The United States Post

1898-1902

Trouble Brewing in Cuba

The New York World and the New York Journal have been saying that Cuba is rebelling against Spain. They are saying that Cuba wants to become independent. I think that these stories are over exaggerated and are being used to sell more newspapers. These reports are causing more Americans to support Cuba.


During the 1800's, many Cuban's said that they wanted to rule their own country. They asked Spain for independence and the end of slavery. Spain refused to give them what they wanted. Now, Cubans are rebelling to get independence. They launched surprise attacks against Spanish forces. Spain forced thousands of Cubans into reconcentration camps. Many US citizens are supporting Cuban rebels because it is a struggle for freedom.

Americans Call for War with Spain

Two recent events are causing Americans to support going to war with Spain. First, the de Lôme letter was published by the New York Journal and then the USS Maine sunk while it was at Havana harbor.


On February 9, 1898, the New York Journal published the de Lôme letter. The letter was written by Enrique Dupuy de Lôme and was being sent to his friend in Cuba. The letter was stolen from the mail and sent to newspapers. In the letter he criticized President McKinley, which offended many Americans.


On February 15, the USS Maine exploded. The battleship was in Havana harbor when it sunk. Many newspapers blamed Spain for the explosion. More than 260 sailors died from the blast. The sinking of the USS Maine and the de Lôme letter are two reasons to go to war with Spain. These events caused there to be more support for declaring war on Spain.

War with Spain

The US declared war on Spain and the Spanish-American war began. The US navy set up a blockade at Havana and the North coast of Cuba. A Spanish squadron got into the harbor at Santiago de Cuba. US troops arrived at Santiago on June 20, 1898. On July 1, General Shafter attacked Santiago. The US navy destroyed the Spanish squadron. On July 17, Santiago surrendered.


While Shafter was fighting in Santiago, Roosevelt's troops were fighting at Kettle Hill. Roosevelt's troops were called the Rough Riders. They were a volunteer cavalry regiment picked by Theodore Roosevelt. Other troops were fighting in San Juan Hill. The next week, the US captured Puerto Rico. On August 12, 1898, Spain agreed to a peace settlement.


Even though the war only lasted 4 months, the US still had a lot of casualties. About 5,500 Americans died from the war. Many of them died from tropical diseases.

Cartoon

The characters in the cartoon are William Jennings Bryan and President McKinley. Bryan was a Democrat and McKinley was a Republican. In the cartoon Bryan and McKinley were fighting over whether the US should control the Philippines.


The Treaty of Paris would give the US control of the Philippines and needed 2/3 of the vote to pass. There were opposing views on whether the US should pass it. The Anti-Imperialist League opposed the US controlling colonies. President McKinley was one of the supporters of the treaty. The US passed the treaty on February 6, 1899 with a vote of 57-27.


The Treaty of Paris also gave Cuba independence, but McKinley decided that the US should stay in Cuba to help them recover. They stayed in Cuba for 4 years. The US troops finally left in 1902 when Cuba passed the Platt Amendment. It allowed the US to interfere with Cuban affairs and to buy land for naval bases.