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a nation under such circumstances been more faithfully carried out. The administration of Cuba during the period of American military occupation was a model of its kind. General Leonard Wood, the military governor, and his associates found the cities and towns crowded with refugees and reconcentrados, and governmental affairs in a state of the utmost confusion. They established order, relieved distress, organized hospitals and charitable institutions, undertook extensive public works, reorganized the system of public schools, and put Havana, Santiago, and other cities in a sanitary condition. In a hospital near Havana Major Walter Reed, a surgeon in the United States army, demonstrated the fact that yellow fever is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. This discovery was at once put to the test in Havana, and the city was rendered free from yellow fever for the first time in one hundred and forty years.
In the organization of a government for the island, the first step was to take a census of the inhabitants, determine the proper basis of suffrage, and hold municipal elections for the purpose of organizing local government. This work having been successfully accomplished, a constitutional convention, summoned by General Wood, convened in the city of Havana, November 5, 1900. By February 21, 1901, the convention had agreed upon a constitution modelled in general after that of the United States. The new constitution provided for the recognition of the public debts contracted by the insurgent government, but was silent on the subject of future relations with the United States. This subject had been brought to the
Report of the Military Governor of Cuba, 8 vols., 1901.
attention of the convention early in February by General Wood, who had submitted for incorporation in the constitution certain provisions which had been drafted in Washington. The convention objected to these proposals on the ground that they impaired the independence and sovereignty of the island, and that it was their duty to make Cuba "independent of every other nation, the great and noble American nation included."
The United States, however, had no intention of withdrawing from the island until this matter was satisfactorily adjusted. A provision, known as the Platt Amendment, was therefore inserted in the army appropriation bill of March 2, 1901, directing the President to leave the control of the island to its people so soon as a government should be established under a constitution which defined the future relations with the United States substantially as follows:
I. That the government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or other compact with any foreign power or powers which will impair or tend to impair the independence of Cuba, nor in any manner authorize or permit any foreign power or powers to obtain by colonization or for military or naval purposes or otherwise, lodgment in or control over any portion of said island.
II. That said government shall not assume or contract any public debt, to pay the interest upon which, and to make reasonable sinking fund provision for the ultimate discharge of which, the ordinary revenues of the island, after defraying the current expenses of government shall be inadequate.
III. That the government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property,
and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the government of Cuba.
IV. That all acts of the United States in Cuba during its military occupancy thereof are ratified and validated, and all lawful rights acquired thereunder shall be maintained and protected.
V. That the government of Cuba will execute, and as far as necessary extend, the plans already devised or other plans to be mutually agreed upon, for the sanitation of the cities of the island. . .
VI. That the Isle of Pines shall be omitted from the proposed constitutional boundaries of Cuba, the title thereto being left to future adjustment by treaty.
VII. That to enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United States lands necessary for coaling or naval stations at certain specified points, to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.
VIII. That by way of further assurance the government of Cuba will embody the foregoing provisions in a permanent treaty with the United States.59
These articles, with the exception of the fifth, which was proposed by General Leonard Wood, were carefully drafted by Elihu Root, at that time Secretary of War, discussed at length by President McKinley's cabinet, and entrusted to Senator Platt of Connecticut, who offered them as an amendment to the army appropriation bill. In order to allay doubts expressed by members of the convention in regard to the third article, General Wood was authorized by Secretary Root to state officially that the intervention described in this article did not mean intermeddling in the afSU. S. Statues at Large, Vol. XXXI, p. 897.
fairs of the Cuban government, but formal action on the part of the United States, based upon just and substantial grounds. With this assurance the convention adopted the Platt amendment June 12, 1901, and added it as an appendix to the constitution.
On May 20, 1902, Tomas Estrada Palma was inaugurated as first president of the Republic of Cuba, and General Wood handed over to him the government of the island.80 The Americans left a substantial balance in the Cuban treasury. The total receipts for the entire period were $57,197,140.80, and the expenditures $55,405,031.28. The customs service, which furnished the principal part of the revenues during the period of military occupation, was ably administered by General Tasker H. Bliss.81
While the Platt amendment determined the political relations that were to exist between Cuba and the United States, there had been no agreement on the subject of commercial relations. The sugar industry, which had been almost destroyed by the insurrection, was dependent upon the willingness of the United States to arrange for a reduction of its tariff in favor of the Cuban product. Otherwise Cuban sugar could not compete with the bounty-fed beet sugar of Europe or with the sugars of Porto Rico and Hawaii, which were now admitted to the American market free of duty. President Roosevelt had hoped to settle this question before the withdrawal of American troops, and he had urged upon Congress the expediency of providing for a substantial reduction in tariff duties on
Documentary History of the Inauguration of the Cuban Government,
in Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1902, Appendix A.
Documentary History of the Inauguration of the Cuban Government, in Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1902, Appendix B.
Cuban imports into the United States, but a powerful opposition, composed of the beet-sugar growers of the North and West and of the cane-sugar planters of Louisiana, succeeded in thwarting for two years the efforts of the administration to do justice to Cuba. All attempts to get a bill through Congress failed." In the meantime a reciprocity convention was agreed upon in the ordinary diplomatic way December 11, 1902, under which Cuban products were to be admitted to the United States at a reduction of twenty per cent. As the Senate failed to act on this treaty before the 4th of March, 1903, President Roosevelt convened an extra session of the Senate which ratified the treaty with amendments, and with the very unusual provision that it should not go into effect until approved by Congress. As the House was not then in session, this meant that the treaty had to go over until the fall. The Cuban situation grew so bad that the President finally convened Congress in extra session November 9, 1903. In a special message he urged prompt action on the treaty on the ground that the Platt amendment had brought the island of Cuba within our system of international policy, and that it necessarily followed that it must also to a certain degree come within the lines of our economic policy. The House passed the bill approving the treaty November 19 by the overwhelming vote of 335 to 21, but the Senate, although it had already ratified the treaty, permitted the extra session to expire without passing the measure which was to give the treaty effect. When the new session began December 7, the Cuban treaty bill was made the special order in the
62 Senate Docs. Nos. 405 and 679, Fifty-Seventh Cong., First Sess.