Manuel Rionda Polledo (1854–1943)

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Manuel Rionda Polledo (1854–1943)

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  Encyclopedia of Cuba: people, history, culture Luis Martínez Fernández et al. (ed.) ISBN 157356334X, 9781573563345  New York: Greenwood Press (Oryx book ), 2 vol. 2003 http://books.google.es/books/about/Encyclopedia_of_Cuba.html?id=xiEOAQAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y http://www.abc-clio.com/search/SearchResults.aspx?searchText=people+history+culture C ollaboration of Antonio Santamaría García Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, CSIC Railroads (Nineteenth Century) Sugar Plantations Colonos Constitution of 1940 Foreign Investments (Republican Era) Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act  Jones-Costigan Act    Reciprocity Treaty (1902), U.S.-Cuba Rionda Polledo   , Manuel   (1854–1943) Ten Million Ton Harvest Sugar Industry      1 3.61 Railroads (Nineteenth Century)   On November 19, 1837 Cuba’s first railroad began operations, it was the first in all of Latin  America and within the Spanish empire. The pressing needs of the sugar industry   made Cuba the seventh country in the world to have a railroad system. Plans for the construction of the first railroad began soon after the Junta de Fomento (Board of Development) was formed in 1832 under the presidency of Claudio Pinillos. Actual work on the railroad began in 1835. Two years later work was completed on the Havana-Bejucal length of the railway and a year later the entire Havana-Güines railroad began operations. In the light of the success and economic advantages of the first railway, others were soon built, mostly linking the port cities of the northwest with their respective hinterlands. In 1870, as the very first railroads began working in other Latin American countries, Cuba already had an impressive network extending over 1,238 kilometers (768 miles). At about that time, Cuba’s railways were reorganized and consolidated to reduce problems arising from out of control competition. This process continued during the 1880s and beyond,  when British capital, specially, the Schroeder Company began acquiring railroads and integrated them into the United Railways of Habana & Regla Warehouses. The Company managed to monopolize the western network by 1921. Before that date, it coexisted with another large British company, Cuban Central Railways, which in 1899 consolidated the railroads of the central region. Up to that time, most of the railway infrastructure had been built and managed by private Cuban and Spanish capital linked to sugar plantations   and tobacco industry   activities. From the beginning, the expansion of Cuba’s railroads was intimately tied to sugar production. That is why the least populated and least developed eastern provinces were slow in establishing that mode of transportation. Only 20 percent of the island’s railroads in 1899  were located in those provinces. Efforts to connect the east with the west with a single cross-island line also failed. At the end of the nineteenth century, large sugar centrales   began to build their own railroads to transport their own cane and sugar without having to depend on the public rail system. The practice continued during the early decades of the twentieth century to the point that in 1930 there were 12,000 kilometers (7440 miles) of private lines, compared to 5,214 (3,233 miles) of public ones.  Antonio Santamaría García Further readings:  Antonio Santamaría García, “los ferrocarriles de servicio público cubanos (1837-1959). La doble naturaleza de la dependencia azucarera.” Revista de Indias   LV, 204 (1995): 485-515.  Antonio Santamaría García, “El ferrocarril en las Antillas española (Cuba, Puerto Rico y la República Dominicana), 1830-1995” In Jesús Sanz Fernández (coord.), Carmen Aycart Luengo, Víctor Peralta Ruiz, Francisco Polo Muriel, Ángel Rodríguez Carrascto and Antonio Santamaría García, Historia de los ferrocarriles en Iberoamérica, 1837-1995 (Madrid, Ministerio de Fomento, 1998): 298-334.   2   Antonio Santamaría García, “Cuba” In Jesús Sanz Fernández (coord.), Carmen Aycart Luengo, Víctor Peralta Ruiz, Francisco Polo Muriel, Ángel Rodríguez Carrascto and Antonio Santamaría García, Guía histórica ia de los ferrocarriles en Iberoamérica, 1837-1995 [CD-Ron] (Madrid, Ministerio de Fomento, 1998): s/p. Eduardo L. Moyano, La nueva frontera del azúcar: el ferricarril y la economía cubana en el siglo XIX (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1991). Óscar Zanetti Lecuona and Alejandro García Álvarez, Caminos para el azúcar   (Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1987). Oscar Zanetti Lecuona and Alejandro García Álvarez, Sugar and Railroads: A Cuban History, 1837-1959   (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998).   3 3.72   Sugar Plantations   Sugar plantations, known as ingenios  , worked by slave labor, constituted Cuba’s primary social-economic system and the dynamo of the island’s economy during the nineteenth century. Several factors coincided in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries which set Cuba on the path to becoming the world’s premier sugar exporter. The British Occupation of Havana   (1762) opened trade routes and spurred the slave trade  ; the independence of the former thirteen colonies of North America ended British colonial exports to the new United States; the revolution in St. Domingue (Haiti) destroyed the exporting capacity of what had been the world’s biggest sugar exporter and exiled to Cuba a large number of planters along with their capital; and the collapse of Spain’s New World empire redirected capital, migrants, and imperial attention to the still faithful island of Cuba. Spain, furthermore, contributed to the sugar boom by liberalizing the slave trade in exchange for a new tax system, by promoting immigration, and by facilitating the importation of foreign capital, machinery, and technicians; and by opening up the island’s land market.  The sugar plantations that emerged in the light of such favorable circumstances were characterized by the integration of the agrarian and industrial facets of production, the incorporation of modern technology and modern organizational and commercial techniques, all of this occurring while remaining dependent on slave labor. In the early part of the nineteenth century the primitive sugar mills were transformed into mechanized ingenios  , progressively incorporating steam power and other technological advances. As a result, production skyrocketed from 25,000 tons in 1800 to 113,000 in 1836, an amount equivalent to 19 percent of the world’s sugar output. During the 1830s and 1840s Cuba’s planters faced the challenges of the expanding European beet sugar producers, by further mechanizing their production with vacuum pans, railroads  , and other technologies. During the 1860s centrifuges were incorporated to the filtering phase and thus the entire sugar production process became mechanized. These advances allowed production to reach 770,000 tons in 1868 (29 percent of the world’s output). In spite of growing international pressures against the continuation of the slave trade and slavery   itself, the island’s plantations continued to depend on slave labor. During the Ten Years’ War  , plantations were further modernized. Cuba’s insurgents focused their attacks on the eastern half of the island where they destroyed many plantations, actually the most primitive ingenios, and liberated slaves. These actions forced Spain to begin moving toward the abolition of slavery, finally ending the institution in 1886. In the light of the new labor situation and falling sugar prices during the 1880s, sugar producers began a process of centralization. The new sugar centrales   were completely mechanized and employed free labor; they milled their own cane as well as cane produced by colonos   (sugar growers), whom they controlled through the ownership of the land and railroads. In order to make the most effective use of their expensive technology, the centrales acquired vast tracks of land and built railroads to transport the cane and sugar.  A new generation of sugar barons, mostly Spanish-born former slave traders, merchants, and financiers played a major role in the transition from the old plantations to the new centrales. The Spaniard Julián Zulueta was the first to build a central with its own railroad (1873).   4  Antonio Santamaría García  Also see:  Abolition and Emancipation  ; Colonization and Population (Nineteenth Century   ); and Science and Scientists (Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries).  Further reading: Noel Deer, The History of Sugar  , 2 vols. (London: Chapman & Hall, 1950). Roland T. Elly, Cuando reinaba su majestad el azúcar. Estudio histórico y sociológico de una tragedia latinoamericana.  (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1963). Manuel Moreno Fraginals,  El ingenio: complejo económico social cubano del azúcar   3 vols. (Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1968). Consuelo Naranjo Orovio and Antonio Santamaría García: “Las últimas colonias, Puerto Rico y Cuba” In Bernard Lavalle, Consuelo Naranjo Orovio and Antonio Santamaría García: La América española (1763-1898). Economía (Colección Historia de España 3 er milenio , voúmen 23. Madrid: Editorial Síntesis, 2001). Laird W. Bergad. Cuban Rural Society in the Nineteenth Century: The Social and Economic History of  Monoculture in Matanzas   (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990).  Antonio Santamaría García, Sin azúcar no hay país. La industria azucarera y la economía cubana (1919-1939) . (Sevilla: Universidad de Sevilla, Escuela de Estudios Hispanoamericanos, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2001).
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