yellow journalism exaggerated atrocities attributed to Spanish forces against Cuban civilians.

Governorates of the Spanish Empire

After the territorial division of South America between Spain and Portugal in the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) the colonial administration of the continent was divided into Governorates.

History of Cuba

The island of Cuba was inhabited by various Mesoamerican cultures prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1492. After the arrival, Spain conquered Cuba and appointed Spanish governors to rule in Havana. In 1762, Havana was briefly occupied by Great Britain, before being returned to Spain in exchange for Florida. A series of rebellions during the 19th century failed to end the Spanish rule. However, the Spanish–American War resulted in a Spanish withdrawal from the island in 1898, and following three-and-a-half years of subsequent US military rule, Cuba gained formal independence in 1902.In the years following its independence, the Cuban republic saw significant economic development, but also political corruption and a succession of despotic leaders, culminating in the overthrow of the dictator Fulgencio Batista by the 26th of July Movement, led by Fidel and Raúl Castro Ruz, during the 1953–59 Cuban Revolution. Cuba has since been governed as a socialist state by the Communist Party under the leadership of the Castro brothers. The country has been politically and economically isolated by the United States since the Revolution, but has gradually gained access to foreign commerce and travel as efforts to normalise diplomatic relations have progressed. Domestic economic reforms are also beginning to modernize Cuba's socialist economy.

Military history of Cuba

The Military history of Cuba begins with the island's conquest by the Spanish and its battles afterward to gain its independence. Since the Communist takeover by Fidel Castro in 1959, Cuba has been involved with many major conflicts of the Cold War in Africa and Latin America where it had supported Marxist governments and rebels from liberation movements who were opposed to their colonial masters and/or allies of the United States.

New Spain

The Viceroyalty of New Spain (Spanish: Virreinato de Nueva España Spanish pronunciation: [birei̯ˈnato ðe ˈnweβa esˈpaɲa] (listen)) was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It covered a huge area that included territories in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. It originated in 1521 after the fall of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the main event of the Spanish conquest, which did not properly end until much later, as its territory continued to grow to the north. It was officially created on 8 March 1535 as a viceroyalty (Spanish: virreinato), the first of four viceroyalties Spain created in the Americas. Its first viceroy was Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, and the capital of the viceroyalty was Mexico City, established on the ancient Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

It included what is now Mexico plus the current U.S. states of California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Florida and parts of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana; as well as the southwestern part of British Columbia of present-day Canada; plus the Captaincy General of Guatemala (which included the current countries of Guatemala, the Mexican state of Chiapas, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua); the Captaincy General of Cuba (current Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and Guadeloupe); and the Captaincy General of the Philippines (including the Philippines, Guam, the Caroline Islands, the Mariana Islands and the short lived Spanish Formosa in modern-day northern Taiwan as well as the briefly occupied Sultanate of Ternate).

The political organization divided the viceroyalty into kingdoms and captaincies general. The kingdoms were those of New Spain (different from the viceroyalty itself); Nueva Galicia (1530); Captaincy General of Guatemala (1540); Nueva Vizcaya (1562); New Kingdom of León (1569); Santa Fe de Nuevo México (1598); Nueva Extremadura (1674) and Nuevo Santander (1746). There were four captaincies: Captaincy General of the Philippines (1574), Captaincy General of Cuba, Captaincy General of Puerto Rico and Captaincy General of Santo Domingo. These territorial subdivisions had a governor and captain general (who in New Spain was the viceroy himself, who added this title to his other dignities). In Guatemala, Santo Domingo and Nueva Galicia, these officials were called presiding governors, since they were leading royal audiences. For this reason, these hearings were considered "praetorial."

There were two great estates in America. The most important was the Marquisate of the Valley of Oaxaca, property of Hernán Cortés and his descendants that included a set of vast territories where marquises had civil and criminal jurisdiction, and the right to grant land, water and forests and within which were their main possessions (cattle ranches, agricultural work, sugar mills, fulling houses and shipyards). The other estate was the Duchy of Atlixco, granted in 1708, by King Philip V to José Sarmiento de Valladares, former viceroy of New Spain and married to the Countess of Moctezuma, with civil and criminal jurisdiction over Atlixco, Tepeaca, Guachinango, Ixtepeji and Tula de Allende. Another important Marquisate was the Marquisate of Buglas in Negros Island at the Philippines which was awarded to the descendants of Sebastian Elcano and his crew, the first to circumnavigate the world. King Charles III introduced reforms in the organization of the viceroyalty in 1786, known as Bourbon reforms, which created the intendencias, which allowed to limit, in some way, the viceroy's attributions.

New Spain developed highly regional divisions, reflecting the impact of climate, topography, indigenous populations, and mineral resources. The areas of central and southern Mexico had dense indigenous populations with complex social, political, and economic organization. The northern area of Mexico, a region of nomadic and semi-nomadic indigenous populations, was not generally conducive to dense settlements, but the discovery of silver in Zacatecas in the 1540s drew settlement there to exploit the mines. Silver mining not only became the engine of the economy of New Spain, but vastly enriched Spain and transformed the global economy. New Spain was the New World terminus of the Philippine trade, making the viceroyalty a vital link between Spain's New World empire and its Asian empire.

From the beginning of the 19th century, the viceroyalty fell into crisis, aggravated by the Peninsular War, and its direct consequence in the viceroyalty, the political crisis in Mexico in 1808, which ended with the government of viceroy José de Iturrigaray and, later, gave rise to the Conspiracy of Valladolid and the Conspiracy of Querétaro. This last one was the direct antecedent of the Mexican War of Independence, which, when concluding in 1821, disintegrated the viceroyalty and gave way to the Mexican Empire, in which finally Agustín de Iturbide would be crowned.

Republic of Cuba (1902–1959)

The First Republic of Cuba (Spanish: República de Cuba) of 1902 to 1959, referred by the current Cuban government as the Neocolonial Republic (Spanish: República Neocolonial), and as Free Cuba (Spanish: Cuba Libre) by Cuban dissidents, refers to the historical period in Cuba from 1902, when Cuba seceded from US rule in the aftermath of the Spanish–American War that took Cuba from Spanish rule in 1898, until communist revolutionaries took power in 1959.

The official form of government was representative democracy though at times it was controlled by a military junta or otherwise unelected government. After becoming head of the armed forces in 1933, colonel Fulgencio Batista played a dominant role in Cuban politics over the next decades. The Cuban Revolution of 1953–1959 massively changed Cuban society, creating a socialist state and ending US economic dominance in Cuba, as it aligned the country with the Soviet Union.

The Republic of Cuba has been regarded as a client state of the United States. From 1902–1932 Cuban and United States law included the Platt Amendment, which guaranteed the US right to intervene in Cuba and placed restrictions on Cuban foreign relations. In 1934, Cuba and the United States signed the Treaty of Relations in which Cuba was obligated to give preferential treatment of its economy to the United States, in exchange the United States gave Cuba a guaranteed 22 percent share of the US sugar market that later was amended to a 49 percent share in 1949.

Spanish–American War

The Spanish–American War (Spanish: Guerra hispano-americana or Guerra hispano-estadounidense; Filipino: Digmaang Espanyol-Amerikano) was an armed conflict between Spain and the United States in 1898. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of USS Maine in Havana harbor in Cuba, leading to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. The war led to emergence of U.S. predominance in the Caribbean region, and resulted in U.S. acquisition of Spain's Pacific possessions. That led to U.S. involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately in the Philippine–American War.The main issue was Cuban independence. Revolts had been occurring for some years in Cuba against Spanish rule. The U.S. later backed these revolts upon entering the Spanish–American War. There had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873, but in the late 1890s, American public opinion was agitated by reports of gruesome Spanish atrocities. The business community had just recovered from a deep depression and feared that a war would reverse the gains. It lobbied vigorously against going to war. President William McKinley ignored the exaggerated yellow press and sought a peaceful settlement. The United States Navy armored cruiser USS Maine mysteriously exploded and sank in Havana Harbor; political pressures from the Democratic Party pushed McKinley into a war that he had wished to avoid.

McKinley signed a joint Congressional resolution demanding Spanish withdrawal and authorizing the President to use military force to help Cuba gain independence on April 20, 1898. In response, Spain severed diplomatic relations with the United States on April 21. On the same day, the U.S. Navy began a blockade of Cuba. Both sides declared war; neither had allies.

The ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. As U.S. agitators for war well knew, U.S. naval power would prove decisive, allowing expeditionary forces to disembark in Cuba against a Spanish garrison already facing nationwide Cuban insurgent attacks and further wasted by yellow fever. The invaders obtained the surrender of Santiago de Cuba and Manila despite the good performance of some Spanish infantry units and fierce fighting for positions such as San Juan Hill. Madrid sued for peace after two Spanish squadrons were sunk in Santiago de Cuba and Manila Bay and a third, more modern, fleet was recalled home to protect the Spanish coasts.The result was the 1898 Treaty of Paris, negotiated on terms favorable to the U.S. which allowed it temporary control of Cuba and ceded ownership of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine islands. The cession of the Philippines involved payment of $20 million ($602,320,000 today) to Spain by the U.S. to cover infrastructure owned by Spain.The defeat and loss of the last remnants of the Spanish Empire was a profound shock to Spain's national psyche and provoked a thorough philosophical and artistic reevaluation of Spanish society known as the Generation of '98. The United States gained several island possessions spanning the globe and a rancorous new debate over the wisdom of expansionism.

Timeline of Camagüey

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Camagüey, Cuba.

Timeline of Cienfuegos

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Cienfuegos, Cuba.

Timeline of Guantánamo

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Guantánamo, Cuba.

Timeline of Havana

The following is a timeline of the history of Havana, Cuba.

Timeline of Holguín

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Holguín, Cuba.

Timeline of Matanzas

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Matanzas, Cuba.

Timeline of Santiago de Cuba

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Santiago, Cuba.

Timeline of sovereign states in North America

This timeline lists all sovereign states in North America (including Central America and the Caribbean), both current and defunct, from the year 1500 onwards.

United States Military Government in Cuba

The United States Military Government in Cuba (Spanish: Gobierno militar estadounidense en Cuba or Gobierno militar americano en Cuba), was a provisional military government in Cuba that was established in the aftermath of the Spanish–American War in 1898 when Spain ceded Cuba to the United States.

This period was also referred to as the First Occupation of Cuba, to distinguish it from a second occupation from 1906 to 1909. United States Army forces involved in the garrisoning of the island during this time were honored with the Army of Cuban Occupation Medal after its establishment in 1915.

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