World History 1875

About the history of the world in 1875, Cuba moves towards revolution from Spain, Webb swims the English Channel.



* Cuba, chafing under the rule of the peninsulares (the Spanish-born and privileged class in Cuba), stepped up its seven-year-old revolt against Spain, with a view to independence or, some hoped, annexation to the U.S. Although Spain gave serious thought to outright sale of Cuba to the U.S., wealthy landowners on the island convinced Madrid to send in more troops to quell the rebellion. The insurgents surrendered in 1878.

Aug. 24-25 Capt. Matthew Webb, 27, swam the English Channel from Dover to Calais, the first human to do so without a life jacket. For 22 hours the hero of Shropshire breaststroked the high seas. Although Webb lived to tell about it, he was not so lucky on another occasion eight years later. He drowned trying to swim the Niagara River below the falls.

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