The Spanish-American War Newspaper

By: Emily Ball

1898

Section 2: A Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I have many feelings about the coverage in the New York World and New York Journal of the events in Cuba. I understand that the reporters were meant to spread the truth about how brave the Cuban rebels were and how horrifying the Spanish rule was. Your stories in the newspapers did a good job of helping Americans want the United States to help Cuba win independence and made the public want to help aid the rebels. But I do not know how accurate your stories could have been if the writers were not actually in Cuba to experience the horrors. Although, I learned from a political cartoon that the information was correct about how Spain starved the Cubans to death. Thousands of Cubans were forced into reconcentration camps where many died from disease and starvation and the political cartoon shows how this was true.

Sincerely,

Emily Ball

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Section 3: Anger Toward Spain

If American people are not sure about war with Spain, this is a chance for them to be persuaded. Enrique Dupuy de Lome wrote a letter to his friend in Cuba but somehow was stolen and sent to the Journal for publication. The de Lome Letter criticized President McKinley. Soon after this letter was published, an even bigger incident happened: the battleship USS Maine sank in Havana harbor. President McKinley sent the ship to Cuba to protect American citizens and property. The USS Maine sunk after an explosion. It has to be that this was Spain attacking the U.S. After these two incidents, why should us Americans not be ready for war against Spain? We shall "Remember the Maine" and go to war against Spain!
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Section 4: Report from the Battlefront

I am currently reporting from the battlefront in Cuba. The U.S. has dominated in overseas combat and there have been few American battle casualties. The American troops are being led by General William Shafter. I have witnessed the formation of the First U.S. Volunteer Calvary, or the Rough Riders, by Colonel Leonard Wood and Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt handpicked a mixture of western cowboys and college athletes. General Shafter made his first attack on Santiago on July 1. He moved against Spanish troops dug in along a ridge. The Rough Riders moved up Kettle Hill while the others fought the more difficult battle for San Juan Hill. The U.S Army took the ridge by night. The war quickly moved to an end. On July 17, Santiago surrendered when the U.S. Navy destroyed the Spanish squadron. Then, the U.S. captured Puerto Rico. On August 12 after no success, Spain agreed to a peace settlement and the war was over after 4 months of the start of the conflict. This has been a great victory for the United States because it was its first overseas war. Although the victory, about 5,500 Americans died from tropical diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. It was hard for Americans to adjust to Cuba's tropical climate.
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Section 5: Political Cartoon

This image shows President McKinley raising the American flag in the Philippines, showing that he and the Republicans thought that American control was needed in the Philippines to keep law and order. Democrat William Jennings Bryant is shown cutting the flag down, arguing that the islands should be independent. The Anti-Imperialist League was an organization opposing the Treaty of Paris and the establishment of U.S. colonies. William Jennings Bryant was for this. President McKinley opposed this. Supporters of the treaty argued that forming an empire was important for the nation's future. Also, the Treaty of Paris granted Cuba's Independence but the U.S. never fully obeyed this and kept troops in Cuba. The Platt Amendment allowed the U.S. to get involved in Cuban affairs and to buy or lease land for naval bases. In 1934, the U.S. finally agreed to repeal the Platt Amendment.
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