Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2015. .
Full name: José Julián Martí y Pérez born on January 28, 1853 and died May 19, 1895 in a battle fighting for Cuba’s independence. He was a poet, essayist, patriot and martyr who became a symbol for Cuba’s struggle to gain independence from Spain. Organized the movement for Cuban independence. He was well educated and by the time he was 15 he had several published poems and by the age of 16 he founded a newspaper called La Patria Libre (“The Free Fatherland”).

Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2015. .
He was sentenced to six months of hard labor in 1868 for sympathizing with patriots during a revolutionary uprising and was later deported to Spain in 1871. In Spain, he continued to further his education and received a M.A and a degree in law from the University of Zaragoza in 1874—he spent the next few years in France, Mexico and Guatemala, writing and teaching but then later returned to Cuba in 1878. Because of his political activities he was again exiled from Cuba to Spain in 1879. He continued to write and publish newspaper articles, poetry and essays and his column in La Nación of Buenos aired made him famous all throughout Latin America.

Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2015. .
Martí wrote a poetry collection called Versos libres written between 1878 and 1882 on the theme of freedom—this helped promote better understanding about innovations among the American nations. He wrote essays such as “Emerson” 1882 “Whitman”1887 “Nuestra América” 1881 and “Bolívar” 1893, where he expressed his thoughts about Latin America and the United States.
In 1892, Martí was elected delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Party and began drawing up plans for an invasion of Cuba. He arrived in Cuba from New York, accompanied by the Cuban revolutionary leader Máximo Gómez, and began the invasion on April 11 1895. Martí died a month later on the battlefield in Dos Ríos, Oriente province—only 7 years before his goal of getting independence for Cuba was reached.

“The World of 1898: The Spanish American War.” Library of Congress. N.p., n.d.
Web. 16 Apr. 2015. .
Martí was the son of poor spanish immigrants and thanks to the aid of his teachers, he was able to go to high school around the same time that the Ten Years’s War and Cuba’s first struggle for independence began. Soon after, he was arrested for denouncing a pro-Spanish classmate and was sentenced to 6 years of hard labor. When he was exiled to Spain soon after being freed from labor, he published El presidio político en Cuba, where he attacked the Cuban prisons. From 1881 until he returned to Cuba, he spent most of his time in New York reporting on life in the United States for newspapers in Latin America. He also spent a lot of his time planning the second Cuban struggle for independence, which he planned on being a short fought war that would be fought with a “republican method and spirit”

Mendoza, Antonio. “Freedom Hero: Jose Marti.” The My Hero Project: n. pag. My
Hero. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. .
Marti struggled against the dual oppressing forces of Spain and the U.S to gain independence for Cuba while upholding his beliefs in liberty, freedom and greatness of the human spirit. Marti began his political career at the age of 15 when he helped start an anti-colonial newspaper and within a year of starting this newspaper he was arrested by Spanish authorities for anti-government activity. In 1871, after serving three out of the six years of hard labor sentenced to him, he was deported to Spain where he went to college. After his studies in law he moved to Mexico City where he worked as a journalist and his objection to the military regime controlling Mexico led to his escape to Guatemala. However, his

Williams, Eric. From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean. N.p.:
n.p., n.d. Print.
(p.406 and 407)
When trying to gain freedom for Cuba, Marí worked along side of Antonio Maceo and constituted with Washington, Jefferson and Bolivar.
Martí realized that Cuba could not achieve independence on the basis on Negro slavery. He did not think that emancipation was necessarily a political necessity, but a moral one. He believed that the Cuban republic should be ‘of all and for all’ and that ‘there is no such thing as race hatred because there are no races’ as well as that any Negro is neither inferior nor superior to any other man.

Rogozinski, Jan. A Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and Carib to
the Present. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
(p.204)
Marí was an extraordinary leader, politician, poet, journalist and philosopher with a compelling vision on Cuba libre. Marí led the New York’s intransigent patriotic society, the Cuban Junta.
Marí promised a Cuban republic that would be free from racial and social inequalities. Although, he never drew up specific plans to obtain these goals, it brought together American supporters and Cuba, where Martí raised the standard of revolt in 1895.

Encyclopedia of World Biography. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Encyclopedia. Web. 21 Apr.
2015. .
Martí was born in Havana on Jan. 28, 1853, of Spanish parents. In school, where he was an eager student, his teachers aroused in him a devotion to the cause of freedom, and he also achieved early recognition as a writer. At the age of 15 he composed several poems and at 16 he published a Havana newspaper, La Patria Libre, and wrote a dramatic poem, Abdala. When we was deported to Spain after being arrested, he published a political essay, El presidio político en Cuba, an indictment of Spanish oppression and conditions in Cuban jails. In 1874 he received a degree in philosophy and law from the University of Saragossa. He then traveled through Europe and in 1875 went to Mexico, where he worked as a journalist. After a short visit to Cuba in 1877, he settled in Guatemala, where he taught literature and philosophy. That same year he married Carmen Zayas Bazán, and shortly afterward published his first book, Guatemala.

Encyclopedia of World Biography. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Encyclopedia. Web. 21 Apr.
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Martí realized that independence from Spain was the only solution for Cuba and that could only be achieved through war; that war would also have too prevent United States Intervention in Cuba. His fear of a military dictatorship after independence led in 1884 to a break with Máximo Gómez and Antonio Maceo, two generals who at the time were engaged in a conspiracy against Spain. Martí withdrew from the movement temporarily, but by 1887 the three men were working together again, with Martí assuming political leadership. In 1892 he formed the Cuban Revolutionary party in the United States and directed his efforts toward organizing the war against Spain.

Exploring the Culture of Little Havana. University of Miami. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
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Martí experienced many hardships throughout his lifetime, all through his adolescence, he struggled with poverty and would not have attended primary or secondary education without the support of a famous Cuban writer, Rafael María de Mendive. This education, from both school and mentor, enabled him to express his thoughts on freedom and publish his first poems at fifteen.
Martí focused the majority of his energy towards this Cuban Republic Party. He brought together Cuban people from all over the nation in the hope of establishing independence and finding freedom for the people of Cuba. He educated many people of his party for over ten years.

Gale World History in Context. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2015..
In 1881 Martí made New York the center of his activities and he continued to travel and to write about the many problems of Latin American nations. Through regular newspaper columns for ‘La Opinión Nacional of Caracas’ and for ‘La Nación of Buenos Aires’, he gained recognition throughout Latin America. Martí was noted not only for his journalistic abilities but also for his poetry. In 1882 his most significant poems, composed for his son, were published in a book called ‘Ismaelillo’. Martí’s best-known poems appear in ‘Versos Sencillos’ (1891) and emphasized the themes of friendship, sincerity, love, justice, and freedom. His greatest contribution to Spanish American letters was his essays. Written in a highly personal style, they brought about an innovation in prose writing.

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Martí formed his political ideals based on his childhood when he witnessed the poor treatment of black slaves on Cuban sugar plantations. At an early age, he became sensitive to the inequalities that existed in Cuban society and felt compelled to express his condemnation of the colonial system through poetry. In 1869, at the age of sixteen, Martí was accused of treason and sentenced to six years in prison for his role in a school dramatic production; when his sentence was over he was exiled and went to Spain. There he went to a university where he published an account of his experiences as a political prisoner in Cuba. He then taught philosophy and languages in Mexico and Guatemala, where he became involved with the Afro-Cuban revolutionary Juan Gualberto Gómez (1854-1933). Longing to return to Cuba, Martí gained entry by using the pseudonym Julián Pérez, composed from his second Christian name and his mother’s maiden name.

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For a second time, Martí was accused of conspiring against the state and deported again in 1879. He was not allowed to enter Cuba again until 1895. For sixteen years he traveled throughout Europe, the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica and Panama. In these places he wrote on the need for reform and independence in Cuba and established a contact with Cuban émigrés to further the goal of independence. Through his poetry he touched the sensitive emotional issues surrounding exile and proclaimed revolution as the only means to achieve freedom and dignity for the Cuban people. In 1890 he was elected president of the Hispano-American Literary Society of New York, where he created ‘La Liga’, an educational center that was designed to provide a rudimentary education to black Cuban workers.

Gale World History in Context. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2015. .
In 1892, Martí planned an invasion of Cuba with fellow exile Máximo Gómez (1836-1905), a Cuban military leader from the Ten Years’ War. It was called ‘the Fernandina Plan’, which failed in 1894, but Martí was soon active again in promoting an independent Cuba. By early 1895, he had managed to procure an order authorizing revolution in his country signed by the leaders of Cuban exile groups. Martí, along with Gómez, drew up the ‘Manifesto de Montecristi’ which stated the objectives of the revolutionary army and called for the establishment of a new Cuban republic to be founded on the principles of equality, universal access to education, and profit sharing.

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The movement became very popular as nation-states in Latin America struggled to break their colonial dependence on Spain. When José Martí traveled around the United States talking to laborers, setting up schools for the illiterate, and formulating a way to achieve a racially undivided Cuban state, he was also building a body of journalistic and literary work that reflected the pride and cultural maturity of modern Latin American. In January 1891 Martí wrote an article for La Revista Ilustra, published in New York, titled “Our America.” The essay condemns Latin American republics for maintaining American and European social and political models instead of cultivating a uniquely Latin American identity. He promoted the importance of native cultures in society and warns of the growing power of the United States, which he believed threatened the sovereignty of the Latin American countries.

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The Cuban War of Independence (1895-1898) began in the spring of 1895 with uprisings all over Cuba. Spain responded by sending thousands of soldiers to the island. Martí was declared the major general in the war, despite his complete unfamiliarity with all military matters. On May 19, 1895, shortly after the first wave of invading liberators arrived on the island, he was killed at the Battle of Dos Ríos and war would have to continue on without him.

“Great Lives from History: The Nineteenth Century.” Great Lives from History:
The Nineteenth Century: n. pag. Rpt. in Great Lives from History: The
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Martí was born to Leonor Pérez and Mariano Martí. His father was a solider in a Spanish army that was sent to Cuba to discourage independence movements. In 1865, when Martí was twelve, he became a student in Havana, where his teacher, Rafael Maria Mendives, fostered Martí’s literary and political interests. At an early age, he showed writing talent and a passion for Cuban independence. He began writing patriotic plays, poems, and essays, and in 1869 printed his own newspaper, Patria Libre (free homeland).
In 1868, while Martí was still a student, a new war for independence began under the leadership of Carlos Manuel Cespedes; it would continue for ten years. During that war, Spanish authorities used increasingly harsh methods to suppress dissent, and executions—often for nonviolent offenses—and imprisonments increased.

“Great Lives from History: The Nineteenth Century.” Great Lives from History:
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After arriving in Spain in 1871, Martí began his university education but also continued writing in support of Cuban independence. In 1871, he wrote an essay on political prisons in Cuba that eloquently described the plight of sick old men and frightened young boys who were sent to work in Cuban quarries, where they were whipped and afflicted with smallpox and cholera. After graduating from the University of Zaragoza in 1874, Martí traveled throughout Europe, where he made the acquaintance of the French writer Victor Hugo. He also visited New York. In 1875, he settled in Mexico, where he worked as a journalist, teacher, and dramatist.

“Great Lives from History: The Nineteenth Century.” Great Lives from History:
The Nineteenth Century: n. pag. Rpt. in Great Lives from History: The
Nineteenth Century. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Online Salem Press. Web. 17
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During the two years that Martí spent in Mexico, he made regular contributions to newspapers and magazines, often on political topics. During that period he became familiar with Mexican history and doubtless became more aware of the 1846-1848 war between the United States and Mexico that ended with the United States taking possession of a large portion of northern Mexico that included California, Arizona, and New Mexico. In 1876, Martí left Mexico and settled in Guatemala, where he became a friend of Rubén Darío, one of the leading modernist poets in Latin American literature. He spent one and one-half years in Guatemala as a professor and a journalist. He again engaged in revolutionary activities and was again deported to Spain. From there, he went to New York in 1880, spent a brief period teaching and writing in Venezuela, and then settled down in New York in 1881.

“Great Lives from History: The Nineteenth Century.” Great Lives from History:
The Nineteenth Century: n. pag. Rpt. in Great Lives from History: The
Nineteenth Century. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Online Salem Press. Web. 17
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Martí spent fifteen years in New York where he worked intensely on the independence of Cuba, social activism, teaching, and writing. He soon became the leader of both New York’s Cuban exile community and the Cuban Revolutionary Party. In Cuba, the ten-year independence struggle had concluded unsatisfactorily during the late 1870’s. Soon after he befriended Máximo Gómez and Antonio Maceo. Martí then wrote for papers in Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico and edited La America in New York, he refined his ideas about the Cuban revolution. Fearing the danger of a Cuban military dictatorship, he broke with Maceo and Gomez, and he also feared the possibility of American intervention.

“Great Lives from History: The Nineteenth Century.” Great Lives from History:
The Nineteenth Century: n. pag. Rpt. in Great Lives from History: The
Nineteenth Century. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Online Salem Press. Web. 17
Apr. 2015. .
Martí traveled extensively around the United States and the Caribbean and spoke before members of Cuban exile groups about his plans for the Cuban revolution (especially in Tampa and Key West, Florida, where there were large numbers of Cuban emigrants working in cigar factories). Martí’s group planned the war of independence and raised enough money to outfit three steamers to transport weapons to Cuba; however, the ships were seized by the United States.

“Great Lives from History: The Nineteenth Century.” Great Lives from History:
The Nineteenth Century: n. pag. Rpt. in Great Lives from History: The
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In 1895, Martí landed in Cuba and wrote daily letters from the battlefield. However, he died in his first hostile engagement with Spanish troops, while leading a charge at Dos Rios. The war continued until 1898, by which time the independence forces were in control of much of the devastated and burned-over countryside. By then, the United States (which feared a truly independent Cuba) intervened on the pretext of a Spanish attack on the USS Maine. American forces took control of the entire island and occupied it until 1902 and on several later occasions. The United States continued to dominate Cuba’s government until Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959.

Jose Marti. PBS Video. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2015. .
In 1868 Cubans began rebelling against the 300 years of Spanish rule, Martí at a young age was inspired by these rebellions. After being an advocate for Cuban independence, he was sentenced to hard labor for treason when letters linking him to the revolt were found. He was released from his sentence when his mother begged them to let him go, so instead he was exiled. In 1810, he arrived in New York so that he would be in a safe place where he could plot for the independence of his country. He was driven to the United States because the foundation of their nation was inequality and freedom, it was his alternative view for what a colony should look like.

Jose Marti. PBS Video. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2015. .
When he was in New York he was a journalist who covered major events in the U.S, like the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge as well as the frequent executions and lynchings. This gave him great insight into the racist side of United State; he then began to lose faith in the U.S and realized that the U.S was not a great model for Cuban independence. He wanted a Cuba that was filled with all different races and different economic backgrounds.
From his safety in exile, he organized a group of revolutionaries that were native Cubans that had settles at cigar factories around Tampa. From this he founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party and published a newspaper that warned of the threat that he felt that the America’s growing power represented for Latin America.

Jose Marti. PBS Video. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2015. .
Martí did not want to bring attention to Cuba’s struggle for independence because of this fear of U.S interference. In 1895 Cuban rebels were ready to uprise, Martí wrote the order for the insurrection to begin and it was sent to Havana smuggled in a cigar. He then sailed to Cuba with a small force of exiles to command the uprising. Five weeks later he was killed in battle.
For the next three years Cubans and the Spanish fought in this war and the U.S debated whether or not they should intervene for expansion.

New African Apr. 2009. Gale World History in Context. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
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In 1892, Marti founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party, which unified the various groups who wanted complete independence. Unlike earlier insurgents, who hoped that the U.S would intervene and support them in their fight for independence, Marti feared this and was alarmed by their “increasingly imperialist tendencies”. This fear of U.S intervention and the destruction of their economy propelled Marti to plan a massive island-wide rebellion in 1895 (designed to ensure a quick victory).
The war lasted for three years and in the end, ended U.S occupation of Cuba. In addition, the way in which race played itself out during the final phase of the war foreshadowed the gap that would emerge between the revolution’s anti-racist ideology and the reality of race-relations.

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Martí grew up in poverty. His father’s small army pension was supplemented by his work as a night watchman, but there was little beyond the bare necessities in the Martí household. Despite these surroundings, Marti was very studious. When he was four, he accompanied his parents to Spain for two and a half years, where his formal education commenced. He returned to Cuba in 1859, where he completed his primary education, and in 1865 entered the prestigious Municipal School for Boys, soon transferring to the respected Institute of Havana, essentially a college “prep” school. There, he was taught by and educational reformer and innovator, Rafael María de Mendive. A fervent Cuban nationalist who was secretly working for independence from Spain, Mendive had an enormous influence on Martí, imbuing him with nationalism. There was a period of reform and tolerance of expression in Spain (which spread to Cuba) and for the first time Cuban intellectuals were free to criticize and experiment. Mendive was a prime mover in this Cuban intellectual ferment, and Martí’s views were greatly formed by it.

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A revolt in Cuba began in 1868 when conservatice forced triumphed in Spain, starting the “Ten Years’ War”. Mendive was arrested by Spanish authorities and Marti foolishly helped edit the first issue of a new journal, La Patria Libre, in 1869. That issue contained his first stage drama, Abdala, which authorities considered to be so radical that its editors (including Marti) were arrested. After serving six months in jail, he was tried by a military court and was sentenced to six years of labor. His sentence was then commuted to exile in Spain. He arrived in Spain in 1871. There he published El Presidio Politico en Cuba and a number of essays about the Cuban Revolution, as well as receiving degrees in law and literature.
After a brief visit to Cuba in 1877, he traveled to Guatemala, where he was a professor and vice president of the national literary society “El Provenir”; there he also met Maria Garcia Granados, whom he fell in love with.

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He arrived back in Cuba when the “Ten Years’ War” had come to an end with the Pact of Zanjon and at this point in Cuba, the Cubans were divided into three groups: the Reformists (who favored autonomy under Spain), the Annexationists (who sought to become part of the U.S) and the Separarists (who wanted true national independence). This was a dangerous stance and when small uprisings occurred, Marti was arrested, jailed and the in September of 1879, exiled again to Spain. That exile did not last long, soon he was in Paris, and, in January 1880, appeared in New York City, which was home to a large community of exiled Cubans and other Latin Americans. New York became his base of operations until his last great adventure. Martí supported himself by giving speeches on Cuba and its independence movement, writing pamphlets, and contributing poems and art and literary criticism to local newspapers such as the New York Sun and The Hour.

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By late 1894 his plans were complete, and on January 29, 1895, in New York, Martí, as leader of the independence movement, officially authorized Cubans to rise up against Spain. He then sailed to Santo Domingo on his way to Cuba, learning that several Cuban provinces were already in rebellion. There in Santo Domingo, Martí, now supreme chief of the Revolution. On April 11, 1895, José Martí and five companions were disembarked at night on the coast of Oriente Province. They were met by a rebel column under Felix Ruenes, and marched off in search of the larger revolutionary army under Antonio Maceo, which was encountered on May 5. Fourteen days later, the rebels collided with a large Spanish force at a place called Dos Rios and a vicious battle erupted. By 1898, rebel forces controlled most of the island and the U.S troops forced the remaining Spanish forces to surrender and for several years they governed Cuba.