The Spanish-American War
"A Splendid Little War"
Cuban Concentration Camps
Influence of the American people
Ex: William Hearst
Battleship destroyed by "Spanish"
USS Maine destroyed
The Coming Of War
Several events lead up to the Spanish-American War. Back in 1895, the Cubans started another revolt against the Spanish for their independence. In response to the Cuban's destruction, the Spanish sent in Valerian Weyler who forced the Cuban citizens into concentration camps. Cuba's rural population was forcibly confined to central towns, where thousands died from disease, starvation, etc. Americans were constantly disagreeing and arguing over whether or not to interfere with the Cuban/Spanish government. Weyler’s horrific actions sprung up American sympathizers who began pressuring President McKinley to help out the poor country. So, what did our sacred President do? McKinley made contact with Spain and threatened to interfere u less they got rid of the camps.Receiving this message, the Spanish agreed and fired Weyler.
Although a compromise was made, things weren’t quite done between the U.S and Spain. William Randolph Hearst, a dear friend, and the creator of the famous “The New York Journal” published a stolen letter that was written by the foreign minister that was originally supposed to be sent to Washington. When published, the letter exposed utter contempt and indignation towards President McKinley. A few days later, after the publication, the USS Maine—our battleship—was exploded and killed over 200 American soldiers. Because of the influence of Hearst’s stolen letter, everyone automatically assumed that the Spanish destroyed and caused the explosion of the ship. Outraged, American citizens anxiously pressured and convinced Congress, who later announced and sent a message declaring war.
Battles of the War
The Battle of Guantanamo Bay was fought from June 6th to June 10th in 1898. This battle marked the turning point in the war. The battle was fought so the United States and Cuban forces could seize the important harbor of Guantanamo Bay. The United States wanted to help Cuba gain their independence from Spain. The key event in this battle happened on June 8, 1898, when the U.S.S. Marblehead and the U.S.S. St. Louis landed on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
About 650 marines from both ships cleared a village on the Bay and burned down everything in fear of the yellow fever. The commanding officer of the U.S.S. Marblehead, Bowman H. McCalla, led the invasion. The United States and Cuba were successful in this battle. Only 29 Americans were killed or wounded and one cruiser was damaged. For Spain, 58 were killed, 150 were wounded, two gunboats were damaged, and one fort was destroyed.
Opposition of Spanish-American War
Before the Spanish-American war began there was already opposition. When America decides that it can take control of any country, it sparks all types of problems. Back then, a very devoted belief in America was the idea of imperialism; which is the influence America has in other countries. One way to avoid anti-imperialist riots was the Teller Amendment. The Teller Amendment states that instead of controlling the country, the real goal of the Spanish-American War was to get rid of Spanish control in Cuba, which was seen as a problem for the U.S.
However anti-imperialist couldn’t do anything about the annexation of the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The imperialists in the country however were very proud of their country for winning the war and gaining land. Supporters of imperialism were happy that their country is not only a part of the western hemisphere, but also around the globe.