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But the eastern planters had less to fear from a slave revolt, since their farms were much smaller and had far fewer slaves.
Hence, the contestation over the meaning of Cubanness was between eastern planters, African slaves, freed blacks, impoverished white farmers, and urban workers one the one side, and peninsulares and western creole elites on the other side.
Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1492 and named it Juana after Prince Juan, the heir apparent to the throne of Castille.
The name "Cuba," an abbreviation of the indigenous word Cubanacán, held sway. The island lies about ninety miles south of the Florida Keys.
Since the European conquest, the western third of the island has exercised military, political, economic, and cultural dominance.
The capital is Havana on the northern coast of the western third of the island.
After the Haitian revolution of 1791, creoles and peninsulares thought that only the presence of the Spanish army could maintain order and their privilege.
There were creole elites, especially merchants in Havana, whose privilege was dependent on the colonial status of the island, but most eastern creoles increasingly saw their interests as opposed to those of Spain.
The struggle between these three groups determined the character of the colony and the meaning of Cuban-ness ( cubanidad ).