In the fist of earlier revolutions: postemancipation social control and state formation in Guantànamo, Cuba, 1868-1902 Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Carlson, David C.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • This dissertation charts transformations in social control mechanisms in a rural district of southeastern Cuba during the gradual demise of slavery into the opening decade of state formation in the twentieth century. It examines how changes wrought by slavery’s end concurrent with wars of national independence against Spanish colonial rule, and United States intervention into that conflict during 1898, shaped the Guantánamo jurisdiction from a colonial island frontier to a North American enclave. The study contributes to scholarship on shifts in racial constructs, citizenship, labor, and liberalism in New World Diaspora societies marked by legacies of coercive labor. Dissimilar and distinct military mobilizations of black soldiery were salient factors in the last three nations of the hemisphere to abandon their “peculiar institution” of slavery: the United States (the Civil War 1861-65), Brazil (the Paraguay War, 1864-70 with final abolition by 1888), and Cuba (the Ten Years’ War, 1868-78 with final abolition in 1886). This project addresses implications of Cubans of color and former slaves engaged in anticolonial mobilizations during the island’s transformation from colony to republican nation-state. I argue that the rebellion against the metropolitan state challenged enduring local structures of domination and power, confronting but not overturning durable social control mechanisms designed to defend property and discipline the colonial order. By 1895, a cross-racial and cross-class tactical alliance rekindled the independence struggle against Spain and its local sources of power, extracting war taxes from landowners – an incipient politics of the social function of property. After U.S. occupation, and independence by 1902, that alliance did not last. In the newly constituted republic, political unrest that threatened property destruction and sabotage at sugar estates met with repression. The study ends with the first U.S. occupation, by which time new social forces and elite social control concerns accompanied Cuban independence and post independence politics.
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  • Pérez, Louis A.
  • Open access

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