This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers the immediate and long-term effects of the abolition of the Spanish Atlantic slave trade from 1820. It analyzes the economics of Cuba’s second most lucrative agricultural crop—tobacco—during the “Second Slavery,” which lasted from Spain’s official interdiction of the Atlantic slave trade in 1820 to full abolition in 1886. The book examines the interplay of incarceration and charity in three Havanese institutions—San Francisco de Paula Women’s Hospital, the Casa de Expositos, and the Casa de Beneficencia—during the nineteenth century. It explores another aspect of Cuban forced labor in the nineteenth century, that of indentured Chinese “coolies.” The book examines the economic, functional, and aesthetic evolution of Cuba’s industries, including the cultivation of sugarcane, tobacco, and coffee; the Cuban railway; and other key architectural and technological aspects of the country’s industrial history.