Zanjón, Pact of

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Zanjón, Pact of

Pact of Zanjón, the armistice that ended the Ten Years' War, the first Cuban War of Independence, in 1878. It was made possible by the exhaustion of the Cuban rebels, their failure to expand the struggle to the western half of the island, and the astute policies of the Spanish general Arsenio Martínez Campos. The peace did not provide for the independence of Cuba nor for the abolition of slavery, but it did allow a measure of self-government, the liberation of slaves who had joined the rebel army, and freedom for all rebel leaders who agreed to leave Cuba. Many Cubans criticized and refused to accept these terms, among them the mulatto general Antonio Maceo, who staged the celebrated though futile "Protest of Baraguá" for several months. But even Maceo himself had to leave Cuba eventually, and peace returned to the island for a while.

In spite of the disappointment of Zanjón, Cubans did not give up. The Ten Years' War succeeded in creating a strong nationalistic spirit that very soon manifested itself in further attempts at rebellion against Spain.

See alsoCuba, War of Independence; Maceo, Antonio.


Hugh Thomas, Cuba; or The Pursuit of Freedom (1971), chap. 22.

Additional Bibliography

Ferrer, Ada. Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868–1898. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

                                     JosÉ M. HernÁndez