The Spanish-American War

By: Nita Johnston

Dear Editor,

The stories written for the recent and tragic happenings with Cuba are most appreciated, but looked down upon because of how much truth is taken out. There are many stories that could be easily told without stretching and modifying the truth.

Although, because of telling a few white lies, it has helped the States to want to help another country with something we suffered with once; independence. Hearing about reconcentration camps was the saddest thing to have read about; the poor souls of Cuba don't deserve any of this brutality. To help the people within that country, continue to write these stories and continue to inform the public about what is happening within Cuban borders. Until they are independent, everyone should do their best to help Cuba fight.

de Lôme and the USS Maine

The de Lôme started the uphill climb towards war and the downhill slide for America's respect for Spain. The country's Enrique Dupuy de Lôme openly bashed on our respected president and thought he would get away with it.

Shortly after that happening, when our beloved USS Maine was destroyed, the respect for Spain completely tumbled and died. Mines were found underneath the ship ported in Havana, which were set off after two weeks of being there to help the citizens of the port's city. Spain refuses to admit that they are to blame for this explosion and they are to be punished for that!

Splendid Little War

After April 25th, the United States was at war with Spain. It all started in the Philippines, where revolts had started to occur just like in Cuba. The US planned to strike the colonies there to take out Manila Bay, which was planned by Theodore Roosevelt. After planning a ship attack on the ports of Manila Bay, Commodore George Dewey took the Spanish fleet by surprise and completely destroyed the ships from the offending side, while the States had very, very few casualties. Later in the year, in July, the Philippines fell to Filipino rebels and American soldiers. During that time, fighting had begun in Cuba. The First U.S. Volunteer Calvary, which we now know as the Rough Riders, was a big part of the fighting when it all began. These men were stationed in Santiago de Cuba, where other Spanish forces snuck in. On July 1st, General William Shafter launched his assault on Santiago, who fought against Spanish troops dug along a ridge. The Rough Riders charged up Kettle Hill, while other troops fought for San Juan Hill. By nightfall that day, the American troops took over the ridge. After all these events, the war ended fairly quickly. The US soldiers destroyed a Spanish ship that tried to flee the Santiago harbor and on the 17th of that month, they surrendered. After that, the US took Puerto Rico. Finally, after all that happened, Spain agreed to have peace. The United States left the four-month war with 5,500 soldiers dead, mostly from diseases from within the Cuban and Filipino borders. The first overseas war of the America's was won.

A New Power

After the Treaty of Paris was enacted, varying opinions on imperialism with the United States' new colonies swept through the nation. Not everyone wanted the States to create an empire with the newly given territories. The Anti-Imperialism League was formed to oppose the creation of US colonies. Various types of members joined, and while they all had different views, they all agreed that imperialism violated freedom and democracy. People who agreed with the treaty included people like Theodore Roosevelt and President McKinley, who said that these colonies were critical for the nation's future. They said that the States needed to compete with the other great nations to be equal. Rejection of the treaty would be humiliating, says Henry Cabot Lodge. Arguments went for a month until the supporters of the Treaty of Paris won.

After the war was over in Cuba, the country was destroyed. The United States used foreign policy to help fix up the place, making schools, roads and improved sanitation. But, the Cubans were annoyed with Americans still within their borders, since the Treaty and Teller Amendment says that the nation would stay out of Cuba once the war was over. The US finally withdrew in 1902, but only after Cuba made the Platt Amendment, where it allowed America to intervene in Cuban affairs and to buy or lease land for naval bases. In 1934 the Amendment was repealed, but a naval base still operates on Cuban land.