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The chapter examines the Cuban war for independence (1895–98), analyzing the consequences of an insurgency that expanded from the remote eastern jurisdictions of the island into the rich sugar-producing regions of the western provinces. The expansion of the insurrection produced far-reaching realignments of social coalitions and political alliances, plunging the island into a crisis from which it would never recover. Spanish military operations wrought havoc on the economy, visited calamity on Spanish soldiers, and laid waste to communities of noncombatants. The prospects of a successful insurgency in which Cubans of color had assumed prominent command positions leading to independence revived the long-standing white fear of black ascendancy, thereupon to set the stage for the US intervention of 1898.

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