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. Special regulations, decrees, etc., modifying the application of the laws to the colonies or promulgating new laws were frequent, and their compilation in 1680 was published as Law of the Indies. This and the Siete Partidas, on which they were largely based, comprised the code under which the Spanish-American colonies were governed." There was a paper provision, during the greater part of the time, for a municipal electorate, the franchise being limited to a few of the largest tax-payers. In its practical operation, the system was nullified by the power vested in the appointed ruler. It was a highly effective centralized organization in which no man held office, high or low, who was not a mere instrument in the hands of the Governor-General. Under such an institution the Cubans had, of course, absolutely no experience in self-government. The rulers made laws and the people obeyed them; they imposed taxes and spent the money as they saw fit; many of them enriched themselves and their personally appointed official household throughout the island, at the expense of the tax-payers.

A competent observer has noted that such terms as "meeting," "mass-meeting," "self-government," and "home-rule," had no equivalent in the Spanish language. The first of these terms, distorted into " mitin," is now in common use, and its origin is obvious. Of theories, ideals, and intellectual conceptions, there was an abundance, but government based on beautiful dreams does not succeed in this practical world. Denied opportunity for free discussion of practical methods, the Cubans discussed theories in lyceums. Under the military government of the United States, from January 1, 1899, to May 20, 1902, there was freedom of speech and freedom of organization. The Cubans began to hold "mitins," but visions and beautiful theories characterized the addresses. Prior to the Ten Years' War (1868-1878), there were organizations more or less political in their nature, but the authorities were alert in preventing discussions of too practical a character. In 1865, a number of influential Cubans organized what has been somewhat inappropriately termed a "national party." It was not at all a party in our use of that term. Its purpose was to suggest and urge administrative and economic changes from the Cuban point of view. The suggestions were ignored and, a few years later, revolution was adopted as a means of emphasizing their importance. The result of the Ten Years' War was an assortment of pledges of greater political and economic freedom. Much was promised but little if anything was really granted. There was, however, a relaxation of the earlier absolutism, and under that there appeared a semblance of party organization, in the form of a Liberal party and a Union Constitutional party. There was no special difference in what might be called their platforms. Both focussed, in a somewhat general way, the political aspirations and the economic desires of the Cuban people, much the same aspirations and desires that had been manifested by complaint, protest, and occasional outbreak, for fifty years. National independence had no place in either. That came later, when an army in the field declared that if Spain would not grant independence, the island would be made so worthless a possession that Spain could not afford to hold it. A few years after their organization, the Liberals became the Cuban party, and so remained, and the Union Constitutionals became the Spanish party, the party of the immediate administration. Later on, the Liberal party became the Autonomist party, but Spain's concession of the demands of that group came too late, forced, not by the Autonomists but by the party of the Revolution that swept the island with fire and sword from Oriente to Pinar del Rio. The Autonomists sought what their name indicates; the Revolutionists demanded and secured national independence.

Shortly before the final dispersion of the Army of the Revolution, there was organized a body with the imposing title of La Asamblea de Representantes del Ejercito Cubano, or the Assembly of Representatives of the Cuban Army. It was composed of leaders of the different military divisions of that army, and included, as I recall it, thirty-one members. This group made no little trouble in the early days of the American occupation. It gathered in Havana, held meetings, declared itself the duly chosen and representative agent of the Cuban people, and demanded recognition as such by the American authorities. Some of its members even asserted that it constituted a de facto government, and held that the Americans should turn the whole affair over to them and promptly sail away. But their recognition was flatly refused by the authorities. At the time, I supported the authorities in this refusal, but afterward I felt less sure of the wisdom of the course. As a recognized body, it might have been useful; rejected, it made no little trouble. Transfer of control to its hands was quite out of the question, but recognition and co-operation might have proved helpful. That the body had a considerable representative quality, there is no doubt. Later, I found many of its members as members of the Constitutional Convention, and, still later, many of them have served in high official positions, as governors of provinces, members of Congress, in cabinet and in diplomatic positions. I am inclined to regard the group broadly, as the origin of the present much divided Liberal party that has, from the beginning of definite party organization, included a considerable numerical majority of the Cuban voters. In the first national election, held December 31, 1901, this group, the military group, appeared as the National party, supporting Tomas Estrada y Palma as its candidate. Its opponent was called the Republican party. Realizing its overwhelming defeat, the latter withdrew on the day of the election, alleging all manner of fraud and unfairness on the part of the Nationals. It is useless to follow in detail the history of Cuba's political parties since that time. In the election of 1905, the former National party appeared as the Liberal party, supporting Jose Miguel Gomez, while its opponents appeared as the Moderate party, supporting Estrada Palma who, first elected on what he declared to be a non-partisan basis, had definitely affiliated himself with the so-called Moderates. The election was a game of political crookedness on both sides, and the Liberals withdrew on election day. The result was the revolution of 1906. The Liberals split into factions, not yet harmonized, and the Moderate party became the Conservative party. By the fusion of some of the Liberal groups, that party carried the election of 1908, held under American auspices. A renewal of internal disorders, a quarrel among leaders, and much discontent with their administrative methods, resulted in the defeat of the Liberals in the campaign of 1912 and in the election of General Mario Menocal, the head of the Conservative ticket, and the present incumbent.

A fair presentation of political conditions in Cuba is exceedingly difficult, or rather it is difficult so to present them that they will be fairly understood. I have always regarded the establishment of the Cuban Republic in 1902 as premature, though probably unavoidable. A few years of experience with an autonomous government under American auspices, civil and not military, as a prologue to full independence, might have been the wiser course, but such a plan seemed impossible. The Cubans in the field had forced from Spain concessions that were satisfactory to many. Whether they could have forced more than that, without the physical assistance given by the United States, is perhaps doubtful. The matter might have been determined by the grant of the belligerent rights for which they repeatedly appealed to the United States. At no time in the entire experience did they ask for intervention. That came as the result of a combination of American wrath and American sympathy, and more in the interest of the United States than because of concern for the Cubans. But, their victory won and Spain expelled, the triumphant Cubans naturally desired immediate enjoyment of the fruits of victory. They desired to exercise the independence for which they had fought. Many protests and not a few threats of trouble attended even the brief period of American occupation. There was, moreover, an acute political issue in the United States. The peace and order declared as the purpose of American intervention had been established. The amendment to the Joint Resolution of April 20, 1898, disclaimed "any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said Island except for the pacification thereof," etc. The island was pacified. The amendment asserted, further, the determination of the United States, pacification having been accomplished, "to leave the government and control of the island to its people." There was no pledge of any prolonged course of education in principles and methods of self-government. Nor did such education play any appreciable part in the experience of the American military government. The work of the interventors had been done in accordance with the specifications, and the Cubans were increasingly restless under a control that many of them, with no little reason, declared to be as autocratic as any ever exercised by Spain. Transfer and departure seemed to be the politic if not the only course, and we transferred and departed.

That these people, entirely without experience or training in self-government, should make mistakes was quite as inevitable as it is that a child in learning to walk will tumble down and bump its little nose. In addition to the inevitable mistakes, there have been occasional instances of deplorable misconduct on the part of individuals and of political parties. For neither mistakes nor misconduct can we criticize or condemn them without a similar criticism or condemnation of various experiences in our own history. We should, at least, regard them with charity. There are, moreover, incidents in the two experiences of American control of the island that, at least, border on the unwise and the discreditable. The only issue yet developed in Cuba is between good government and bad politics. The first President started admirably along the line of the former, and ended in a wretched tangle of the latter, though not at all by his own choice or direction. Official pre-eminence and a "government job" make quite the same appeal to the Cubans that they do to many thousands of Americans. So do raids on the national treasury, and profitable concessions. We see these motes in Cuban eyes somewhat more clearly than we see the beams in our own eyes. A necessarily slow process of political education is going on among the people, but in the meantime the situation has afforded opportunity for exploitation by an assortment of self-constituted political leaders who have adopted politics as a profession and a means of livelihood. Cuba's gravest danger lies in the political domination of men in this class. The present President, General Mario Menocal, is not in that group. The office sought him; he did not seek the office. Some of these self-constituted leaders have displayed a notable aptitude for political organization, and it is largely by means of the many little local organizations that the Cuban political game is played. Although, I believe, somewhat less now than formerly, the little groups follow and support individual leaders rather than parties or principles. Parties and their minor divisions are known by the names of their leaders. Thus, while both men are nominally of the same party, the Liberal, the adherents of Jose Miguel Gomez, are known as Miguelistas, and the adherents of Alfredo Zayas are known as Zayistas. Were either to announce himself as a Conservative, or to start a new party and call it Reformist or Progressive or any other title, he could count on being followed by most of those who supported him as a Liberal. This is a condition that will, in time, correct itself. What the Cuban really wants is what all people want, an orderly, honest, and economical government, under which he may live in peace and quiet, enjoying the fruits of his labor without paying an undue share of the fruits to maintain his government. For that the Cuban people took up arms against Spain. For a time they may be blinded by the idea of mere political independence, but to that same issue they will yet return by the route of the ballot-box. The game of politics for individual preferment, or for personal profit, cannot long be successfully played in Cuba, if I have rightly interpreted Cuban character and Cuban characteristics.

"We, the delegates of the people of Cuba, having met in constitutional convention for the purpose of preparing and adopting the fundamental law of their organization as an independent and sovereign people, establishing a government capable of fulfilling its international obligations, maintaining public peace, ensuring liberty, justice, and promoting the general welfare, do hereby agree upon and adopt the following constitution, invoking the protection of the Almighty. Article I. The people of Cuba are hereby constituted a sovereign and independent State and adopt a republican form of government." Thus opens the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba.

I recall an intensely dramatic moment connected with the closing phrase of the preamble. I have used a translation published by a distinguished Cuban. That phrase, in the original, is "invocando el favor de Dios," perhaps more exactly translated as "invoking the favor (or blessing) of God." When the Constitution had been drafted and broadly approved, it was submitted to the convention for suggestion of minor changes in verbiage. One of the oldest and most distinguished members of the body proposed that this phrase be left out. Another member, distinguished for his power as an orator and for his cynicism, in a speech of considerable length set forth his opinion that it made little difference whether it was included or excluded. There was no benefit in its inclusion, and no advantage in excluding it. It would hurt none and might please some to have it left in. Immediately across the semi-circle of desks, and facing these two speakers, sat Senor Pedro Llorente, a man of small stature, long, snow-white hair and beard, and a nervous and alert manner. At times, his nervous energy made him almost grotesque. At times, his absorbed earnestness made him, despite his stature, a figure of commanding dignity. Through the preceding addresses he waited with evident impatience. Obtaining recognition from the chairman, he rose and stood with upraised hand his voice tremulous with emotion, to protest against the proposed measure, declaring "as one not far from the close of life, that the body there assembled did not represent an atheistic people." The motion to strike out was lost, and the invocation remains.

The result of the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention is a highly creditable instrument. It contains a well-devised Bill of Rights, and makes all necessary provision for governmental organization and conduct. One feature, however, seems open to criticism. In their desire to avoid that form of centralized control, of which they had somewhat too much under Spanish power, the new institution provides, perhaps, for too much local government, for a too extensive provincial and municipal system. It has already fallen down in some respects, and it has become necessary to centralize certain functions, quite as it has become desirable in several of our own matters. Cuba has, perhaps, an undue overload of officialdom, somewhat too many public officers, and quite too many people on its pay-rolls. The feature of Cuba's Constitution that is of greatest interest and importance to the United States is what is known as the Platt Amendment. The provision for a Constitutional Convention in Cuba was made in what was known as Civil Order No. 301, issued by the Military Governor, on July 25, 1900. It provided for an election of delegates to meet in Havana on the first Monday in November, following. The convention was to frame and adopt a Constitution and "as a part thereof, to provide for and agree with the Government of the United States upon the relations to exist between that Government and the Government of Cuba," etc. Against this, the Cubans protested vigorously. The United States had declared that "Cuba is and of right ought to be free and independent." The Cubans held, very properly, that definition of international relations had no fitting place in a Constitution "as a part thereof." Their point was recognized and, under date of November 5, Civil Order No. 310 was modified by Civil Order No. 455. That was issued to the delegates at the time of their assembly. It declared as follows: "It will be your duty, first, to frame and adopt a Constitution for Cuba, and, when that has been done, to formulate what, in your opinion, ought to be the relations between Cuba and the United States." Taking this as their programme, the delegates proceeded to draft a Constitution, leaving the matter of "relations" in abeyance for consideration at the proper time. Yet, before its work was done, the Convention was savagely criticized in the United States for its failure to include in the Constitution what it had been authorized, and virtually instructed, to leave out. The Constitution was completed on February 11, 1901, and was duly signed by the delegates, on February 21. A committee was appointed, on February 11, to prepare and submit plans and proposals regarding the matter of "relations." Prior to that, however, the matter had been frequently but informally discussed by the delegates. Suggestions had been made in the local press, and individual members of the Convention had expressed their views with considerable freedom. Had the United States kept its hands off at that time, a serious and critical situation, as well as a sense of injustice that has not yet entirely died out, would have been averted.

Before the Cubans had time to put their "opinion of what ought to be the relations" between the two countries into definite form, there was presented to them, in a manner as needless as it was tactless, a statement of what the American authorities thought those relations should be. The Cubans, who were faithfully observing their earlier instructions, were deeply offended by this interference, and by the way in which the interference came. The measures known as the Platt Amendment was submitted to the United States Senate, as an amendment to the Army Appropriation bill, on February 25, 1901 The Senate passed the bill, and the House concurred A storm of indignant protest swept over the island The Cubans believed, and not without reason, that the instrument abridged the independence of which they had been assured by those who now sought to limit that independence. Public opinion in the United States was divided. Some approved and some denounced the proceeding in bitter terms. The division was not at all on party lines. The situation in Cuba was entirely changed. Instead of formulating an opinion in accordance with their earlier instructions, the members of the Convention were confronted by a choice of what they then regarded as evils, acceptance of unacceptable terms or an indefinite continuance of a military government then no less unacceptable. A commission was sent to Washington to urge changes and modifications. It was given dinners, lunches, and receptions, but nothing more. At last the Cubans shrugged their shoulders. The desire for an immediate withdrawal of American authority, and for Cuban assumption of the reins of government, outweighed the objection to the terms imposed. A Cuban leader said: "There is no use in objecting to the inevitable. It is either annexation or a Republic with the Amendment. I prefer the latter." After four months of stubborn opposition, the Cubans yielded, by a vote of sixteen to eleven, with four absentees.

In many ways, the Cuban Government is like our own. The President and Vice-President are elected, through an electoral college, for a term of four years. A "third term" is specifically prohibited by the Constitution. Senators, four from each Province, are chosen, for a term of eight years, by an electoral board. Elections for one half of the body occur every four years. The House is chosen, by direct vote, for terms of four years, one half being elected every two years. The Cabinet, selected and appointed by the President, consists of eight Secretaries of Departments as follows: Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor; State; Government; Treasury (Hacienda); Public Instruction; Justice; Public Works; and Health and Charities. There is a Supreme Court, and there are the usual minor courts. The Constitution also makes provision for the organization and the powers of the Provincial and Municipal Governments. To the Constitution, the Platt Amendment is attached as an appendix, by treaty arrangement. As far as governmental system is concerned, Cuba is fairly well equipped; a possible source of danger is its over-equipment. Its laws permit, rather than require, an overburden of officials, high and low. But Cuba's governmental problem is essentially one of administration. Its particular obstacle in that department is professional politics.

The whole situation in Cuba is somewhat peculiar. The business of the island, that is, the commercial business, the purchase and sale of merchandise wholesale and retail, is almost entirely in the hands of Spaniards. The Cuban youths seldom become clerks in stores. Most of the so-called "dependientes" come out as boys from Spain. It is an old established system. These lads, almost invariably hard workers, usually eat and sleep in the place of their employment. The wage is small but board and lodging, such as the latter is, are furnished. They are well fed, and the whole system is quite paternal. For their recreation, education, and care in case of illness, there are organizations, half club and half mutual protective association, to which practically all belong. The fee is small and the benefits many. Some of these are based on a regional plan, that is, the Centro de Asturianos is composed of those who come from the Spanish province of Asturia, and those from other regions have their societies. There is also a general society of "dependientes." Some of these groups are rich, with large membership including not only the clerks of today but those of the last thirty or forty years, men who by diligence and thrift have risen to the top in Cuba's commercial life. Most of Cuba's business men continue their membership in these organizations, and many contribute liberally toward their maintenance.

This system more or less effectively bars Cuban youths from commercial life. Nor does commercial life seem attractive to more than a very limited number. This leaves to them, practically, only three lines of possible activity, the ownership and operation of a plantation, a profession, or manual labor. The greater number there, as elsewhere, are laborers, either on some little bit of ground they call their own or rent from its owner, or they are employed by the proprietors of the larger estates. Such proprietorship is, of course, open to only a few. The problem, which is both social and political, appears in a class that cannot or will not engage in manual labor, the well-educated or fairly-educated sons of men of fair income and a social position. Many of these take some professional course. But there is not room for so many in so small a country, and the professions are greatly overcrowded. The surplus either loafs and lives by its wits or at the expense of the family, or turns to the Government for a "job." It constitutes a considerable element on which the aspiring professional politician can draw for support. Having such "jobs," it constitutes a heavy burden on the tax-payers; deprived of its places on the Government pay-roll, it becomes a social and political menace. If a Liberal administration throws them out of their comfortable posts, they become noisy and perhaps violent Conservatives; if discharged by an economical Conservative administration, they become no less noisy and no less potentially violent Liberals. But we may not criticize. The American control that followed the insurrection of 1906 set no example in administrative economy for the Cubans to follow.

The productive industries of the island have already been reviewed in other chapters. The development of Cuba's commerce since the withdrawal of Spain, and the substitution of a modern fiscal policy for an antiquated and indefensible system, has been notable. It is, however, a mistake to contrast the present condition with the condition existing at the time of the American occupation, in 1899. The exact accuracy of the record is questionable, but the returns for the year 1894, the year preceding the revolution, show the total imports of the island as $77,000,000, and the total exports as $99,000,000. The probability is that a proper valuation would show a considerable advance in the value of the imports. The statement of export values may be accepted. It may be assumed that had there been no disorder, the trade of the island, by natural growth, would have reached $90,000,000 for imports and $120,000,000, for exports, in 1900. That may be regarded as a fair normal. As it was, the imports of that year were $72,000,000, and the exports, by reason of the general wreck of the sugar business, were only $45,000,000. With peace and order fairly assured, recovery came quickly. The exports of 1905, at $99,000,000, equalled those of 1894, while the imports materially exceeded those of the earlier year. In 1913, the exports reached $165,207,000, and the imports $132,290,000. This growth of Cuba's commerce and industry is due mainly to the economic requirements of the American people. We need Cuba's sugar and we want its tobacco. These two commodities represent about 90 per cent, of the total exports of the island. We buy nearly all of its sugar, under normal conditions, and about 60 per cent, of its tobacco and cigars. On the basis of the total commerce of the island, the records of recent years show this country as the source of supply for about 53 per cent, of Cuba's total imports, and as the market for about 83 per cent, of its exports. A comparison of the years 1903 and 1913 shows a gain of about $87,000,000 in Cuba's total exports. Of this, about $75,000,000 is represented by sugar. The crop of 1894 a little exceeded a million tons. Such a quantity was not again produced until 1903. With yearly variations, due to weather conditions, later years show an enormous and unprecedented increase. The crops of 1913 and 1914 were, approximately, 2,500,000 tons each. The tobacco industry shows only a modest gain. The average value of the exports of that commodity has risen, in ten years, from about $25,000,000 to about $30,000,000. The increase in the industry appears largely in the shipment of leaf tobacco. The cigar business shows practically no change, in that time, as far as values are concerned. This resume affords a fair idea of Cuba's trade expansion under the conditions established through the change in government. That event opened new and larger doors of opportunity, and the Cubans and others have been prompt in taking advantage of them. Toward the great increase shown, two forces have operated effectively. One is the treaty by which the provisions of the so-called Platt Amendment to the Cuban Constitution are made permanently effective. The other is the reciprocity treaty of 1903.

By the operation of the former of these instruments the United States virtually underwrites the political stability and the financial responsibility of the Cuban Government. That Government cannot borrow any important sums without the consent of the United States, and it has agreed that this country "may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the United States." This assumption of responsibility by the United States inspired confidence on the part of capital, and large sums have been invested in Cuban bonds, and in numerous public and private enterprises. Railways and trolley lines have been built and many other works of public utility have been undertaken. The activities of old sugar plantations have been extended under improved conditions, and many new estates with costly modern equipment have been created. The cultivation of large areas, previously lying waste and idle, afforded both directly and indirectly employment for an increased population, as did the numerous public works. The other force, perhaps no less effective, appears in the reciprocity treaty of 1903. This gave to Cuba's most important crop a large though by no means absolute control of the constantly increasing sugar market of the United States, as far as competition from other foreign countries was concerned. The sugar industry of the island may be said to have been restored to its normal proportions in 1903. Our imports for the five-year period 1904-1908 averaged 1,200,000 tons a year. For the five-year period 1910-1914 they averaged 1,720,000 tons. In 1914, they were 2,200,000 tons as compared with 1,260,000 tons in 1904. It is doubtful if the treaty had any appreciable influence on the exports of Cuban tobacco to this country. We buy Cuba's special tobacco irrespective of a custom-house advantage that affects the box price only a little, and the price of a single cigar probably not at all. On the other side of the account, that of our sales to Cuba, there also appears a large increase since the application of the reciprocity treaty. Using the figures showing exports from the United States to Cuba, instead of Cuba's records showing imports from this country, it appears that our sales to the island in the fiscal year 1903, immediately preceding the operation of the treaty, amounted to $21,761,638. In the fiscal year 1913 they were $70,581,000, and in 1914 were $68,884,000.

Not all of this quite remarkable gain may properly be credited to the influence of the reciprocity treaty. The purchases of the island are determined, broadly, by its sales. As the latter increase, so do the former. Almost invariably, a year of large export sales is followed by a year of heavy import purchases. The fact that our imports from Cuba are double our sales to Cuba, in the total of a period of years, has given rise to some foolish criticism of the Cubans on the ground that, we buying so heavily from them, they should purchase from us a much larger percentage of their import requirements. No such obligation is held to exist in regard to our trade with other lands, and it should have no place in any consideration of our trade with Cuba. There are many markets, like Brazil, British India, Japan, China, Mexico, and Egypt, in which our purchases exceed our sales. There are more, like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Central America, and numerous others, in which our sales considerably or greatly exceed our purchases. We do not buy from them simply because they buy from us. We buy what we need or want in that market in which we can buy to the greatest advantage. The Cuban merchants, who are nearly all Spaniards, do the same. The notion held by some that, because of our service to Cuba in the time of her struggle for national life, the Cubans should buy from us is both foolish and altogether unworthy. Any notion of Cuba's obligation to pay us for what we may have done for her should be promptly dismissed and forgotten. There are commodities, such as lumber, pork products, coal, wheat flour, and mineral oil produces, that Cuba can buy in our markets on terms better than those obtainable elsewhere. Other commodities, such as textiles, leather goods, sugar mill equipment, railway equipment, drugs, chemicals, and much else, must be sold by American dealers in sharp competition with the merchants of other countries, with such assistance as may be afforded by the reciprocity treaty. That instrument gives us a custom-house advantage of 20, 25, 30, and 40 per cent, in the tariff rates. It is enough in some cases to give us a fair equality with European sellers, and in a few cases to give us a narrow margin of advantage over them. It does not give us enough to compel Cuban buyers to trade with us because of lower delivered prices.

Cuba's economic future can be safely predicted on the basis of its past. The pace of its development will depend mainly upon a further influx of capital and an increase in its working population. Its political future is less certain. There is ample ground for both hope and belief that the little clouds that hang on the political horizon will be dissipated, that there will come, year by year, a sane adjustment to the new institutions. But full assurance of peace and order will come only when the people of the island, whether planters or peasants, see clearly the difference between a government conducted in their interest and a government conducted by Cubans along Spanish lines.