In 1868, a sugar mill owner named Carlos Manuel de Céspedes freed his slaves as part of a declaration for all the people of Cuba to be liberated from Spain. His actions sparked the Ten Years’ War (1868 – 1878) during which he was killed by a Spanish army. Related skirmishes led to the Spanish-American War twenty years later when United States defeated Spain. The 1898 Treaty of Paris resulted in Spain relinquishing sovereignty over Cuba. This monument to Céspedes – known as the Father of the Homeland – has stood in Plaza de Armas since 1955. The sculptor of the white marble tribute was Sergio López Mesa. The square dates back to 1519 when it was called Plaza de la Iglesia.