Was the first Cuban revolt against Spain successful?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The first Cuban revolt was not successful because it failed to achieve its objective of Cuban independence from Spain.

Cuba's first sizable revolt against Spain occurred on October 9, 1868, when Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, a lawyer, led thirty-eight planters against the Spanish government. These Cuban elites wanted similar judicial and societal rights Spaniards enjoyed. They demanded representation in government and also the full enforcement of the slavery ban on the island. Cespedes unilaterally declared independence for Cuba, freed his own slaves, and incorporated their labors into his independence fight. The revolt was established by the newly formed Junta Revolucionaria de Cuba in its manifesto condemning Spanish over-reach and corruption.

Hence, the Republic of Cuba was formed on October 10, 1868. Cespedes himself penned the republic's constitution which proclaimed the abolition of slavery and tied Cuban interests to that of the United States. However, Cespedes failure to immediately cease the day to day practice of slavery caused much unrest in the Cuban revolutionary ranks. Also, the inability of revolutionary leaders to agree to a unified vision of the fight for independence and subsequent tensions between white and black revolutionary leaders caused the revolt to fail. Cespedes' first revolt stretched into a ten year battle for independence. Although the Ten Year War (1868-1878) did not achieve Cuban independence, it inspired two more conflicts which eventually won Cuba its freedom: The Little War (1879-1880) and the Cuban War For Independence (1895-1898).

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