Art. 1.° España renuncia a todo derecho de soberanía y propiedad sobre Cuba. En atención a que dicha isla, cuando sea evacuada por España, va a ser ocupada por los Estados Unidos, éstos, mientras dure su ocupación, tomarán sobre sí y cumplirán las obligaciones que, por el hecho de ocuparla, les impone el derecho internacional para la protección de vidas y haciendas.
Art. 2.° España cede a los Estados Unidos la isla de Puerto Rico y las demás que están ahora bajo su soberanía en las Indias Occidentales, y la isla de Guam en el archipiélago de las Marianas o Ladrones.
Art. 3.° España cede a los Estados Unidos el archipiélago conocido por las Islas Filipinas [...]. Los Estados Unidos pagarán a España la suma de veinte millones de dólares dentro de los tres meses después del canje de ratificaciones del presente Tratado.
Art. 6.° España, al ser firmado el presente tratado, pondrá en libertad a todos los prisioneros de guerra y a todos los detenidos o presos por delitos políticos a consecuencia de las insurrecciones en Cuba y en Filipinas, y de la guerra con los Estados Unidos. Recíprocamente, los Estados Unidos pondrán en libertad a todos los prisioneros de guerra hechos por las fuerzas americanas, y gestionarán la libertad de todos los prisioneros españoles en poder delos insurrectos de Cuba y Filipinas.
This text is a part of the peace treaty signed by Spain and USA in 1898 Treaty of Paris, in which we can see 4 articles. It’s an historical and legal document, because it reflects the agreement between Spain and the USA after the Spanish-American War and allows us to know more about that treaty.
It’s a primary source, and it’s a public and official document, because everyone can read it. It was signed in Paris, in 1898, by Spain and USA.
In the articles we can read, we see that, in this treaty, Spain lost his sovereignty over Cuba, and the USA would exert a protectorate over Cuba, because in theory Cuba became independent, but the USA occupied the island to guarantee order and property. Spain also lost more islands, like Puerto Rico or the Philippines Islands (Filipinas). Besides, Spain would receive 20 million dollars from the USA as compensation.
The origin of the conflict between Spain and the USA was the Cuban War of Independence (its main ideologist was José Marti) in 1895.The war started because the promises made by the Spanish government after the two former wars (Great Cuban War and Guerra Chiquita) were not fulfilled (autonomy for the island) or arrived late (abolition of slavery). In 1895 the Spanish government sent an army commanded by General Martínez Campos, who was in favour of combining the military operations with negotiations to end the war. Martínez Campos was replaced by General Weyler. The methods Weyler used were harassment of the rebels, mass executions, re-concentrations, destruction of farms and crops. Hot and wet weather and epidemics were the main enemies of Spain’s army. A new liberal government replaced Weyler by General Ramón Blanco and decided to give autonomy to Cuba. But the Cubans continued to fight with the hidden support of the USA.
The USA intervention in Cuba arrived after an incident with the battleship Maine, apparently sent in order to evacuate the USA citizens from Cuba. On the 15th February 1898 an accidental explosion in the Maine at Havana harbour killed 260 out of 350 US sailors. The pressure of the press in the USA created the necessary warlike environment to send an ultimatum to Spain on the 18th April 1898. 5 days later, Spain had no other option than declaring war on the USA (Spanish-American War). The Spanish army was clearly inferior and it was quickly defeated by the USA both in Cuba and the Philippines (where an independence war led by José Rizal had started in 1896). The Spanish Armada was sunk in Cavite (Manila Bay) on the 1st May and in Santiago de Cuba on the 3rd of July and Puerto Rico was occupied in August. After 10 weeks of war, an armistice was signed on the 13th August.
In December 1898, the Peace of Paris was signed. This 1898 disaster provoked a series of movements critical to the situation of the country and a need of reforms to modernize Spain. These reform proposals were called regenerationism. Joaquín Costa was the most outstanding representative of this regeneration movement (for example, he criticized the political system of the Restoration.
This text is useful to know how Spain lost its last colonies in America and Asia. Concretely, in this text we can read the conditions of this loss. The consequence of this loss was a generalized sensation of frustration and pessimism, because it meant the assumption of the definitive end of the Spanish Empire and Spain’s backwardness. The 1898 Disaster was more a moral and ideological shock than a real political or economic crisis: the political system of the Restoration survived almost intact and the pacific alternation in power continued to work.
As a consequence of the loss of its Empire in 1898, Spain showed an obsession of keeping Morocco during Alphonse XIII’s Reign.