Cuban politics essay sample

Cuban politics essay sample

The Political Essay on the Island of Cuba by Humboldt is an important study on the thinking of the colonial and colonial officials of Havana, who were their main collaborators during the period 1801-1826.

In correspondence with his ideas of human progress, Humboldt criticized the influence of thought, based on the exploitation of the slave labor force, in the scientific, social and economic problems of the Island. That is why Humboldt was concerned with political aspirations Of the hacendados. However, it hardly indicates the reformist program carried out by the Intendant Alejandro Ramirez. On the other hand, Humboldt did not know the thought of progress of a group of professors and students of the School Seminary of San Carlos in Havana. His first contacts with this thought occurred in Europe after having published his Essay in 1826.

Abstract

The Political Essay on the island of Cuba by Humboldt is an important study on the thought of the landholders and colonial functionaries from Havana, who were his main collaborators during the period 1801-1826.

According to his ideas of human progress, Humboldt criticized the influence of the thought, based on the exploitation of slave labor, in the scientific, social and economical problems of the island. Therefore, Humboldt was worried about the political aspirations of the landholders. However, he almost didn’t address the reformist program carried out by Intendant Alejandro Ramírez. On the other hand, Humboldt ignored the progress of a group of professors and students from San Carlos’s College Seminary in Havana. His first contacts with this thought happened in Europe after his Essay having been published in 1826.

 

1. Introduction

As part of the studies carried out by the author of this paper on agricultural thought in Cuba, who were employers of science and technology, the interpretation made by Alexander von Humboldt on the thought of the habaneras between 1801 And 1826, being the predominant one in the agricultural and industrial field of the Island. Humboldt values ​​the reflection that had in that thought the contradiction between the agricultural production maintained by slaves and the increasing needs of introduction of the progress coming from the European science and the An urgency to foresee the dangers that, according to him, could come in the future to guarantee the social progress of the Island due to the permanence of this type of anomalous or contradictory thinking. However, Humboldt does not seem to have wished to emphasize the ephemeral flashes of another thought in the hands of a high official of the colonial administration, nor does he seem to have known until the thirties the existence of a thought in Havana quite close to his. The presence and absence of these thoughts is dedicated to this work, which has been made using the ideas used and the bibliographical information available by its author, present in two papers from 1984 and 1999. The first one was read at the Session Scientific Center of Studies on History and Organization of Science for the 125th anniversary of the death of Humboldt and published that same year in Cuba [2]. The other paper remained unpublished even after having been discussed at a congress on Humboldt, made in Mexico in 1999 [3]. This work has other additional importance for the author due to the complementation of his ideas with those of another recent study on the agricultural thinking of the habaneras around the expedition directed by the Count of Mop ox and of Marico, one of the figures mentioned By the German sage in his visit to Cuba [4]. Finally, it should be noted that the publication of this work, in the digital magazine HIN, responds to an invitation from Professor Tobias Kraft, carried out in the National Library “José Marti” in Havana, during a pleasant talk about Humboldt. The author would like to thank the German colleague.

2. The critical view of dominant thinking

The analysis of the political essay on the island of Cuba, in relation to the problem of slavery and science in the thinking of the hacendados habaneras, is possible given the objectivity with which Humboldt addressed the study of natural and social phenomena, Which allowed him to establish the independence and coherence of the laws that govern nature and society without, however, reaching an exact view of social laws.

Humboldt’s personal observations during his visits to Cuba in 1801 and 1804 were fundamental to the objective interpretation of the socio-economic situation of the country that we find in his Political Essay. Within this situation, the slave plantation played a major role in obtaining sugar. The ruin of the Haitian sugar production, motivated by the slave revolution, allowed the sugar of the hacendados habaneras to occupy the first place in the world. To this end, these hacendados needed the systematic exploitation of thousands of slaves introduced in the country, thus guaranteeing, by taking advantage of the high price of sugar and the low cost of labor, to obtain surplus value that would enable them to carry out the Accumulation of sufficient resources to continue promoting this type of capitalist progress [6]. As a result of the forced immigration of black Africans, there existed in 1825 a black population, both free and slave, estimated at 390,000 people as opposed to the 325,000 whites who inhabited the island at the time [7].

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