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Intimations of ModernityCivil Culture in Nineteenth-Century Cuba$
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Louis A. Pérez Jr.

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631301

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631301.001.0001

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To Diffuse the Light of Civilization

To Diffuse the Light of Civilization

(p.17) Chapter One To Diffuse the Light of Civilization
Intimations of Modernity

Louis A. Pérez Jr.

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes the rapid modernization of Cuba, which resulted from increased production and trade following the Haitian revolution and Spain’s authorization of free trade. Drawing on a variety of sources, the chapter explores the emergence of Havana as one of the world’s most important and active ports of trade, and the economic boom’s consequences for the city and country as a whole. From technological advancements, including the telephone, gas street lights, and steam powered machinery, to cultural enrichments of literary, artistic, and social dimensions, Cuba entered modernity well of ahead of its colonial overseers in Spain. The chapter comes alive with first-hand accounts of Havana’s thronging port, bustling streets, and thriving social scene.

Keywords:   Cuba, Havana, modernization, colonialism

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