Ten Years War

Ten Years War,

1868–78, struggle for Cuban independence from Spain. Discontent was caused in Cuba by excessive taxation, trade restrictions, and virtual exclusion of native Cubans from governmental posts. Disaffection grew until 1868, when Carlos Manuel de CéspedesCéspedes, Carlos Manuel de
, 1819–74, Cuban revolutionist. He completed his education in Spain and there took part (1843) in a revolution led by Juan Prim. On returning (1868) to Cuba he began the revolt by proclaiming the demands of Cuban liberals.
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 and other patriots raised the standard of revolt. On Apr. 20, 1869, the revolutionary republic of Cuba was established, with BayamoBayamo
, city (1995 est. pop. 132,000), Granma prov., SE Cuba. It is a manufacturing and transportation center. Cattle raising and sugar refining are the main industries. Founded in 1513, Bayamo was an inland port until the 19th cent.
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 as provisional capital. The capital was burned later in the year, and the republican government was forced to change its seat frequently. The warfare was purely guerrilla fighting without major battles, but it raged furiously in the eastern provinces. Chief field commanders were Máximo Gómez y BáezGómez y Báez, Máximo
, 1836–1905, Cuban revolutionary, b. Dominican Republic. He served in the Spanish army but joined the Cuban revolutionists in 1868 and became commander in chief in 1873.
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, Antonio Maceo, and Calixto García y Iñiguez; late in the war the government was headed by Tomás Estrada PalmaEstrada Palma, Tomás
, 1835–1908, Cuban revolutionist and first president (1902–6) of Cuba. An active participant in the Ten Years War (1868–78), he became a general (1876) and was captured by the Spanish (1877).
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. Under orders of the Spanish commandant, Gen. Valeriano Weyler y NicolauWeyler y Nicolau, Valeriano
, 1838–1930, Spanish general. His early career was spent in Santo Domingo and Cuba, where he served during the Ten Years War. He returned to Spain in 1873 and fought against the Carlists (1875–76).
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 carried out bloody and ruthless reprisals against the patriots. The Cubans retaliated by attacking all upholders of the Spanish cause. U.S. sympathy for the rebels was intensified by the destruction of U.S. property in Cuba, while the activities of American mercenaries and soldiers of fortune aroused the indignation of Spain. In 1873 the Virginius affairVirginius affair,
1873, incident that came near to causing war between the United States and Spain. The Virginius, a filibustering ship, was fraudulently flying the American flag and carrying arms to the Cubans in the Ten Years War.
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 brought Spanish-American relations to a crisis. The war dragged on without decisive incident. When internal affairs in Spain settled somewhat, greater attention was given the war in Cuba. General Martínez de CamposMartínez de Campos, Arsenio
, 1831–1900, Spanish general. He served in Morocco (1859–60), in Mexico (1861–63), and in Cuba (1869–72). He played a leading role in the proclamation (1874) of Alfonso XII as king and helped bring the Carlist Wars to an
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 managed to conclude the Treaty of Zanjón, which nominally granted reforms and gave the Cubans governmental representation; the promises were not kept, and conditions did not improve. The costly and bitter war was seemingly without result, but actually it foreshadowed the Cuban war of independence that broke out in 1895 and the subsequent Spanish-American War.
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During the Cuban wars of independence-the Ten Years War (1868-1878), the Little War (1879-1880), and the Independence War (1895-1898)-thousands of Cubans perished in battle.
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