I. From Conqueror to Castro (1512-1959)
The First Republic of Cuba (1902-1940)
The United States granted independence to Cuba in 1902, after the Cubans who drafted the Cuban Constitution of 1901 agreed to include in that document an amendment granting the US the right to intervene in Cuba, and the lease in perpetuity of territory for US naval bases. The first decades of the Republic of Cuba saw economic recovery from the war of independence of 1895-98. Between 1927 and 1933, President Gerardo Machado hired a French architect to design a redevelopment plan for Havana that included a grand congress building and University. But those years saw also protests against social and political injustice and inequality expressed in literature by novelists like Carlos Loveira and poets like Nicolás Guillén. Composers like Alejandro García Caturla composed classical music inspired in Cuban popular rhythms and themes.