Little War (Cuba)


The Little War or Small War ( es, Guerra Chiquita) was the second of three conflicts between
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

n rebels and Spain. It started on 26 August 1879 and after some minor successes ended in rebel defeat in September 1880. It followed the Ten Years' War of 1868–78 and preceded the final War of '95, war of 1895–98, which resulted in Spanish–American War, American intervention and Cuban independence.


The war had the same origins as the Ten Years' War, and in many ways, it was a continuation of it. Following his release after the Pact of Zanjón, Calixto Garcia travelled to New York City and organized the Cuban Revolutionary Committee with other revolutionaries. In 1878, he issued a manifesto against Spain, Spanish rule of Cuba. This met with approval amongst other revolutionary leaders, and war began on August 26, 1879.

The war

The revolution was led by Calixto García, having been one of the few revolutionary leaders who did not sign the Pact of Zanjón. Among the other prominent leaders were José Maceo (the brother of Antonio Maceo Grajales, Antonio Maceo), Guillermo Moncada, Emilio Núñez. The revolutionaries faced many problems which were difficult to overcome. They lacked experienced leaders other than García, and they had a dire shortage of weapons and ammunition. Further, they had no foreign allies to help them, and the population was both exhausted from the Ten Years' War and lacked faith in the possibility of victory, desiring peace instead. In the west of the island, most of the revolutionary leaders were arrested. The rest of the leaders were forced to capitulate throughout 1879 and 1880, and by September 1880, the rebels had been completely defeated.


Although the Spanish had made promises of reform, they were ineffective. The Spanish Constitution of 1876 was applied to Cuba in 1881, but this changed little. Although Cuba was able to send representatives to the Cortes Generales, the Spanish parliament, in practice the representatives were among the most conservative in Cuba, and thus little was changed. The lack of any true reform resulted in another uprising 15 years later, the Cuban War of Independence, which came to be known as the ''War of '95''. The experience gained by the revolutionary generals in the Little War was a great help to them, and following the War of '95 and the linked Spanish–American War, Cuba gained independence from Spain.

See also

* Ten Years' War * Cuban War of Independence * José Semidei Rodríguez * Francisco Gonzalo Marín * Juan Ríus Rivera


{{Authority control Conflicts in 1879 Conflicts in 1880 Rebellions against the Spanish Empire Spanish colonial period of Cuba Wars involving Cuba Wars involving Spain 1879 in Cuba 1880 in Cuba Spanish American wars of independence Spanish–American War