Spanish American War

By: Diamond Anderson

Trouble Brewing in Cuba

All slaves wanted was to have independence from Spain, the establishment of a republic and ending slavery. However Spain only rejected their demands which seemed unfair; leaving Spain to crush the revolt and abolish slavery in 1886. Cuba was being economically influenced by the U.S, American felt that Cuba was a good place to trade and invest. Later , an American investment in Cuba's sugar plantations had reach them millions. Another struggle for independence started to occur led by Jose Marti, sailing to Cuba in 1895 leading the revolt but was later killed in combat. Rebellion continued with surprise attacks against Spanish forces; a new commander named General Valeriano Weyler was sent by Spain to put down the uprising. He forced thousands of Cubans into re-concentration camps. Re-concentration camps was where large number of people who were imprisoned in a small area with facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution. Meanwhile americans delt with the rebellion, putting their Cuban investments and property at risk. 1896 William McKinley was elected president, hoping to maintain neutrality. Americans learned a lot about the events in Cuba through mas media, Reporter and artists were motivated to stretch the truth about the bravery of Cuban rebels and the horrors of Spanish rule. Helping yellow journalism stir public support for U.S intervention to aid the rebels.
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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 Lome. The de Lome Letter was addressed to a friend in Cuba but was somehow stolen from the mail and sent to the Journal for publication. In the letter de Lome called President McKinley weak and catering to the rabble and a low politician. Americans began to get offended by the letter and the criticism of their president. De Lome offered his resignation , but everything was already done including the damage made. Because of the publishing og the letter, anti-Spanish feelings started to overcome in the U.S and the underscoring of the power of the press to inflame public opinion. Not to long after there was the sinking of the battleship USS Maine(a battleship sunk in Havana harbor in 1898, an event that helped rouse public support for war with Spain) in Havana harbor. The Maine had sailed to Cuba in January after riots broke in the streets of Havana. Spaniards who oppose government reformed in Cuba which led the riots. On February 15, an explosion rocked the battleship making the ship sink, more than 260 sailors died form the blast.

A "Splendid Little War" with Spain

Our first battle took place in the Philippines. After days after the declaration of war on May 1, Our squadron went into Manila Bay and we opened fire on the Spanish fleet. We were taken by surprise, with the fleet being destroyed. After we had our victory, we returned to the Philippines to fight the Spanish. Later, we came to start war with Cuba, we had slipped into the harbor at Santiago de Cuba. The U.S Army in Cuba had varies of forces, such as African Americans who had fought led by Theodore Roosevelt. When the war actually began, Roosevelt quit his post as assistant secretary of the nave so that he could join the fighting in a group called Rough Riders. Rough Riders were a volunteer cavalry regiment recruited by Theodore Roosevelt to fight in Cuba in the Spanish American War. On July 1, they had launched their assault on Santiago, moving against our troops while we were digging along a ridge. Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charged up Kettle Hill, while other U.S forces fought the even tougher battle for San Juan Hill. San Juan Hill was the key battle in Cuba during the Spanish American War. By that time war was going quickly as we thought it would, the American navy destroyed our Spanish squadron as we tried to leave Santiago harbor, and finally on July 17, Santiago surrendered. Later that week the U.S captured Puerto Rico, having no success. We agreed to a peace settlement on August 12, about four months after the war started, the war was over.

A New Power on the World Stage

This cartoon refers to clashing views on the Philippines in the presidential election of 1900. On the right there is President McKinley deciding that the U.S should remain in Cuba to restore order and assist in the islands recovery, because for four years the United States ruled Cuba under a military government. However in 1902 the U.S finally withdrew its troops, but only after Cuba added things to its constitution to protect American interests such as Platt Amendment. Platt Amendment was provisions in the Cuban constitution added as a condition for the withdrawal of U.S troops in 1902. Allowing the U.S to intervene in Cuban affairs and to but or lease land for naval bases. Now the leading opponents were the members of the Anti-Imperialist League, an organization formed during the war to oppose the establishment of U.S colonies. On the left in the cartoon photo would be Democrat William Jennings Bryan who argued that the islands should be independent.
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