The Spanish-American War

By Carson Schaper

Trouble In Cuba

Cuba, being one of two countries in the Americas owned by Spain, wanted independence. They tried and failed to revolt because of the unequal rights given to Cubans. Spain crushed this revolt, but that was not the end of it. The rebels continued to fight for freedom, but to eliminate support for the rebels, tens of thousands of Cubans were put into reconcentration camps, which were very unsanitary, low in food, and crawling with diseases. Mass media was used to communicate to a mass audience. This was a good way to let Americans know what was going on in Cuba.
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Americans Call for War with Spain

On February 9, 1898, Hearst's New York Journal published a letter written by Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, the Spanish ambassador to Washington. Known as the de Lôme letter, this letter was somehow stolen from the mail and sent to the Journal for publication. In the letter, de Lôme called President McKinley "weak and catering to the rabble and, besides, a low politician." Americans didn't like this criticism of their president, and the publishing of this letter made more Americans want to go to war with Spain.


Later in 1898, the battleship USS Maine sunk in Havana harbor. An official navy investigation began immediately, but the Journal blamed Spain right away. This increased public support for war with Spain.

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Fighting in Cuba

I'm here in Cuba, it's July 1st, at nightfall. Today, General Shafter launched his assault on Santiago, moving against Spanish troops dug in along a ridge. My squad, the rough riders, led by Roosevelt, charged up Kettle Hill. Meanwhile, some of our other forces were fighting for San Juan Hill. We recently took the ridge. That's all for now, but I will report more later on.
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A New World Power

In this cartoon, there are 3 pieces of land, each with the name of a country on it. One says Cuba, one says US, and one says Philippines. In the Philippines, there are two men taking down an American flag, because they are part of the Anti-Imperialist League, which means they oppose the establishment of US colonies. In the US, there are people introducing the Platt Amendment, which are provisions in the Cuban constitution allowing the US to intervene in Cuban affairs and to buy or lease land for naval bases. Then there is Cuba, with American flags on it to represent how there are American colonies there.
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