Bread Or Bullets: Urban Labor and Spanish Colonialism in by Joan Casanovas

By Joan Casanovas

The 1st completely documented heritage of equipped hard work in nineteenth-century Cuba, this paintings specializes in how city workers joined jointly in collective motion through the transition from slave to loose exertions and within the final a long time of Spanish colonial rule in Cuba.

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Additional resources for Bread Or Bullets: Urban Labor and Spanish Colonialism in Cuba, 1850-1898 (Pitt Latin American Studies)

Sample text

This interdependence explains why in the 1860s the labor movement began to express opposition to the use of unfree labor in factories and workshops, and why in 1873 the labor movement began to express its abolitionism publicly. (This is discussed in chapters 3-5). A second historiographic question this book addresses is: what historical circumstances led urban popular classes to adopt particular ideologies and tactics to change social and political conditions? This study begins by asserting that the concrete needs and goals of working-class people in nineteenth-century Cuba led the labor movement to embrace different radical ideologies on the basis of their concrete moral values and tactics of class struggle.

Page 15 1 Urban Space and Labor Tobacco manufacturing is. . the industry most closely linked to the subsistence of the proletarian classes and the one that brings life to the guilds of free workers who make up the subaltern layers of the people. Saturnino Martínez, ''La industria del tabaco," La Razón, Oct. 15, 1876. During the first half of the nineteenth century, the phenomenal expansion of the Cuban economy, mainly based on coffee, sugar, and tobacco exports, not only caused a population increase in rural areas, but also favored the growth of cities and towns at a pace unparalleled in the rest of Latin America.

Gradually, the reformists' model of labor relations, their agreements with employers, and their proximity to the Spanish party proved to most workers that the labor movement had to be radicalized and given a course of action capable of incorporating all workers, regardless of their race, origin, degree of skill, or political sympathies. This support allowed anarchists to become the main leaders of the labor movement in a relatively brief period and to give it a strong impetus. Also, in the Cuban emigré communities in the United States, strong disagreements between workers and separatist leadership drove many working-class Cubans to distance themselves from the separatist movement.

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