By Joan Casanovas
The 1st completely documented historical past of geared up hard work in nineteenth-century Cuba, this paintings specializes in how city employees joined jointly in collective motion throughout the transition from slave to unfastened hard work and within the final a long time of Spanish colonial rule in Cuba.
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Extra resources for Bread Or Bullets: Urban Labor and Spanish Colonialism in Cuba, 1850-1898 (Pitt Latin American Studies)
In Cuba, despite extreme repression, this conviction helped lower-class peninsulares to establish guilds, mutual-aid societies, and cultural centers. As in past periods of severe repression, Cuban creoles managed to participate even in peninsular-dominated associations. When the Spanish Republic was proclaimed in 1873, this peninsular-led labor movement established associations that successfully challenged the power of the Spanish party and developed an abolitionist plank. The fall of the Spanish Republic halted this evolution, but before the war ended, urban laborers were already founding important popular associations such as the Recreo de Obreros.
Again, historical analysis has become the victim of the present: because sugar became by far the most important export in the twentieth century, other Cuban products, such as tobacco, lost their previous significance. Although sugar has been Cuba's leading export product since the eighteenth century, after the 1840s, exports of tobacco leaf (rama), cut tobacco (picadura), cigars (torcido), and cigarettes (cigarros) increased sharply until tobacco exports approached the total value of sugar exports in certain years.
This economic and political impasse created a social atmosphere in which working-class radicals and republican separatists successfully combined forces from late 1891 on. Page 14 As we will see in chapter 9, labor's turn toward supporting, or at least not opposing, separatism exacerbated tensions between peninsular immigrants on the one hand, and creole and nonwhite workers on the other. Many working-class peninsulares were reluctant to give up their relatively privileged position within Cuban colonial society, while creoles and nonwhites yearned for more egalitarian labor and social relations.