Written in 1854 as a secret document, the Ostend Manifesto, written in Ostend, Beligum, was an attempt by the United States, Great Britain, and Spain to purchase Cuba for the United States. In the document it stated that Cuba was vital to the future of the United States and three diplomats were sent to Spain to purchase the country for $120 million. Unfortunately, as appears to be the trend of secret documents, news of this attempt was leaked before the attempt was made and many individuals in the United States, particularly the North, rose up and demanded the attempt be halted.
One of the many aspects which individuals across the world and especially in the North of the United States objected to was how the document stated that if Spain did not agree to the transaction, the United States would be completely justified in taking Cuba from Spain. This underlined threat amplified the concerns of some due to how the Spanish diplomat, Pierre SoulÈ, was pro-slavery and might enforce his opinions in Cuba should it fall to the United States.
It was not until the end of the 19th century that America did finally intervene in Cuba. However, it was during the time of “Bleeding Kansas” that the document was revealed, which further spread the wildfire which was taking off in Kansas. As most uprisings continued and ended in bloody massacres, the attempt to control Cuba only served to make more people stand up on both sides to decry the other side’s beliefs. It was only a matter of time before the spark that this document created added enough fuel to the fire that the Civil War was born and as a result, many thousands upon thousands died during the following conflict within the United States.