In 1902, Cuba peacefully gained independence from the United States. A few years earlier, the U.S. had aided Cuban rebels in exorcising Spain from the colony. In 1898, after three years of fighting, Spain signed a peace treaty with the U.S. relinquishing its hold on Cuba, but no Cuban delegates were present. However, the Teller Amendment (4th Article of the Joint Resolution) confirmed that the U.S. would not permanently remain in Cuba. Cubans lobbied for an early execution of the Joint Resolution. After much resistance in the U.S., the Cuban Constitutional Convention met in 1900. Then, in 1901, the Cuban Constitution was completed, including an appendix allowing U.S. intervention if needed. Finally, in 1902, Tomás Estradas Palma was elected the first president of Cuba, confirming Cuba’s new status as a country.
The Entente Cordiale was an agreement between France and Britain that settled multiple land disputes and helped the countries on their way to political cooperation. It gave French acknowledgement to Britain’s authority over Egypt and Britain formally recognized France’s jurisdiction in Morocco. Britain also gave France upper Gambia Valley, the Los Islands, and formalized Nigeria’s perimeter in France’s interests. In turn, France gave Britain access to some Newfoundland fisheries. France and Britain defined their land in Thailand as well. France received the eastern territories and Britain received the western. Thus, previous tensions between the two countries were eased, which was very important with World War I on the horizon.
World War I originated as a war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (the heir to Austria-Hungary’s throne) by a Serbian man, which Austria-Hungary ascribed to Serbia. Then, other countries were drawn into the fight because of their alliances with either side. On the side of Austria-Hungary were Germany and Italy (known as the Central Powers). On Russia’s side were Britain and France (the Allied Forces). Throughout the war, countries from all over the world also joined either side. In 1918, the Germans were forced back behind the Hindenburg line, freeing occupied France. Finally, On June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed between Germany and the Allied forces, officially concluding World War I. World War I was known as the first ‘total war’ because it was fought on land, on sea, and even in the air. WWI was also known as ‘the war to end all wars.’
Tolkien met Edith Bratt as a teenager when they (both orphans) had lived at Mrs. Faulkner’s boarding house. At the time, Edith was 19 and Tolkien, or Ronald (as his friends called him), was 16. Edith and Ronald were inseparable, but she distracted him from his studies. When Father Francis, Ronald’s guardian, discovered their relationship, he forbade Ronald from seeing Edith until he was 21 and moved Tolkien and his younger brother to different lodging. At the time, Ronald was 17 but did as he was told and...