Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Cuba since 1780


Dr. Aldo Lauria-Santiago

Contact information

PURPOSE AND SCOPE:
This course will examine the last two hundred years of Cuban history with the goal of understanding Cuba's unique experience with capitalism, slavery, modernity, colonialism and resistance, and the origins of Cuba's attempt to build Socialism through one-party rule since 1959. We will study Cuba's economic history and the development of social classes and land tenure patterns during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We will pay special attention to the organization of sugar production, the reliance on slavery and the lives of slaves and free people of african descent, the formation of nationalist ideologies and struggles, Spanish and US colonial rule, and the many peasant and worker struggles over land, rights, and sovereingty. In the twentieth century, we will emphasize the overwhelming influence of the United States over Cuba's continuing massive sugar economy, complex class structure and rich political life. In the final part of the course we will closely examine the origins and trajectory of the Cuban revolution by simulatenously considering the sources of liberation and power that formed have contributed to the persistence of the Cuban state.

REQUIREMENTS:
Determination of Grade:
Class participation, presentations, summaries, short responses, and attendance (25%)
Three discussion papers (6-8 pp.) (20% each)
Final exam (15%)

Participation: Your participation in class activities, including attendance, will be an important component of your final grade. The short assignments that form part of the participation grade include short responses to various web assignment projects. They should be about one page long and will help you prepare for your papers and exam.

Presentation: Each student (or group of students) will be responsible for one presentation. These presentations will be based on assigned class readings but might include some extra research.

Discussion Papers: I will provide the topics for these longer papers. The first two will be based on class readings and discussion, but the last one will involve additional individual research while the third will involve some outside research. These papers will need to be 6-8 pages in length and reflect your participation in class, your completion of readings, and your own analysis of these materials. They will also provide a basis for class discussion. All papers will have to be properly footnoted and formatted according to Prucha's handbook for history papers which is available in the bookstore and on the intranet. Students are required to be familiar with departmental and College guidelines on plagiarism and the submission of written work. Papers will be due at the History office by 4PM. Late papers will be penalized for each day of lateness at the rate of half a grade per day.

Final Exam: There will be a two hour comprehensive in-class exam scheduled during exam period. I will provide you with a list of 10 essay questions ahead of time and 3 of these will appear in the exam. The essay questions will reflect the major topics of the course.

BOOKS AVAILABLE IN THE BOOKSTORE FOR THIS COURSE:

The following books have been ordered by the bookstore. Other readings for this course are available on reserve or will be photocopied for you. It is your responsibility to allow sufficient time to access these materials according to the conditions established by the library's reserve room.

Web Resources COURSE ORGANIZATION AND SCHEDULE:

 

Origins under Spanish Colonial Rule

Week 1: [Sept 1, 3] Conquest and Colonialism in the Caribbean, 1490s-1700

Richardson. The Caribbean in the Wider World. Chaps 1-3. [Reserve]

Perez. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. Chaps 1-2.

Exercise for Week 1
 

Week 2: [Sept 8, 10] Colonial rule in the 18th century

Knight. Slave Society in Cuba during the Nineteenth Century. Chap. 1.

Perez. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. Chap. 3.
 

Week 3: [Sept 15, 17] Society, Economy and Politics during the Nineteenth-century Sugar Revolution

Knight. Slave Society in Cuba during the Nineteenth Century. Chaps. 2-7.

Perez. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. Chaps. 4-5

Louis Perez. Slaves, Sugar and Colonial Society. Select one chap. [Reserve]

Exercise for Week 3: Statistical data on the 19th century
 

Week 4: [Sept 22, 24] The Wars of Independence and US Intervention, 1868-1898s

Knight. Slave Society in Cuba during the Nineteenth Century. Chap. 8

Rebecca J. Scott. "Gradual Abolition and the Dynamics of Slave Emancipation in Cuba, 1868-1886," Hispanic America Historical Review [Reserve]

Perez. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. Chaps. 6-7.

Helg. Our Rightful Share: the Afro-Cuban struggle for equality, 1886-1912. Chaps. 1-3.

Exercise for Week 4: Web Research and Report on 1898
Paper #1 Due Oct. 6
 


US Protectorate and Neo-Colony

Week 5: [Sept29, Oct 1] The First Republic, 1902-1932: Society and Economy

Perez. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. Chaps 8-9.

Helg. Our Rightful Share: the Afro-Cuban struggle for equality, 1886-1912. Chap. 4-Conclusion

Perez-Stable. The Cuban Revolution. Chap. 1.

Ibarra. Prologue to Revolution. Chaps. 1-2.
 

Week 6: [Oct 6]Crisis and Demise of The First Republic, 1920s-1940

Barry Carr. "'Omnipotent and Omnipresent'? Labor Shortages, Worker Mobility and Employer Control in the Cuban Sugar Industry 1910-1934." Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation State. Edited by Aldo Lauria-Santiago and Aviva Chomsky. [Reserve]

Barry Carr. "Identity, Class, and Nation: Black Immigrant Workers, Cuban Communism and the Sugar Insurgency, 1925-1934," Hispanic American Historical Review. [Reserve]

Ibarra. Prologue to Revolution. Chap. 3.

Exercise Week6/7

Week 7: [Oct 15]Cuba in the and 1940s and 1950s

Perez. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. Chap. 10

Ibarra. Prologue to Revolution. Chaps. 4 to end.

Ernesto Che Guevarra. Episodes of Cuban Revolutionary War. Review book and choose one chapter.
 


The Cuban Revolution

Week 8: [Oct 20, 22] The Cuban Revolution: From Nationalism to Socialism, 1959-1961

Perez. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. Chap. 11

Perez-Stable. The Cuban Revolution. Chap. 3.

Bengelsdorf. The Problem of Democracy in Cuba. Chap. 4.

Exercise for Weeks 8 and 9
 

Week 9: [Oct 27, 29] The Revolution during the 1960s and 1970s

Perez. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. Chap. 12

Dominguez. To Make a World Safe for Revolution. Chap. 3.

Perez-Stable. The Cuban Revolution. Chaps. 4-6.

Bengelsdorf. The Problem of Democracy in Cuba. Chap. 5.
 

Week 10: [Nov 3, 5] Cuba's Social and Economic Policies

Lois M. Smith and Alfred Padula. Sex and Revolution: Women in Socialist Cuba. Entire.
 

Week 11: [Nov 10, 12] Cuba's Internationalism

Jorge Dominguez. To Make a World Safe for Revolution. Chaps. 4-6. [Reserve]

Feinsilver. Healing the Masses. Chaps. Tba
 

Week 12: [Nov 17, 19] Politics and the State

Bengelsdorf. The Problem of Democracy in Cuba. Chaps. 6-7.

Marjorie Zatz, Producing Legality: Law and Socialism in Cuba. [Reserve] Chap. Tba
 

Week 13: [Nov 24] The Revolution's Social and Economic Policies

Fuller. Work and Democracy in Socialist Cuba. [Reserve] Chap. Tba

Paper three theme

Week 14: [Dec 1, 3] Cuba since the Demise of the Soviet Bloc

Perez-Stable. The Cuban Revolution. Chap. 7.

Bengelsdorf. The Problem of Democracy in Cuba. Chap. 8, Conclusion.

Exam Questions