Essay Spanish American War 1898 Cuba

Spanish-American War

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The cause of the Spanish-American War relates directly to Cuba, and the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine. In 1895, Cuba was extremely governmentally disorganized, and was beginning to rise against Spain. The Cuban’s soon adopted a conception that the more damage that they did to the Cuban mainland, the faster the Spaniards would leave Cuba, and the Americans would help the Cubans to win their independence.
The Americans soon came to Cuba, in an attempt to assist the Cubans in their fight for freedom. The Spanish intervention with Cuba threatened the trade routes that America had near, and with Cuba. By helping Cuba, America would be vastly saving itself economically because these routes were highly valuable. During this time you must remember that the United States had a new, powerful Navy, and they were anxious to show their power off to the rest of the world. Cuba served as the perfect stage to put on a show.
     When Spanish General Weyler arrived, he controlled the rebellion in Cuba by herding the Cuban citizens into enclosed concentration camps. They were detained under very unsanitary and inhumane conditions. Many of them died. This treatment of the Cuban people by the Spanish angered the American public, and they demanded that war be declared against Spain. The American people were clearly disgusted by the way the Spaniards treated the Cubans. Why wouldn’t they be? The Spaniards treated them like scum. They were livid; the Americans wanted the government to take action against the Spaniards for the actions they took against the Cubans.
     Both Presidents Cleveland and McKinley tried to keep America out of war. In 1896, Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution that called for President Cleveland to review the impending situation in Cuba. The anti-imperialist Cleveland refused to do anything. But, on February 15, 1898, the American battleship U.S.S. Maine anchored in Havana Harbor exploded. Two hundred and sixty of the American crewmen were killed. On April 11, 1898 President McKinley went to Congress and asked for American troops to stop the war. Congress agreed and on April 25 the U. S. declared war on Spain.
     In McKinley’s declaration of war against Spain, he stated "For the recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the Government of Spain relinquish its authority and Government in the island of Cuba, and to withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect.

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" McKinley clearly declared war on Spain in recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba.
The Spanish were a threat to the Cuban people, a strong economic and territorial ally to America. A declaration of war on Spain was essential for both the sake of the Cuban countryside and the economy of the United States. Yellow Journalism did not cause the Spanish-American War by any means. William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, the founders of the so-called “Yellow Journalism” never picked up a rifle, they never shot a cannon, and they did not declare war. Yellow Journalism was not the cause of the Spanish-American War. It was the belligerent, and selfish actions of the Spanish on Cuba.
     



The Spanish American War Essay

The Spanish American war was one of the shortest wars in American history, lasting only 15 weeks, yet it was also a very important war because it won us highly pivotal concessions such as the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and independence for Cuba. But what was the cause of the war? Military strategic interests or maybe public opinion? There are many things that led up to the Spanish American war, but was there one major breaking point?

One possible cause for the Spanish American war was public opinion and sympathy for the Cuban people. This was a semi-important cause, and was one of the reasons for the war. In the Americans, it says that the American people felt not only sympathy, but empathy for the Cuban people, as they were being oppressed by a Mother Country, Spain, just as American had been by England a hundred years before. This led the majority of the American public to request intervention in Cuba which is what got the American Army and Navy in Cuba in the first place, which is a very key role in how the Spanish American war started, but not the main reason.

Another possible cause is Business interests. I do not believe that this was possibly the least important cause of the Spanish American war. It was not mentioned very often in The American Pageant or The Americans. Also, the limited information on business interests in Cuba said that there were several sugar mills and farms owned by Americans, but they were not in danger of the Spanish, and this only slightly limited their production. A war with Spain would possibly even be worst for business then it was at the time of the second Cuban Revolution. None the less, it was a contributing factor to the war, added more fuel to the fire.

Military strategic interests also could have been a possible cause of the Spanish American war. I think that this was a somewhat important reason, but still not the major deciding factor that led the United States to declare war. Cuba was off the coast of Florida, and early in The American Pageant, it was said that there was American interest in Cuba on a governmental level, as it could be a key trading post in the Carrabin. While this is true, there was not much interest in making Cuba a territory or a state. The issue had quieted down due to slavery issues in the early 1800s, and then because of the American Civil War, the United States was occupied. It was not until the Cuban revolution that the idea was brought up again, and it still did not have much support. After the war when the United States had the chance to take Cuba, it still did not, which proves that it was not a very important cause to the war.

Lastly, are the two biggest reasons. I believe that these two go hand in hand, and are the main cause for the Spanish American war. That is the explosion and sinking of the U.S.S Maine, and Yellow Journalism. First of all, Yellow Journalism. According to The American Pageant this was when Newspapers, especially those of Pulitzer and Hearst,...

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