Occupation by “induction”: The American Army of Occupation in Cuba, December 1898-December 1899
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Many historians of the first American occupation of Cuba (1898-1902) assert that the military government of the island began and ended with a single strategic objective in mind: annexation. This assertion, however, ignores critical aspects of the first year of American operations under the direction of Major General Brooke that pursued more limited goals. To fill this historical void, this thesis examines two questions about the American Army of Occupation in Cuba. First, was the occupation government of Major General Brooke pursuing a strategy designed to lead to annexation? Second, how did the U.S. military government in Cuba exercise power in pursuit of Brooke’s strategic vision? This thesis combines traditional sources like the manuscript collections of James H. Wilson, Leonard Wood, Elihu Root, and William McKinley found in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. as well previously unexamined reports and correspondence of individual post and garrison commanders found in Record Group 395 in the National Archives in Washington D.C. to answer these questions. The American Army of Occupation pursued political stability during its first year, not annexation. Brooke and his subordinates practiced cooperation with, not control of, Cuban leaders and institutions. Furthermore, the direction of American policy was not always a top-down process. Commanders at the post and district levels innovated solutions to problems that the central administration in Havana, while slow to recognize, eventually adopted as their own. By December of 1899, when Brooke turned over command to General Wood, Cuba possessed a functioning civil government at both the national and local level.
Askew, Mark C (2015). Occupation by “induction”: The American Army of Occupation in Cuba, December 1898-December 1899. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from