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plantations that it is rather to be regarded as an adjunct of agriculture than a separate industry, In the case of tobacco products the line of demarcation is more distinct, and, while some of the large manufacturing companies have their own plantations, most of them prefer to buy the raw material of the planters. The centre of the cigar manufacturing is Havana, and most of the large firms are in the hands of foreigners. This industry has of late begun to show some signs of decline owing to the heavy import duties imposed by foreign countries, and the general tendency is to export Cuban tobacco in its raw state.

LABOR CONDITIONS. One of the prominent retarding factors in the agricultural and industrial development of Cuba is the scarcity of labor. The liberation of slaves had a detrimental effect on the economic development of Cuba as well as the West Indies in general. With the supply of black labor cut off, the Chinese coolies became the chief factor in the Cuban labor market, but, owing to real or alleged inhuman treatment, the Chinese Government prohibited further emigration to the island. Since then Spain and the Canary Islands have been drawn upon to some extent, but the supply falls short of the demand. The war still further depleted the ranks of labor, and according to the census of 1899 only 299,197 persons were engaged in agriculture, fishing, and mining; 93,034 in manufacturing and mechanical pursuits. To the sugar planter the problem of securing competent laborers is serious. In the tobacco industry the labor question does not offer such difficulties, owing to the fact that the work requires great skill, and white labor can be utilized to a large extent. In the mining industry the problem is also simplified, largely because of more favorable climatic conditions in the mountain districts.

TRANSPORTATION. Owing to the oblong shape of the island and the comparative evenness of the surface, the transportation problem presents few natural difficulties. The existing facilities, however, are utterly inadequate. The roads are mostly uncared for, and during the rainy season become almost impassable. Even the Camino Central, the chief highway of the island running from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, is for the most part in a very poor condition. The railway lines, while exceeding in mileage the length of the island, are concentrated chiefly in the western and central parts. They are mostly narrowgauge lines with light rails and poor roadbeds. The centre of the railway system is Havana, from which lines lead to Matanzas, Pinar del Rio, Cardenas, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Camajuani, and a number of minor places. East of the Province of Santa Clara there are only a few short lines, of which the most important are the one connecting Puerto Príncipe with its port, Nuevitas, and the few short lines leading from Santiago de Cuba into the mining region of the province. The total length of the seventeen public railways is (1903) 1480 miles, while the 107 private roads (mostly belonging to sugar plantations) have a total length of over 900 miles. The Central Railway connects Santa Clara with Santiago de Cuba, and thus gives uninterrupted railway communication from one end of the island to the other.

COMMERCE. The commerce of Cuba, under the Spanish régime, notwithstanding the restrictions placed upon it, was, relatively speaking, exten

sive. By a system of heavy protection, which had grown out of the monopoly idea of the seventeenth century, most of the commerce was diverted into Spanish channels, although only few of the demands of the island could be supplied by Spain from its domestic products. But the adoption of a reciprocal treaty between the United States and Spain gave an impetus to commercial relations between the former power and Cuba. The exports of merchandise from the United States to Cuba rose from $12,224,888. in 1891 to $24,157,698 in 1893, while the imports of Cuban products into the United States increased during the same period from $61,714,395 to $78,706,506. With the expiration of this treaty in 1894 and the beginning of the Cuban war in the following year, the commerce of the island began to decline, and the exports and imports in 1899 amounted to $49,700,000 and $75,300,000 respectively, as against $64,000,000 and $93,000,000 in 1892. Comparing the mean annual value of imports by countries for 1894-95 ($67,335,800) with that for the period of 18991900 ($64,965,800), we find that Spain's share fell off from about 44 to less than 16 per cent.: that of the United States increased from about 33 to over 45 per cent., while that of Great Britain practically remained the same, over 15 per cent. The export trade of Cuba for 1900 was distributed as follows: United States and possessions, 68 per cent.; United Kingdom and possessions, 12 per cent.; Spain, 2 per cent.; and Germany, 11 per cent. In 1903 the imports amounted to $67,000,000, and the exports to $78,000,000. The principal imports in that year were: foods and drinks, 36 per cent.; textiles, 16 per cent.; animals and animal products, 13 per cent.; metals, machinery, and chemicals, 15 per cent. The principal exports were: sugar and its products, 54 per cent.; tobacco and its products, 20 per cent.; the remainder consisting of woods, fruits, minerals, and animals. In 1904 the imports were $77,000,000, and the exports $89,000,000, and in 1905 they were $94,807,000 and $110,167,000 respectively. The growth of the trade of Cuba with the United States since the adoption of the new reciprocity treaty (Dec. 17, 1903), is shown in the following figures: imports, 1903, $23,000,000; 1904, $32,000,000; 1905, $44,000,000; exports, 1903, $57,000,000; 1904, $74,000,000; 1905, $95,000,000. The United States buys almost the whole of Cuba's sugar and a large portion of her tobacco and mineral products, and sends to the island in return live stock and animal products, flour, and metal manufactures, including railway supplies.


BANKS. Of all the banks founded in Cuba in the course of the last three decades of the past century, only two survived the Spanish-American War, viz. the Spanish Bank of the Island of Cuba and the Bank of Commerce. The former, though owned by private stockholders, was semi-official institution under the Spanish régime, being subject to certain official regulations, and its governor appointed by the Spanish Government. It acted as fiscal agent of the Government, collecting the internal revenue, and floating paper currency. The Bank of Commerce owes its uninterrupted, though by no means entirely prosperous, existence to its valuable railway and other properties. which have helped indirectly to swell its banking business, and have yielded a revenue out


side of that derived from its purely banking operations.

rise of wages to the detriment of the planters who could not expect a corresponding rise in prices of their products in the foreign markets, the Spanish silver money was also declared legal tender. The old inconveniences of a fluctuating currency were done away with by giving the coins a fixed rate in exchange for gold as follows: peso, 60 cents; medio peso, 30; peseta, 12; real, 6; medio real, 3 cents. A fixed value was also given to the bronze and copper coins, which were made legal tender for sums not exceeding one dollar. As the legal value given the silver coins by the Presidential order is somewhat below the value at which it is accepted in Spain, it be comes profitable to ship that coin to the latter country. The ultimate result will be the grad ual disappearance of Spanish silver from the island without sudden distressing effects upon its industry and commerce.

FINANCE. The history of the currency of Cuba does not differ much from the lamentable record made by nearly all of the Spanish-American countries as well as Spain. It is the story of desperate, but in the end of vain, attempts to make the fiat of Government pass for commodities of intrinsic worth in the monetary transactions of the people. For a time, such attempts succeeded, but in the end the Government was compelled to refuse its own worthless currency. This is particularly true of the paper currency of the Spanish Government, which was worth at the time of American occupation but seven cents on the dollar. Even before that event, when the Spanish Government accepted 10 per cent. of customs dues in that currency, the price rose only to 15 cents, varying between that value and 12 cents. The last issue of Spanish paper currency took place during the late war, when $20,000,000 of paper money was put in circulation through the Spanish Bank of the Island of Cuba upon the security of $6,330,000 (silver) deposited with the bank. In spite of having been made legal tender, the paper went at a discount from the start, and as soon as the Government had shown by its illegal withdrawal of the silver fund from the bank that it did not mean to depart from its old-time methods, the paper was repudiated throughout the island, until, as stated above, the action of the Government in accepting the paper in payment of 10 per cent. of customs dues raised it from 12 to 15 per cent. of its par value.

On taking over the island, the Government of the United States found itself in a predicament. The only rational course lay in reducing the coin to its face value and putting an end to all inflation and artificial substitutes for currency of intrinsic worth. On the other hand, the people had become accustomed to existing conditions; prices had adjusted themselves to the level of the inflated currency and all contracts had been concluded on that basis. Nevertheless, by order of the President of the United States, which took effect January 1, 1899, the United States gold dollar was declared the standard in which "all customs, taxes, public and postal dues in the island of Cuba shall be paid," and "foreign gold coins such as the Spanish alfonsinos (centen) and the French louis" are accepted at their real value, i.e. at $4.82 and $3.86 respectively. At the same time, since retail prices and wages have been usually fixed on the island on the basis of silver money, and in order to prevent a sudden

During the last thirty years of Spanish sovereignty in Cuba the budget of the island remained almost stationary, at from 26,000,000 to 30,000,000 pesos. Although the entire revenue was derived from the people of the island, only about 15 per cent. of the expenditures was incurred for local needs, while about 85 per cent. went to defray 'sovereignty expenses,' that is, the expenses of the general government. The following tables serve to illustrate the budgets under the Spanish and American régimes: AVERAGE ANNUAL BUDGET FOR THE PERIOD JULY, 1890, TO JUNE, 1895 REVENUE


Internal Revenue

Other Sources.


The standard of money in Spanish Cuba was Spanish gold, the centen or alfonsino-a 25-peseta piece-being the principal coin. In addition to that there was a large amount of silver currency. The principal silver coins in circulation were: the peso (dollar), medio peso (half-dollar), peseta (quarter-dollar), real (bit), medio real (half-dime). Since silver was not exchangeable for gold at its face value, it tended, as is always the case (see GRESHAM'S LAW), to drive the gold Service of the Debt out of circulation. To counteract that tendency the Government by a royal decree artificially inflated the value of the gold centen to $5.30, the real value being only about $4.80. In 1893 the French louis, a 20-franc piece (real value $3.86) was similarly and for the same reason inflated to $4.24.

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Justice and Instruction............ 902,449
Public Works.


Total Civil Administration
Army and Navy...



.$11,599,270 (U. S. Standard)






Total. .$22,910.186 Deficit 450,461 REVENUE AND EXPENDITURES OF CUBA FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1900-1901


Military Department..


6,493,281 10,334,421

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State and Government

Public Instruction


Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce.

Public Works...



658,535.92 182,736.96




734.335.78 2,363,863.61

223,588.56 1,735,231.38

8,226,748.39 1,732,885.04 .$17,644,494.81


The chief sources of revenue under Spanish rule were (1) taxes and excise duties, yielding less than one-fourth of the total; (2) import and export duties, which furnished about 55 per cent. of the entire revenue; (3) stamp taxes, 6 per cent. of the revenue; (4) lotteries, over 7 per cent.; (5) State property-rent and sale of public lands and rent from docks-producing about 12 per cent. of the total revenue; (6)

miscellaneous, over 5 per cent. Thus the great bulk of taxation fell upon the consumer, while the expenditures took little account of the needs of the people. As the above table shows, the army absorbed almost 30 per cent. of the entire expenditure; nearly 50 per cent. went to pay the debt incurred by the Spanish Government, while only about one-fourth of the total went for civil administration, of which the greater part was absorbed by salaries of Spanish officers. It will be observed that under the new régime the customs duties furnish over 90 per cent. of the entire revenue of the island. On the other hand, on the side of expenditures a radical change may be noted. The expenses of the military department have come down from nearly one-half of the total expenditure to less than 10 per cent. The service of the debt naturally disappeared from the budget because it was not the business of the United States to pay the debts incurred by the Spanish Government, and the Cuban Convention, by repudiating that debt, by one stroke of the pen relieved the people of the island of a great burden. A detailed comparison of expenditures under the two régimes is impossible owing to the different method of classification; however, a comparison of the four leading items common to both budgets shows the following changes:

cost of the census.

The expense for State and Government decreased from $3,634,439 to $1,756,689.53, or 52 per cent., although the latter sum includes the The expense for justice and instruction, on the other hand, increased from $902,449 to $1,605,488.30, or 78 per cent. The finance department shows also an increased expenditure of 255 per cent., and that of public works increased from $880,685 to $1,735,231.38, or 99 per cent. An unusually large item, $8,226,748, almost one-half of the total budget, is formed by the supplementary grants to municipalities. These subsidies were occasioned by the poverty-stricken condition of the people, who were unable to raise the necessary local revenue, and the money was advanced largely to defray expenditures affecting the most vital interests of the people, such as instruction, sanitation, hospitals and asylums, public buildings, etc.

Such were the finances of Cuba during the period of American military occupation. The finances of the Cuban national government are shown in the budget for 1905-6, as follows:



Consular fees..
Posts and telegraphs
Internal revenue.

Various sources




Department of state and justice.


Department of finance

Public instruction
Public works..

For administrative purposes the Republic is divided into six provinces. The provincial Governors and Assemblies are elected directly for a period of three years. The provinces are independent in their internal administration, but the President has the right of interference in case of abuses of power on the part of the Governor or the Assembly. The municipalities are administered by mayors and assemblies elected directly by popular vote. The judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate. The voting franchise is accorded to every male Cuban incapacitated or convicted of crime, to all Spanover twenty-one years of age, and not mentally ish residents who have been on the island since April 11, 1899, and to all foreigners who have resided in Cuba since January 1, 1899. For foreigners who have arrived on the island after January 1, 1899, a five years' residence is re260,000 quired for naturalization.


Department of agriculture, industry, and commerce


In February, 1904, the Cuban government issued bonds for $35,000,000 paying 5 per cent. They were sold at 90%, but are now quoted above par.

GOVERNMENT. The Constitution of Cuba, was adopted by the Constitutional Convention, on February 21, 1901. It provides for a republican form of government, and, in its main provisions, differs but slightly from the Constitution of the United States. The President, who must be either a native Cuban or a naturalized citizen with at least ten years' service in the Cuban army during the wars for independence, is elected directly by an absolute majority for a term of four years and is disqualified for more than two consecutive terms. He has the right of appointment and removal in regard to the members of his Cabinet.

The legislative power is vested in the Congress, which consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The former is composed of four Senators from each province, elected by an electoral board composed of the provincial councilmen and electors, the latter being twice the number of the former and chosen by popular vote. Provi. sion is made for the retirement of one-half of the Senators every four years. The House of Representatives consists of one member for every 25,000 inhabitants, or for a fraction of more than 12,500. They are elected directly for four years, one-half retiring every two years. Congress meets annually and is endowed with extensive powers, controlling besides the financial affairs and foreign relations of the Republic also the preparation of electoral laws for the provinces and municipalities. The approval of two-thirds of the members of both legislative bodies is necessary for a change in the Constitution.


$68 390 473,488 6,099 215

533,400 EDUCATION. Primary education, according to 757,250 the provisions of the Constitution, is free and compulsory, and the expenses are to be paid by $19,699,805 the Central Government in case of inability on the part of a province or a municipality to maintain its primary schools. Secondary and advanced education is under the control of the State. During the Spanish régime education was 2,253,003 controlled to a large extent by the Church, and 3,901,994 the provisions for primary education were very 4,813,854 262,347 inadequate. According to the census of 1899, the 1,265,813 proportion of illiteracy among the voting population was: Cubans, 59 per cent.; and Spanish, $19,138,104 12 per cent. Prior to the Spanish War the total enrollment was slightly more than 36,000. With the American occupation the school system was entirely reorganized, and the facilities for teach

ing as well as the enrollment increased with an extraordinary rapidity, so that by the middle of 1900 the number of schools was 3550 and the enrollment over 143,000. In 1902 the number of pupils was 160,759. Cuba has a university at Havana. The population is Roman Catholic. The island forms one archiepiscopal diocese.

POPULATION. The population of Cuba at each census beginning with 1774 was as follows: 1774, 172,620; 1792, 272,301; 1817, 553,628; 1827, 704,487; 1841, 1,007,624; 1861, 1,396,530; 1887, 1,631,687; 1899, 1,572,797. The rate of increase varied from 34 per cent. for the period 1792-1817, to 5 per cent. for the period 1861-71. The decrease of population on account of the war must have amounted to about 270,000. The density of population varies greatly in the different provinces, as shown below. Besides being the most densely populated province, Havana has also the largest urban population, amounting to 77.4 per cent., against 47.1 per cent. for the entire island. According to race, the population is divided as follows: whites, 67.9 per cent. (57.8 per cent. natives); negroes, mixed elements, and Chinese, 32.1 per cent. The males constitute 54.1 per cent. among the white and 47.0 per cent. among the colored population. According to occupation the population was distributed as follows: 48.1 per cent. in agriculture, fisheries, and mining; 22.8 per cent. in domestic and personal service; 14.9 per cent. in manufacturing and mechanical pursuits; 12.8 per cent. in trade and transportation; and 1.4 per cent. in professional service.

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the island, and was never supplanted. A peaceable race of Indians, calling themselves Ciboneyes, were its inhabitants, living under nine caciques. In 1502 Columbus visited Cuba a third time, and in 1511 his son, Diego Columbus, fitted out a colonizing expedition of 300 men, under Diego Velásquez, who in 1514 founded Santiago and Trinidad, and also a place on the southern coast called San Cristóbal de la Habana, a name soon transferred to another settlement on the northern coast, and in 1519 to the present locality. The natives were so cruelly treated that by 1553 their race was almost extinct, notwithstanding the appeals of Las Casas, the Roman Catholic apostle to the Indians, to the home Government in their behalf. This humane missionary having observed in Santo Domingo that the negroes seemed to possess a capacity for endurance superior to that of the Indians, in order to save the latter, went so far as to suggest that negroes should be imported to take their places in the mines and canefields. The colonists were not slow to act upon this suggestion, and thus negro slavery gained a foothold in the Western world. The Indians of Cuba, however, did not escape extermination. while the negroes were subjected to cruelties that checked their natural increase and made it necessary to recruit their numbers by constant importations. In 1537 Diego Columbus relinquished to the Crown his right to appoint a governor for the island, and Hernando de Soto was appointed, under the title of Captain-General. Havana was destroyed by the French in 1538, and again in 1554, and for a century and a half the people of the island were in almost continual fear of invasion by the French, Dutch, or English, or the pirates infesting the adjacent waters. Many laws were also made in Spain that were exceedingly disastrous to the prosperity of the island-e.g. a law prohibiting all foreigners, even Spaniards not native Castilians, from trading with or settling in the island. This led to smuggling, which was carried on largely, especially after the English captured Jamaica in 1655. Whatever importance and prosperity Cuba has attained seems to date from the Treaty of Paris, 1763, which ended the Seven Years' War during which the English had captured Havana. The island was restored to Spain, and for the rest of the century it enjoyed unusual prosperity. Las Casas, appointed Captain-General in 1790, was especially indefatigable in his efforts for the public good, removing many restrictions from commerce and promoting many useful public works. During the nineteenth century the island was ruled by a succession of Captains-General possessing almost absolute power, some of whom deserve praise for efforts to discharge their duties faithfully, while others can only be classed as oppressors, and whatever progress was made during their administrations was in spite of all obstacles mismanagement could invent-e.g. the royal decree of the Omnimodas, issued in 1825, which empowered Captains-General to rule at all times as if the island were in a state of siege. The United States made repeated efforts to purchase the island. In 1848 President Polk authorized the American Minister at Madrid to offer $100,000,000, and in 1858 a proposal was made in the Senate to authorize an offer of $30,000,000, but this was finally withdrawn. In 1854 what is known as the 'Ostend Manifesto' (q.v.), drawn up in the interest of the slave

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From 1902 to 1904, inclusive, 42,898 immigrants arrived in Cuba. The figure for 1905 was 54,219, against 28,467 in 1904, the number of immigrants from Spain being 47,902 for 1905 against 23,759 for 1904. For 1904 the birth rate was 34.41, and the death rate 14.90 per 1000. HISTORY. The 'Pearl,' or 'Queen of the Antilles,' the 'Ever-Faithful Isle,' as the Spaniards used to term Cuba (from the attitude of the Cubans at the time of the Napoleonic overthrow of the Spanish Bourbons), was discovered by Columbus during his first voyage, on October 28, 1492. He landed, it is supposed, on the north coast, near Nuevitas, by the river Máximo, and believed it to be a part of the mainland, until assured by the natives that it was an island; but in 1494, on his second trip, he reiterated his previous belief and called the land Juana, after Juan, the son of Ferdinand and Isabella. Subsequently he changed the name to Fernandina in honor of Ferdinand, and still later to Santiago, the name of the patron saint of Spain, and finally to Ave Maria, in recognition of the kind offices of the Virgin Mary; but the aboriginal name of Cuba clung to

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