I. From Conqueror to Castro (1512-1959)
Awakening of Cubanness (1800-1878)
In the 19th century, the Cuban economy was one of the most prosperous in the Americas. The planning of Cuban-born men like Francisco Arango y Parreño and slave labor brought about that wealth. Cubans like José Antonio Saco sought political and economic freedoms under the Spanish monarchy, but others conspired for independence. In 1868, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes began a ten-year war of independence. Cuba produced writers like José María Heredia, and composers like José White; and the dance rhythm called “habanera,” a Cuban version of the country dance, became a popular dance rhythm worldwide.