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The chapter examines the scope and content of the first Cuban war for independence (the Ten Years' War, 1868–78). Attention is given to the implications of the shattering of white solidarities attending the insurrection, putting to rest the idea that a war between whites (i.e., between white Spaniards and white Cubans) would be the occasion for blacks to rise up against the white population—the long shadow of the Haitian revolution. The war revealed the capacities of white and black Cubans to join together against Spanish colonial rule in pursuit of a new nation. The same war, however, served to expose new tensions between Cubans—that is, Cubans who took up arms to fight for and those who took up arms to fight against Spanish rule. A war confined principally to the eastern third of the island eluded the mightiest of Spanish military efforts, resulting in a staggering loss of Spanish lives and the need to recruit Cubans to end the insurrection.

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