Cuba

Cuba's final movement for independence began on February 24, 1895. Under the treaty of Zanjon, executed in 1878, Spain agreed to grant to the Cubans such reforms as would remove their grounds of complaint, long continued. The Cubans denied that the terms of the agreement had been kept. Those terms are indicated in a statement submitted by Tomas Estrada y Palma to Richard Olney, then Secretary of State of the United States. It bore the date of December 7, 1895. The communication sets forth, from the Cuban point of view, of course, the causes of the revolution of 1895. It says:

The term "filibuster" affords an interesting example of the way in which words and their uses become twisted into something altogether different from their original meaning. It comes from a Dutch word, several centuries old, vrijbuiter, or free vessel or boat. It got somehow into English as "freebooter," and into Spanish as filibustero. The original referred to piracy.

Chemically, sugar is a compound belonging to the group of carbohydrates, or organic compounds of carbon with oxygen and hydrogen. The group includes sugars, starches, gums, and celluloses. Sugar is a product of the vegetable kingdom, of plants, trees, root crops, etc. It is found in and is producible from many growths. As a laboratory process, it is obtainable from many sources, but, commercially, it is derived from only two, the sugar cane and the beet root.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that "although the fact has been controverted, there cannot be a doubt that the knowledge of tobacco and its uses came to the rest of the world from America.

The British colonists in America were in large measure self-governing. This is notably true in their local affairs. The Spanish colonists were governed almost absolutely by the mother-country. A United States official publication reports that "all government control centred in the Council of the Indies and the King, and local self government, which was developed at an early stage in the English colonies, became practically impossible in the Spanish colonies, no matter to what extent it may have existed in theory.

1915

by Albert Gardner Robinson

 

Christopher Columbus was a man of lively imagination. Had he been an ordinary, prosaic and plodding individual, he would have stayed at home combing wool as did his prosaic and plodding ancestors for several generations. At the age of fourteen he went to sea and soon developed an active curiosity about regions then unknown but believed to exist. There was even then some knowledge of western Asia, and even of China as approached from the west.

While there is no point in Cuba's history that may be said to mark a definite division between the Old Cuba and the New Cuba, the beginning of the 19th Century may be taken for that purpose. Cuba's development dragged for two hundred and fifty years. The population increased slowly and industry lagged. For this, Spain's colonial policy was responsible. But it was the policy of the time, carried out more or less effectively by all nations having colonies. England wrote it particularly into her Navigation Acts of 1651, 1660, and 1663, and supported it by later Acts.

Description of the physical features of a country seldom makes highly entertaining reading, but it seems a necessary part of a book of this kind. Some readers may find interest if not entertainment in such a review. The total area of the island, including a thousand or more adjacent islands, islets, and keys, is given as 44,164 square miles, a little less than the area of Pennsylvania and a little more than that of Ohio or Tennessee. Illustration of its shape by some familiar object is difficult, although various comparisons have been attempted.

Among the many pictures, stored away in the album of my memory, there are two that stand out more vividly than any others. The subjects are separated by half the world's circumference. One is the sunsets at Jolo, in the southern Philippines. There the sun sank into the western sea in a blaze of cloud-glory, between the low-lying islands on either hand with the rich green of their foliage turned to purple shadows. The other is the sunrise at Havana, seen from the deck of a steamer in the harbor.

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