New York Journal

Special Edition: The Spanish American War

How the War Came to Be

There was really one reason for the war to begin. Spain is currently controlling Cuba as a colony, at the same time we had naval troops docked in Cuba's Havana Harbor. Six days after the ship was docked, it exploded. the blame of course was pointed towards the Spanish. This is really what carried the US into the war. Before this the US was not supposed to get involved initially, but, thanks to yellow journalism, the so proud American people feel it completely necessary since Cuba is less then 100 miles away. We had been communicating with Spain trying to convince them to stop fighting the rebels, get rid of concentration camps and give the Cuban people their independence.

As the Spanish saw it, more land, more power. When they did not give Cuba the independence everyone has asked for, and continued to starve, kill and mistreat the Cuban people, along with "blowing up the USS Maine", it was time to take action. Once Spain saw congress grant $50 million dollars to mobilize the military force of America, they of course saw this as a threat. After this we declared war on Spain, Spain wasn't going to take it sitting down. They returned the favor and declared war on the US. This was the beginning of Spanish-American War.


FIrst Battle at Manila Bay

The first battle of the Spanish American War began early in the morning on May 1st, 1898 when a fleet of Spanish ships approached the US Squadron at Manila Bay. Within 2 hours of the fighting 3 of the 8 Spanish ships were in flames and only one US ship was. Because the remaining Spanish ships were heavily out gunned they decided that their cause was hopeless and began to ram their ships into the US ships as a final effort. By mid day, the United States had destroyed the majority of the Spanish ships "with only 2 remaining men able to man their guns". Only 7 Americans were "very slightly" wounded.

Opposition to the War

Opposition to the war was definitely a reaction presented by Americans during the war. Anti-Imperialists opposed the war, because they're against imperialism in general, and the war would be a huge gain for America through an imperialists perspective. We've gained Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. America's influence has definite outreach outside of the U.S. This, having gained multiple countries is something that Imperialists didn't want to begin with. We had the Teller Amendment which basically said that America is only fighting this war simply because we are wanting to help the Cubans, and we aren't going to gain any countries from this war. Of course though, we did gain land. This definitely created distrust between Anti-Imperialists and America, and Anti-imperialists have became weary of the road that America is on. America also had an Anti-imperialist league that opposed the annexation of the Philippines. This organization was pretty organized and there was also very important members (Grover Cleveland, Andrew Carnegie, and Mark Twain).

Another group that had opposition to the war was African Americans. African Americans faced racism in the war and anti-black violence as well. Many Africans believed that they shouldn't take up arms on behalf of their oppressors. The African Americans that did enlist and fight in war faced racism as previously mentioned. Many Africans didn't enlist in order to not have to face these problems in the war.

The Final Battle at Manila

The Battle of Manila was a short land battle that ended the Spanish American War. Just four months after the U.S. navy victory at the beginning of the war, the US was in full control of Manila Bay. This final battle was planned by Spanish and American generals. The main goal was to keep the city from falling to the Philippines’ Army. On June 16, 1898 warships departed Spain to lift the siege however, they altered the course for Cuba where a Spanish fleet was endangered by the U.S. Navy. Life in the center of Manila was unbearable. Governor Augustín suggested that the city should be turned over to the Americans after the short "Mock Battle of Manila".

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The 24th and 25th African American rough riders on July 2 1898 at San Juan Hill

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United States troops raising the flag over San Antonio Abad