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This chapter details how rebellion started in the countryside and quickly exploded all over Dominican territory. Opposition to the Spanish began almost immediately after occupation, but it became almost total combat by summer 1863. The widespread fear that reoccupation would bring reenslavement electrified the countryside. The struggle exposes rural vocabularies of race and identity; the moral economy of labor, personhood, and citizenship; and of the right to and capacity for self-rule espoused by Dominicans and their Haitian allies. The fighting exploded in towns, too, at the heart of the wealthy Cibao valley, on the northern coast, and elsewhere. Much of the territory was swept up in the fighting, as rebels traveled from town to town and through the countryside. Despite repeated Spanish demands for calm, amnesty offers, and reassurances about the abolition of slavery, the fighting only grew. Fires burned across the territory.

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