During the 19th century, Cuban prosperity rose. Fierce opposition to the colonialist Spanish, who always wanted a piece of the peoples' profits, ultimately resulted in Cuba's freedom.
In 1818, the Spanish officially allowed free trade with Cuba. A year earlier, the Spanish and British had agreed to end slavery.
However, during the 1820s, half a million slaves were brought to Cuba. The slave traders easily bribed the local officials. It wasn't until 1888 that the Cubans abolished slavery.
Cuba was one of the last countries in the New World to still be a Spanish colony. Many Cubans were beginning to feel separate from Spain, and some pressed for Cuban independence.
Spain also mistreated the populace. The Cubans were denied the rights that Spanish people had, and the Spanish Government insisted on maintaining full power.
On October 10, 1868,