Havana is the capital city, largest city, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet, the sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay. King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592, walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city. The sinking of the U. S. battleship Maine in Havanas harbor in 1898 was the cause of the Spanish–American War. Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one, Old Havana and the suburban districts. The city is the center of the Cuban government, and home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses, the current mayor is Marta Hernández of the Communist Party of Cuba. In 2009, the city/province had the third highest income in the country, the city attracts over a million tourists annually, the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists, a 20% increase from 2005.
Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, the city is noted for its history, culture and monuments. As typical of Cuba, Havana features a tropical climate, in May 2015, Havana was officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities together with Vigan, Doha, La Paz, Durban and Kuala Lumpur. Most native settlements became the site of Spanish colonial cities retaining their original Taíno names, an alternate theory is that Habana is derived from the Middle Dutch word havene, referring to a harbour, etymologically related to the English word haven. All attempts to found a city on Cubas south coast failed, however, an early map of Cuba drawn in 1514 places the town at the mouth of this river. The town that became Havana finally originated adjacent to what was called Puerto de Carenas, the quality of this natural bay, which now hosts Havanas harbor, warranted this change of location. Pánfilo de Narváez gave Havana – the sixth town founded by the Spanish on Cuba – its name, the name combines San Cristóbal, patron saint of Havana.
Shortly after the founding of Cubas first cities, the served as little more than a base for the Conquista of other lands. Havana began as a port, and suffered regular attacks by buccaneers, pirates. The first attack and resultant burning of the city was by the French corsair Jacques de Sores in 1555, ships from all over the New World carried products first to Havana, in order to be taken by the fleet to Spain. The thousands of ships gathered in the bay fueled Havanas agriculture and manufacture, since they had to be supplied with food, water. On December 20,1592, King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City, on, the city would be officially designated as Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies by the Spanish Crown
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was ruled by kings from the House of Habsburg. The Habsburg rulers reached the zenith of their influence and power and this period of Spanish history has been referred to as the Age of Expansion. The Habsburg years were a Spanish Golden Age of cultural efflorescence, in some cases, these individual kingdoms themselves were confederations, most notably, the Crown of Aragon. Isabella and Ferdinand were bestowed the title of Most Catholic Monarchs by Pope Alexander VI in 1496, the Habsburg period is formative of the notion of Spain in the sense that was institutionalized in the 18th century. Her husband Philip I was the Habsburg son of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, shortly thereafter Joanna began to lapse into insanity, though how mentally ill she actually was the topic of some debate. In 1506, Philip I was declared jure uxoris king, but he died that year under mysterious circumstances, possibly poisoned by his father-in-law, Ferdinand II.
Since their oldest son Charles was only six, the Cortes reluctantly allowed Joannas father Ferdinand II to rule the country as the regent of Joanna, Spain was now in personal union under Ferdinand II of Aragon. He attempted to enlarge Spains sphere of influence in Italy, as ruler of Aragon, Ferdinand had been involved in the struggle against France and the Republic of Venice for control of Italy, these conflicts became the center of Ferdinands foreign policy as king. The war was less of a success than that against Venice, Ferdinand would die that year. Ferdinands death led to the ascension of young Charles to the throne as Charles I of Castile and Aragon and his Spanish inheritance included all the Spanish possessions in the New World and around the Mediterranean. Upon the death of his Habsburg father in 1506, Charles had inherited the Netherlands and Franche-Comté, in 1519, with the death of his paternal grandfather Maximilian I, Charles inherited the Habsburg territories in Germany, and was duly elected as Holy Roman Emperor that year.
At that point and King Charles was the most powerful man in Christendom, the accumulation of so much power by one man and one dynasty greatly concerned Francis I of France, who found himself surrounded by Habsburg territories. In 1521 Francis invaded the Spanish possessions in Italy and Navarre, the war was a disaster for France, which suffered defeats at Biccoca and Landriano before Francis relented and abandoned Milan to Spain once more. Charless victory at the Battle of Pavia surprised many Italians and Germans, Pope Clement VII switched sides and now joined forces with France and prominent Italian states against the Habsburg Emperor, in the War of the League of Cognac. Henry VIII of England, who bore a grudge against France than he held against the Emperor for standing in the way of his divorce. Although the Spanish army was defeated at the Battle of Ceresole, in Savoy Henry fared better. The Austrians, led by Charless younger brother Ferdinand, continued to fight the Ottomans in the east, with France defeated, Charles went to take care of an older problem, the Schmalkaldic League.
The Protestant Reformation had begun in Germany in 1517, the German Peasants War broke out in Germany in 1524 and ravaged the country until it was brutally put down in 1526, even as far away from Germany as he was, was committed to keeping order
Spanish Golden Age
The Spanish Golden Age is a period of flourishing in arts and literature in Spain, coinciding with the political rise of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. El Siglo de Oro does not imply precise dates and is considered to have lasted longer than an actual century. Politically, it no than 1659, with the Treaty of the Pyrenees. The last great writer of the period, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, died in 1681, the Habsburgs, both in Spain and Austria, were great patrons of art in their countries. El Escorial, the royal monastery built by King Philip II, invited the attention of some of Europes greatest architects. El Greco, another respected artist from the period, infused Spanish art with the styles of the Italian renaissance, some of Spains greatest music is regarded as having been written in the period. Spanish literature blossomed as well, most famously demonstrated in the work of Miguel de Cervantes, Spains most prolific playwright, Lope de Vega, wrote possibly as many as one thousand plays during his lifetime, of which over four hundred survive to the present day.
Spain, in the time of the Italian Renaissance, had seen few great artists come to its shores, Luis de Morales, one of the leading exponents of Spanish mannerist painting, retained a distinctly Spanish style in his work, reminiscent of medieval art. Spanish rule of Naples was important for making connections between Italian and Spanish art, with many Spanish administrators bringing Italian works back to Spain. Known for his impact in bringing the Italian Renaissance to Spain, El Greco was not Spanish. He studied the great Italian masters of his time - Titian, according to legend, he asserted that he would paint a mural that would be as good as one of Michelangelos, if one of the Italian artists murals was demolished first. El Greco quickly fell out of favor in Italy, but soon found a new home in the city of Toledo and he was influential in creating a style based on impressions and emotion, featuring elongated fingers and vibrant color and brushwork. Uniquely, his works featured faces that captured expressions of sombre attitudes and his paintings of the city of Toledo became models for a new European tradition in landscapes, and influenced the work of Dutch masters.
Spain at this time was an environment for the Venetian-trained painter. Art was flourishing in the empire and Toledo was a place to get commissions. He was born on June 6,1599, in Seville, both parents were from the minor nobility. He was the oldest of six children, diego Velázquez is widely regarded as one of Spains most important and influential artists. He was a painter for King Philip IV and found increasingly high demand for his portraits from statesmen, aristocrats
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer, navigator and citizen of the Republic of Genoa. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean and those voyages and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola initiated the European colonization of the New World. Western imperialism and economic competition were emerging among European kingdoms through the establishment of routes and colonies. During his first voyage in 1492, he reached the New World instead of arriving at Japan as he had intended, landing on an island in the Bahamas archipelago that he named San Salvador. Over the course of three voyages, he visited the Greater and Lesser Antilles, as well as the Caribbean coast of Venezuela and Central America. These voyages had, therefore, an impact in the historical development of the modern Western world. He spearheaded the transatlantic trade and has been accused by several historians of initiating the genocide of the Hispaniola natives.
Columbus himself saw his accomplishments primarily in the light of spreading the Christian religion, Columbus never admitted that he had reached a continent previously unknown to Europeans, rather than the East Indies for which he had set course. He called the inhabitants of the lands that he visited indios, the name Christopher Columbus is the Anglicisation of the Latin Christophorus Columbus. His name in Italian is Cristoforo Colombo and, in Spanish and he was born before 31 October 1451 in the territory of the Republic of Genoa, though the exact location remains disputed. His father was Domenico Colombo, a wool weaver who worked both in Genoa and Savona and who owned a cheese stand at which young Christopher worked as a helper. Bartolomeo, Giovanni Pellegrino, and Giacomo were his brothers, Bartolomeo worked in a cartography workshop in Lisbon for at least part of his adulthood. He had a sister named Bianchinetta, Columbus never wrote in his native language, which is presumed to have been a Genoese variety of Ligurian.
In one of his writings, he says he went to sea at the age of 10, in 1470, the Columbus family moved to Savona, where Domenico took over a tavern. In the same year, Christopher was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of René of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples. Some modern historians have argued that he was not from Genoa but and these competing hypotheses have generally been discounted by mainstream scholars. In 1473, Columbus began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro, later, he allegedly made a trip to Chios, an Aegean island ruled by Genoa. In May 1476, he took part in a convoy sent by Genoa to carry valuable cargo to northern Europe
War of the League of Cognac
Shocked by the defeat of the French in the Italian War of 1521, Pope Clement VII, together with the Republic of Venice, began to organize an alliance to drive Charles V from Italy. Francis, having signed the Treaty of Madrid, was released from his captivity in Madrid and returned to France, where he quickly announced his intention to assist Clement. Thus, in 1526, the League of Cognac was signed by Francis, Venice and the Sforza of Milan, Henry VIII of England, thwarted in his desire to have the treaty signed in England, refused to join. The League quickly seized Lodi, but Imperial troops marched into Lombardy, the Colonna, organized an attack on Rome, defeating the Papal forces and briefly seizing control of the city in September 1526, they were soon paid off and departed, however. Charles V now gathered a force of landsknechts under Georg Frundsberg and a Spanish army under Charles of Bourbon, the two forces combined at Piacenza and advanced on Rome. Francesco Guicciardini, now in command of the Papal armies, proved unable to resist them, and his escape allowed by the Swiss Guards last stand.
The looting of Rome, and the consequent removal of Clement from any role in the war. On 30 April 1527, Henry VIII and Francis signed the Treaty of Westminster, however, soon deserted the French for Charles. The siege collapsed as plague broke out in the French camp, killing most of the army along with Foix, following the defeat of his armies, Francis sought peace with Charles. The final Treaty of Cambrai, signed on 5 August, removed France from the war, leaving Venice, Charles, having arrived in Genoa, proceeded to Bologna to meet with the Pope. Clement absolved the participants of the sack of Rome and promised to crown Charles, the Republic of Florence alone continued to resist the Imperial forces, which were led by the Prince of Orange. Alessandro de Medici was installed as Duke of Florence, the Black Bands of Giovanni and Diplomacy During the Italian Wars. Pisa, Pisa University Press, Edizioni Plus,2005, New York, St. Martins Press,1994. MHQ, The Quarterly Journal of Military History 18, no, translated by Isola van den Hoven-Vardon.
New York, Oxford University Press,2002, garden City, New York, Doran & Co.1937. Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe, Technology, Johns Hopkins University Press,1997. Florence, The Biography of a City, New York, W. W. Norton & Company,1993. Pavia 1525, The Climax of the Italian Wars, a History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century
Expulsion of the Moriscos
The Expulsion of the Moriscos was decreed by King Philip III of Spain on April 9,1609. The Moriscos were descendants of Spains Muslim population that converted to Christianity by coercion or by Royal Decree in the early 16th century, between 1609 through 1614, the Crown systematically expelled Moriscos through a number of decrees affecting Spains various kingdoms, meeting varying levels of success. Dadson estimates that, out of a total Morisco population of 500,000, of those permanently expelled, the majority finally settled in the Maghreb or the Barbary coast, with between 30,000 and 90,000 ultimately returning to Spain. Those who avoided expulsion or who managed to return to Spain merged into the dominant culture, the last mass prosecution against Moriscos for crypto-Islamic practices took place in Granada in 1727, with most of those convicted receiving relatively light sentences. By the end of the 18th century, indigenous Islam and Morisco identity were considered to have been extinguished in Spain.
While some Moriscos did hold influence and power, and even had positions in the clergy, particularly in Valencia, where sectarian conflict existed, old Christian communities suspected the Moriscos of not being sincere in their Christianity. The Moors who remained Muslims were known as Mudéjar, as such the conflict between Old Christians and New Christians was an ethnically inspired one. After the suppression of the revolt, Philip ordered the dispersal of the Moriscos of Granada to other areas, Philip expected that this would break down the Morisco community and facilitate their assimilation into the rest of the Christian population. This may have happened to a degree to Granadas Moriscos, but not in Valencia or Aragon, at around the same time, Spain recognized the loss of more than half of its holdings in the Low Countries to the Protestant Dutch Republic. The ruling class already thought of Spain as the defender of Catholic Christendom, and this helped lead to a radicalization of thinking.
Some critiques of Spain from Protestant countries included insults of the Spanish as corrupted by the Muslims and crypto-Muslims amongst them, the situation further deteriorated in the early 17th century. A recession struck in 1604 as the amount of gold and treasure from Spains American holdings fell, the reduction in the standard of living led to increased tension between the Moriscos and Old Christians for precious jobs. The number of Moriscos in Spain at the time of expulsion is unknown, figures of between 300,000 and 400,000 are often cited. However, modern studies estimate between 500,000 and one million moriscos present in Spain at the beginning of the 17th century out of a population of 8.5 million. The rich and those who lived in the cities were mostly Christians, while the Moriscos occupied the outlying countryside, in the Crown of Castile, which included the Guadalquivir valley in present Andalusia the situation was considerably different. Local sympathies for Moriscos meant that Castile and Andalusia experienced only half-hearted efforts at identifying and expelling them, in the region of Valencia, which held the bulk of Aragons Morisco population, the situation was radically different to Castile.
Valencian moriscos were the majority of the landless peasantry and lived segregated to Christian populations. Economic and social rivalry was a driver of resentment towards the them
The Catholic Monarchs is the joint title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They married on October 19,1469, in the city of Valladolid, Isabella was eighteen years old and it is generally accepted by most scholars that the unification of Spain can essentially be traced back to the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella. The court of Ferdinand and Isabella was constantly on the move, the title of Catholic King and Queen was bestowed on Ferdinand and Isabella by Pope Alexander VI in 1494, in recognition of their defence of the Catholic faith within their realms. Catholic monarchs or kings can be used in a generic sense, Isabella was named heir to the throne of Castile by her half brother Henry IV of Castile in the Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando. She became Queen of Castile in 1474 and her niece, Joanna of Castile, attempted to gain the throne by bringing in the foreign help of Afonso V of Portugal, leading to the War of Castilian Succession. More recently, some speculate that Joanna was the legitimate successor, Isabellas supporters came out ahead in good part due to Aragons support through Ferdinand, and she officially won in 1479 via the Treaty of Alcáçovas.
Ferdinand became the King of Aragon in 1479, the Catholic Monarchs set out to restore royal authority in Spain. To accomplish their goal, they first created a group named the Holy Brotherhood and these men were used as a judicial police force for Castile, as well as to attempt to keep Castilian nobles in check. To establish a more uniform system, the Catholic Monarchs created the Royal Council. This establishment of authority is known as the Pacification of Castile. Even after his death and the union of the crowns under one monarch, the Aragonese, further, the monarchs continued ruling through a form of medieval contractualism, which made their rule pre-modern in a few ways. One of those is that they traveled from town to town throughout the kingdom in order to promote loyalty, another is that each community and region was connected to them via loyalty to the crown, rather than bureaucratic ties. Ferdinand and Isabella were noted for being the monarchs of the newly united Spain at the dawn of the modern era and they had a goal of conquering the Muslim kingdom of Granada and completing the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula.
The beginnings of a series of known as the Granada War began with the attack on Alhama de Granada. The attack was led by two Andalusian nobles, Rodrigo Ponce de León and Diego de Merlo, the city fell to Andalusian forces in 1482. The Granada War was aided by Pope Sixtus IV by granting a tithe, after 10 years of fighting the Granada War ended in 1492 when Emir Boabdil surrendered the keys of the Alhambra Palace in Granada to the Castilian soldiers. After a number of revolts and Isabella ordered the expulsion from Spain of all Jews, the Inquisition had been created in the twelfth century by Pope Lucius III to fight heresy in the south of what is now France and was constituted in a number of European kingdoms. The Catholic Monarchs decided to introduce the Inquisition to Castile, the bull gave the monarchs exclusive authority to name the inquisitors
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and it is south of both the U. S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti, and north of Jamaica. Havana is the largest city and capital, other cities include Santiago de Cuba. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, with an area of 109,884 square kilometres, prior to Spanish colonization in the late 15th century, Cuba was inhabited by Amerindian tribes. It remained a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, as a fragile republic, Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Further unrest and instability led to Batistas ousting in January 1959 by the July 26 Movement, since 1965, the state has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba.
A point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, a nuclear war broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America, Cuba is a Marxist–Leninist one-party republic, where the role of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution. Independent observers have accused the Cuban government of human rights abuses. It is one of the worlds last planned economies and its economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, coffee, according to the Human Development Index, Cuba is described as a country with high human development and is ranked the eighth highest in North America. It ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including health care, the name Cuba comes from the Taíno language. The exact meaning of the name is unclear but it may be translated either as where fertile land is abundant, authors who believe that Christopher Columbus was Portuguese state that Cuba was named by Columbus for the town of Cuba in the district of Beja in Portugal.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, Cuba was inhabited by three distinct tribes of indigenous peoples of the Americas, the Taíno, the Guanajatabey, and the Ciboney people. The ancestors of the Ciboney migrated from the mainland of South America, the Taíno arrived from Hispanola sometime in the 3rd century A. D. When Columbus arrived they were the dominant culture in Cuba, having a population of 150,000. The name Cuba comes from the native Taíno language and it is derived from either coabana meaning great place, or from cubao meaning where fertile land is abundant. The Taíno were farmers, while the Ciboney were farmers as well as fishers and hunter-gatherers, Columbus claimed the island for the new Kingdom of Spain and named it Isla Juana after Juan, Prince of Asturias. In 1511, the first Spanish settlement was founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar at Baracoa, other towns soon followed, including San Cristobal de la Habana, founded in 1515, which became the capital
History of Cuba
The island of Cuba was inhabited by various Mesoamerican cultures prior to the arrival of the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492. After Columbus arrival, Cuba became a Spanish colony, ruled by a Spanish governor in Havana, in 1762, Havana was briefly occupied by Great Britain, before being returned to Spain in exchange for Florida. A series of rebellions during the 19th century failed to end Spanish rule, Cuba has since been governed as a socialist state by the Communist Party under the leadership of the Castro brothers. Domestic economic reforms are beginning to modernize Cubas socialist economy, Cubas earliest known human inhabitants colonised the island in the 4th millennium BC. The oldest known Cuban archeological site, dates from approximately 3100 BC, a wider distribution of sites date from after 2000 BC, most notably represented by the Cayo Redondo and Guayabo Blanco cultures of western Cuba. These neolithic cultures utilised ground stone and shell tools and ornaments, including the dagger-like gladiolitos, the Cayo Redondo and Guayabo Blanco cultures lived a subsistence lifestyle based on fishing and collecting wild plants.
These people had migrated north along the Caribbean island chain, the Taíno and Siboney were part of a cultural group commonly called the Arawak, who inhabited parts of northeastern South America prior to the arrival of Europeans. Initially, they settled at the end of Cuba, before expanding westward across the island. The Spanish Dominican clergyman and writer Bartolomé de las Casas estimated that the Taíno population of Cuba had reached 350,000 by the end of the 15th century, the Taínt cultivated the yuca root, harvested it and baked it to produce cassava bread. They grew cotton and tobacco, and ate maize and sweet potatoes, according to History of the Indians, they had everything they needed for living, they had many crops, well arranged. Columbus, who was searching for a route to India, believed the island to be a peninsula of the Asian mainland. The first sighting of a Spanish ship approaching the island was on 28 October 1492, probably at Bariay, Holguín Province, during a second voyage in 1494, Columbus passed along the south coast of the island, landing at various inlets including what was to become Guantánamo Bay.
With the Papal Bull of 1493, Pope Alexander VI commanded Spain to conquer, colonize, on arrival, Columbus observed the Taíno dwellings, describing them as looking like tents in a camp. All were of branches, beautifully constructed. In 1511, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar set out from Hispaniola to form the first Spanish settlement in Cuba, the settlement was at Baracoa, but the new settlers were to be greeted with stiff resistance from the local Taíno population. The Taínos were initially organized by cacique Hatuey, who had relocated from Hispaniola to escape the brutalities of Spanish rule on that island. After a prolonged campaign and successive chieftains were captured and burnt alive. In 1514, a settlement was founded in what was to become Havana, clergyman Bartolomé de las Casas observed a number of massacres initiated by the invaders as the Spanish swept over the island, notably the massacre near Camagüey of the inhabitants of Caonao