Spanish–American War

Spanish–American War

Warbox|conflict=Spanish-American War

caption="Charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill"
by Frederic Remington
date=April 25 – August 12, 1898
place=Caribbean Sea: Cuba, Puerto Rico; Pacific Ocean: Guam, Philippine Islands
casus=Cuban War of Independence;
Sinking of the USS "Maine";
De Lôme Letter;
Philippine Revolution
result=American Victory, Treaty of Paris: Spain relinquished all claim of sovereignty over Cuba, ceded Guam, Puerto Rico, and other islands to the United States, and ceded the Philippines to the United States for a payment of $20 million.
Start of the Philippine-American War
combatant1=flagicon|USA|1896 United States
flagicon|Cuba Republic of Cuba
flagicon|Philippines|old Philippine Republic

combatant2=flagicon|Spain|1785 Kingdom of Spain
*Cuban Loyalists to Spain

*Puerto Rico Under Spain

*Filipino Loyalists
commander1=flagicon|USA|1896 Nelson A. Miles
flagicon|USA|1896 William R. Shafter
flagicon|USA|1896 George Dewey
flagicon|Cuba Máximo Gómez
flagicon|Philippines|old Emilio Aguinaldo
commander2=flagicon|Spain|1785 Patricio Montojo
flagicon|Spain|1785 Pascual Cervera
flagicon|Spain|1785 Arsenio Linares
nowrap|flagicon|Spain|1785 Manuel Macías y Casado
flagicon|Spain|1785 Ramón Blanco y Erenas
casualties1=385 KIA USA
5,000 Killed from Disease USA
5,000 Cubans KIA
5,000 Filipinos KIA Citation
title=Statistics of Wars, Oppressions and Atrocities of the Nineteenth Century (the 1800s)
author=Matthew White
Verify credibility|date=May 2008]
casualties2=2,159 KIA
53,000 Killed from Disease |
The Spanish-American War was a military conflict between Spain and the United States that began in April 1898. Hostilities halted in August of that year, and the Treaty of Paris was signed in December.

The war began after the American demand for Spain's peaceful resolution of the Cuban fight for independence was rejected, though strong expansionist sentiment in the United States motivated the government to target Spain's remaining overseas territories: Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam and the Caroline Islands.dubious|2nd para of lede [cite web
title=The Price of Freedom: Americans at War — Spanish American War
publisher=National Museum of American History
] failed verification|date=June 2008

Riots in Havana by pro-Spanish "Voluntarios" gave the United States a reason to send in the warship USS "Maine" to indicate high national interest. Tension among the American people was raised because of the explosion of the USS "Maine", and "yellow journalism" that accused Spain of extensive atrocities, agitating American public opinion. The war ended after decisive naval victories for the United States in the Philippines and Cuba.

Only 109 days after the outbreak of war, the Treaty of Paris, which ended the conflict, gave the United States control, among other territories, of the former Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam.

Historical background

The Monroe Doctrinecite web
title=Monroe Doctrine, 1923
publisher=U.S. Department of State
] of the 19th Century served as the political foundation for the support of the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain in the United States. Cubans had been fighting for self determination, on and off, since the Grito de Yara of 1868.

Cuban struggle for independence

In 1895, Spanish occupied Cuba was the scenario of a small armed uprising against Spanish authority. Financial support for the "Cuba Libre" rebellion came from external organizations especially some based in the United States. [Harvnb|Trask|1996|p=2]

In 1896, new Cuban governor General Valeriano Weyler pledged to suppress the insurgency by isolating the rebels from the rest of the population insuring that the rebels would not receive supplies.

By the end of 1897, more than 300,000 Cubans had relocated into Spanish guarded "reconcentration camps." These camps became cesspools of hunger and disease where one hundred thousand died. [Harvnb|Trask|1996|p=9]

A propaganda war waged in the United States by Cuban émigrés attacked Weyler's inhuman treatment of his countrymen and won the sympathy of broad groups of the U.S. population. Weyler was referred to as a "Butcher" Weyler by yellow journalists like William Randolph Hearst. The American newspapers began agitating for intervention with stories of Spanish atrocities against the Cuban population.

USS "Maine"

In January 1898, a riot by Cuban "voluntarios" (Spanish loyalists) broke out in Havana and led to the destruction of the printing presses of three local newspapers that were critical of General Weyler. These riots prompted the presence of an American Marine force in the island although there had been no attack on Americans during the rioting. [Harvnb|Trask|1996|p=24] [citation
title=The Advocate of Peace
publisher= American Peace Society

This contemporary remark claims that no attacks were made on the American consulate, etc.
] yet there were still fears for the lives of Americans living in Havana. Concern focused on the pro-Spanish Cubans who harbored resentment of the growing support in the United States for Cuban independence. Washington informed the Consul-General in Havana, Fitzhugh Lee, a nephew of Robert E. Lee, that the "Maine" would be sent to protect United States interests should tensions escalate further.

The USS "Maine" arrived in Havana on January 25, 1898. Her stay was uneventful until the following month. On February 15, 1898, at 9:40 p. m. the USS "Maine" sank in Havana Harbor after an explosion, resulting in the deaths of 266 men. The Spanish attributed the event to an internal explosion; but an American inquiry reported that it was caused by a mine.

A total of four USS Maine investigations were conducted into the causes of the explosion, with the investigators coming to different conclusions. The Spanish and American versions would carry on with divergences.cite web
title=España y EEUU aún discrepan
firat=Javier |last=Figuero-Carlos
first2=García |last=Santa Cecilia
date=Februrary 15, 1998
work=El Mundo
] A 1999 investigation commissioned by "National Geographic Magazine" and carried out by Advanced Marine Enterprises concluded that "it appears more probable than was previously concluded that a mine caused the inward bent bottom structure and the detonation of the magazines." However there is still much contention over what caused the explosion. [Citation
title=Yellow Journalism: Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies
last=Campbell|first=W. Joseph
publisher=Greenwood Publishing Group
page= [ 135] (see item no. 99)
] Spanish and loyalist Cuban opinions included a theory that the United States government may have intentionally caused the detonation as a pretext to go to war with Spain. [cite web
title=Voladura del Maine (15 febrero 1898)
author=Miguel Leal Cruz
publisher=Avizora Publishers

Path to war

Upon the destruction of the "Maine", [Citation
title=Casualties on USS Maine
publisher=Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy
] newspaper owners such as William R. Hearst came to the conclusion that Spanish officials in Cuba were to blame, and they widely publicized this theory as fact. Their sensationalistic publications fueled American anger by publishing astonishing accounts of "atrocities" committed by Spain in Cuba. Hearst responded to the opinion of his illustrator Frederic Remington, that conditions in Cuba were not bad enough to warrant hostilities with: "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." [cite web
title=Not likely sent: The Remington-Hearst "telegrams"
author=W. Joseph Campbell
date=Summer 2000
work=Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
] Lashed to fury, in part by such press, the American cry of the hour became, "Remember the Maine, To Hell with Spain!" President William McKinley, Speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed and the business community opposed the growing public demand for war.

Senator Redfield Proctor's speech, delivered on March 17, 1898 thoroughly analyzed the situation concluding that war was the only answer. Many in the business and religious communities, which had heretofore opposed war, switched sides, leaving President McKinley and Speaker Reed almost alone in their opposition to the war. [ Offner 1992 pp 131–35; Michelle Bray Davis and Rollin W. Quimby, "Senator Proctor's Cuban Speech: Speculations on a Cause of the Spanish-American War", "Quarterly Journal of Speech" 1969 55(2): 131–141. ISSN 0033-5630.] On April 11 President McKinley asked Congress for authority to send American troops to Cuba for the purpose of ending the civil war there.

On April 19, Congress passed joint resolutions supporting Cuban independence. The declaration rejected any intention to annex Cuba but demanded Spanish withdrawal, and authorized the president to use as much military force as he thought necessary to help Cuba gain independence from Spain. (This bill was adopted by resolution of Congress as introduced by Senator Henry Teller of Colorado the Teller Amendment, which passed unanimously.) The Senate passed the amendment, 42 to 35, on April 19, 1898, and the House concurred the same day, 311 to 6. President McKinley signed the joint resolution on April 20, 1898, and the ultimatum was forwarded to Spain. In response, Spain broke off diplomatic relations with the United States and declared war on April 23. On April 25, Congress declared that a state of war between the United States and Spain had existed since April 20 (later changed to April 21). [cite book| last = Hakim| first = Joy| authorlink = | coauthors = | title = A History of US: Book Eight, An Age of Extremes| publisher = Oxford University Press| date = 1994| location = New York | pages = 144 - 149 | url = | doi = | isbn = ]

Theaters of operations



The first battle was at Manila Bay where, on May 1, 1898, Commodore George Dewey, commanding the U.S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron aboard the USS "Olympia", in a matter of hours, defeated the Spanish squadron under Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón. Dewey managed this while sustaining only one fatality, that of a heart attack. [ [ Battle of Manila Bay, 1 May 1898] , Department of the Navy — Naval Historical Center. Retrieved on October 10, 2007] [ [ The Battle of Manila Bay by Admiral George Dewey] , "The War Times Journal". Retrieved on October 10, 2007]

With the German seizure of Tsingtao in 1897, Dewey's Squadron had become the only naval force in the Far East without a local base of its own, and was beset with coal and ammunition problems.Citation|url=|title=American Imperialism: The Worst Chapter in Almost Any Book|author=James A. Field, Jr.|journal=The American Historical Review|volume=83|issue=3|month=June|year=1978|page=659] Despite these logistical problems, the Asiatic squadron had not only destroyed the Spanish fleet but had also captured the harbor of Manila.

Following Dewey's victory, Manila Bay was filled with the warships of Britain, Germany, France, and Japan; all of which outgunned Dewey's force. The German fleet of eight ships, ostensibly in Philippine waters to protect German interests (a single import firm), acted provocatively—cutting in front of American ships, refusing to salute the United States flag (according to customs of naval courtesy), taking soundings of the harbor, and landing supplies for the besieged Spanish. The Germans, with interests of their own, were eager to take advantage of whatever opportunities the conflict in the islands might afford. The Americans called the bluff of the Germans, threatening conflict if the aggressive activities continued, and the Germans backed down.Citation
editor-last=Dolan|editor-first|url=|title=Philippines: A Country Study|location=Washington|publisher=Library of Congress|year=1991|chapter-url=|chapter=Historical Setting—Outbreak of War, 1898|last=Seekins |first=Donald M.
] [Citation|url=|publisher=Manila Times|date=September 21, 2006|title=What ifs in Philippine history|author=Augusto V. de Viana|accessdate=2007-10-19
Citation|url=|date=September 22, 2006|title=What ifs in Philippine history, Conclusion

Commodore Dewey had transported Emilio Aguinaldo to the Philippines from exile in Hong Kong in order to rally Filipinos against the Spanish colonial government. [Citation
url=|title=The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War|publisher=U.S. Library of Congress|accessdate=2007-10-10
] U.S. land forces and the Filipinos had taken control of most of the islands by June, except for the walled city of Intramuros and, on June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo had declared the independence of the Philippines.cite web|title=Philippine History|url=|publisher=DLSU-Manila|accessdate=2006-08-21]

On August 13, with American commanders unaware that the cease fire had been signed between Spain and the United States on the previous day, American forces captured the city of Manila from the Spanish. [Citation |url= |title=The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War |publisher=U.S. Library of Congress |accessdate=2007-10-10] This battle marked an end of Filipino-American collaboration, as Filipino forces were prevented from entering the captured city of Manila, an action which was deeply resented by the Filipinos and which later led to the Philippine-American War.Lacsamana, "Philippine History and Government", p. 126]


Captain Henry Glass was on the cruiser "USS Charleston" when he opened sealed orders notifying him to proceed to Guam and capture it. Upon arrival on June 20, he fired his cannon at the island. A poorly equipped Spanish officer, not knowing that war had been declared, came out to the ship and asked to borrow some powder to return the American's salute. Glass responded by taking the officer prisoner and, after taking parole, ordered him to return to the island to discuss the terms of surrender. The following day, 54 Spanish infantry were captured, and the island became a possession of the United States.

The Caribbean


Roosevelt on right, Leonard Wood is next to him and former Civil War Confederate general, Joseph Wheeler is next to Wood. Taylor MacDonald is on the far left.]

Theodore Roosevelt actively encouraged intervention in Cuba and, while assistant secretary of the Navy, placed the Navy on a war-time footing and prepared Dewey's Asiatic Squadron for battle. He worked with Leonard Wood in convincing the Army to raise an all-volunteer regiment, the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry. Wood was given command of the regiment that quickly became known as the "Rough Riders". [citation|last=Roosevelt|first=Theodore|url=|title=The Rough Riders|location=New York|publisher=Charles Scribner's Sons|chapter=Raising the Regiment|date=1899|accessdate=2008-02-08]

The Americans planned to capture the city of Santiago de Cuba in order to destroy Linares' army and Cervera's fleet. To reach Santiago they had to pass through concentrated Spanish defenses in the San Juan Hills and a small town in El Caney. The American forces were aided in Cuba by the pro-independence rebels led by General Calixto García.

Land campaign

Between June 22 and June 24, the U.S. V Corps under General William R. Shafter landed at Daiquirí and Siboney, east of Santiago, and established the American base of operations. A contingent of Spanish troops, having fought a skirmish with the Americans near Siboney on June 23, had retired to their lightly entrenched positions at Las Guasimas. An advance guard of U.S. forces under former Confederate General Joseph Wheeler ignored Cuban scouting parties and orders to proceed with caution. They caught up with and engaged the Spanish rear guard who effectively ambushed them, in the Battle of Las Guasimas on June 24. The battle ended indecisively in favor of Spain and the Spanish left Las Guasimas on their planned retreat to Santiago.

The U.S. army employed Civil War-era skirmishers at the head of the advancing columns. All four U.S. soldiers who had volunteered to act as skirmishers walking point at head of the American column were killed, including Hamilton Fish, from a well-known patrician New York City family and Captain Alyn Capron, whom Theodore Roosevelt would describe as one of the finest natural leaders and soldiers he ever met. The Battle of Las Guasimas showed the U.S. that the old linear Civil War tactics did not work effectively against Spanish troops who had learned the art of cover and concealment from their own struggle with Cuban insurgents, and never made the error of revealing their positions while on the defense. The Spaniards were also aided by the then new smokeless powder, which also aided their remaining concealed even while firing. American soldiers were only able to advance against the Spaniards in what are now called "fireteam" rushes, four-to-five man groups advancing while others laid down supporting fire.

On July 1, a combined force of about 15,000 American troops in regular infantry, cavalry and volunteer regiments, including Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders", notably the 71st New York, 1st North Carolina, 23rd and 24th Colored, and rebel Cuban forces attacked 1,270 entrenched Spaniards in dangerous Civil War style frontal assaults at the Battle of El Caney and Battle of San Juan Hill outside of Santiago. [ [ The Battles at El Caney and San Juan Hills] at] More than 200 U.S. soldiers were killed and close to 1,200 wounded in the fighting. [ [ The Crowded Hour: The Charge at El Caney & San Juan Hills] at] Supporting fire by Gatling guns was critical to the success of the assault. [ [ "The Gatlings at Santiago"] , John H. Parker.] [ [ "History of the Gatling Gun Detachment"] , John Henry Parker at Project Gutenberg.] Cervera decided to escape Santiago two days later.

The Spanish forces at Guantánamo were so isolated by Marines and Cuban forces that they did not know that Santiago was under siege, and their forces in the northern part of the province could not break through Cuban lines. This was not true of the Escario relief column from Manzanillo, [ [ Escario's Column] , Francisco Jose Diaz Diaz.] which fought its way past determined Cuban resistance but arrived too late to participate in the siege.

After the battles of San Juan Hill and El Caney, the American advance ground to a halt. Spanish troops successfully defended Fort Canosa, allowing them to stabilize their line and bar the entry to Santiago. The Americans and Cubans forcibly began a bloody, strangling siege of the city. [Harvnb|Daley|2000|pp=161–71] During the nights, Cuban troops dug successive series of "trenches" (actually raised parapets), toward the Spanish positions. Once completed, these parapets were occupied by U.S. soldiers and a new set of excavations went forward. American troops, while suffering daily losses from Spanish fire and sniper rifles, suffered far more casualties from heat exhaustion and mosquito-borne disease. [Harvnb|McCook|1899] At the western approaches to the city Cuban general Calixto Garcia began to encroach on the city, causing much panic and fear of reprisals among the Spanish forces.The Americans planned to capture the city of Santiago de Cuba in order to destroy Linares' army and Cervera's fleet. To reach Santiago they had to pass through concentrated Spanish defenses in the San Juan Hills and a small town in El Caney.

Naval operations

The major port of Santiago de Cuba was the main target of naval operations during the war. The U.S. fleet attacking Santiago needed shelter from the summer hurricane season. Thus Guantánamo Bay with its excellent harbor was chosen for this purpose. The 1898 invasion of Guantánamo Bay happened June 6June 10, with the first U.S. naval attack and subsequent successful landing of U.S. Marines with naval support.

The Battle of Santiago de Cuba on July 3, 1898, was the largest naval engagement of the Spanish-American War and resulted in the destruction of the Spanish Caribbean Squadron (also known as the Flota de Ultramar). In May 1898, Spanish Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete, was first spotted in Santiago Harbor where his fleet had taken shelter for protection from sea attack. For two months there was a stand-off between the Spanish naval forces and American. When the Spanish squadron attempted to leave the harbor on July 3, the American forces destroyed or grounded five of the six ships. Only one Spanish vessel, the speedy new armored cruiser "Cristobal Colón", survived, but her captain hauled down his flag and scuttled her when the Americans finally caught up with her. The 1,612 Spanish sailors captured, including Admiral Cervera, were sent to Seavey's Island at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, where they were confined at Camp Long as prisoners of war from July 11 until mid-September.

During the stand-off, United States Assistant Naval Constructor Richmond Pearson Hobson had been ordered by Rear Admiral William T. Sampson to sink the collier "Merrimac" in the harbor to bottle up the Spanish fleet. The mission was a failure, and Hobson and his crew were captured. They were exchanged on July 6, and Hobson became a national hero; he received the Medal of Honor in 1933 and became a Congressman.

Puerto Rico

During May 1898, Lt. Henry H. Whitney of the United States Fourth Artillery was sent to Puerto Rico on a reconnaissance mission, sponsored by the Army's Bureau of Military Intelligence. He provided maps and information on the Spanish military forces to the U.S. government prior to the invasion. On May 10, U.S. Navy warships were sighted off the coast of Puerto Rico. On May 12, a squadron of 12 U.S. ships commanded by Rear Adm. William T. Sampson bombarded San Juan. During the bombardment, many government buildings were shelled. On June 25, the "Yosemite" blockaded San Juan harbor. On July 25, General Nelson A. Miles, with 3,300 soldiers, landed at Guánica, beginning the Puerto Rican Campaign. The troops encountered resistance early in the invasion. The first skirmish between the American and Spanish troops occurred in Guanica. The first organized armed opposition occurred in Yauco in what became known as the Battle of Yauco. [ The American Army Moves on Puerto-Rico] , Retrieved August 2, 2008 ] This encounter was followed by the Battles of Fajardo, Guayama, Guamani River Bridge, Coamo, Silva Heights and finally by the Battle of Asomante.cite book| title=De Coamo a la Trinchera del Asomante| author=Edgardo Pratts| publisher=Fundación Educativa Idelfonso Pratts| location=Puerto Rico| language=Spanish|edition=First| year=2006| isbn=0-976-2185-569] On August 9, 1898, infantry and cavalry troops encountered Spanish and Puerto Rican soldiers armed with cannons in a mountain known as "Cerro Gervasio del Asomante", while attempting to enter Aibonito. The American commanders decided to retreat and regroup, returning on August 12, 1898, with an artillery unit. The Spanish and Puerto Rican units began the offensive with cannon fire, being led by Ricardo Hernáiz. The sudden attack caused confusion among some soldiers, who reported seeing a second Spanish unit nearby. In the crossfire, four American troops — Sargeant John Long, Lieutenant Harris, Captain E.T. Lee and Corporal Oscar Sawanson — were gravely injured. Based on this and the reports of upcoming reinforcements, Commander Landcaster ordered to retreat. All military action in Puerto Rico was suspended later that night, after the signing of the Treaty of Paris was made public.

Peace treaty

With defeats in Cuba and the Philippines, and both of its fleets incapacitated, Spain sued for peace.

Hostilities were halted on August 12, 1898 with the signing in Washington of a Protocol of Peace between the United States and Spain. [Citation
title=Protocol of Peace Embodying the Terms of a Basis for the Establishment of Peace Between the Two Countries
location=Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
date=August 12, 1898
] The formal peace treaty was signed in Paris on December 10, 1898 and was ratified by the United States Senate on February 6, 1899. It came into force on April 11, 1899. Cubans participated only as observers.

The United States gained almost all of Spain's colonies, including the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Cuba, having been occupied as of July 17, 1898, and thus under the jurisdiction of the United States Military Government (USMG), formed its own civil government and attained independence on May 20, 1902, with the announced end of USMG jurisdiction over the island. However, the United States imposed various restrictions on the new government, including prohibiting alliances with other countries, and reserved for itself the right of intervention. The US also established a perpetual lease of Guantanamo Bay.

On August 14, 1898, 11,000 ground troops were sent to occupy the Philippines. When U.S. troops began to take the place of the Spanish in control of the country, warfare broke out between U.S. forces and the Filipinos resulting in the Philippine-American War.


The war lasted only four months. Ambassador (later Secretary of State) John Hay, writing from London to his friend Theodore Roosevelt declared that from start to finish it had been “a splendid little war”. [Citation
title="A Splendid Little War"; Harvard and the commencement of a new world order
author=John Bethell
publisher=Harvard magazine
] [citation
title=Cuba Or the Pursuit of Freedom
author=Hugh Thomas
publisher=Da Capo Press

This source provides a more complete quote:

It has been a splendid little war; begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by the fortune which loves the brave. It is now to be concluded, I hope, with that firm good nature which is after all the distinguishing trait of our American character.
] The press showed Northerners and Southerners, blacks and whites fighting against a common foe, helping to ease the scars left from the American Civil War.

The war marked American entry into world affairs: over the course of the next century, the United States had a large hand in various conflicts around the world. The Panic of 1893 was over by this point, and the United States entered a lengthy and prosperous period of high economic growth, population growth, and technological innovation which lasted through the 1920s. [Citation
title=The American Pageant: A History of the Republic
first=Thomas Andrew

The war marked the effective end of the Spanish empire. Spain had been declining as a great power over most of the 19th century, especially since the Napoleonic Wars and had already lost the rest of its colonies. The defeat caused a national trauma because of the affinity of peninsular Spaniards with Cuba, which was seen as another province of Spain rather than as a colony. Only a handful of African territories remained of Spain's overseas holdings.

The Spanish military man Julio Cervera Baviera, involved in the Puerto Rican Campaign, blamed the natives of that colony for its annexation by the Americans: "I have never seen such a servile, ungrateful country [i.e. Puerto Rico] ... In twenty-four hours, the people of Puerto Rico went from being fervently Spanish to enthusiastically American... They humiliated themselves, giving in to the invader as the slave bows to the powerful lord." [Frances Negrón-Muntaner, "Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture" (New York: NYU Press, 2004), 11.] He was challenged to a duel by a group of young Puerto Ricans for writing this pamphlet. [Citation
title=Protagonistas de la Guerra Hispano Americana en Puerto Rico Parte II — Comandante Julio Cervera Baviera
publisher=1898 La Guerra Hispano Americana en Puerto Rico

Culturally a new wave called the Generation of 1898 originated as a response to this trauma, marking a renaissance of the Spanish culture. Economically, the war actually benefited Spain, because after the war, large sums of capital held by Spaniards not only in Cuba but also all over America were brought back to the peninsula and invested in Spain. This massive flow of capital (equivalent to 25% of the gross domestic product of one year) helped to develop the large modern firm in Spain in industrial sectors (steel, chemical, mechanical, textiles and shipyards among others), in the electrical power industry and in the financial sector. [Albert Carreras & Xavier Tafunell: "Historia Económica de la España contemporánea", p. 200–208, ISBN 84-8432-502-4.] However, the political consequences were serious. The defeat in the war began the weakening of the fragile political stability that had been established earlier by the rule of Alfonso XII.

Congress had passed the Teller Amendment prior to the war, promising Cuban independence. However, the Senate passed the Platt Amendment as a rider to an Army appropriations bill, forcing a peace treaty on Cuba which prohibited it from signing treaties with other nations or contracting a public debt. The Platt Amendment was pushed by imperialists who wanted to project U.S. power abroad (this was in contrast to the Teller Amendment which was pushed by anti-imperialists who called for a restraint on U.S. hegemony). The amendment granted the United States the right to stabilize Cuba militarily as needed. The Platt Amendment also provided for the establishment of a permanent American naval base in Cuba; it is still in use today at Guantánamo Bay. The Cuban peace treaty of 1903 governed Cuban-American relations until 1934.

The United States annexed the former Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam. The notion of the United States as an imperial power, with colonies, was hotly debated domestically with President McKinley and the Pro-Imperialists winning their way over vocal opposition led by Democrat William Jennings Bryan, who had supported the war. The American public largely supported the possession of colonies, but there were many outspoken critics such as Mark Twain, who wrote "The War Prayer" in protest.

Roosevelt returned to the United States a war hero, and he was soon elected governor and then vice president.

The war served to further cement relations between the American North and South. The war gave both sides a common enemy for the first time since the end of the Civil War in 1865, and many friendships were formed between soldiers of both northern and southern states during their tours of duty. This was an important development since many soldiers in this war were the children of Civil War veterans on both sides. [ [ Confederate & Federal Veterans of '98: Civil War Veterans who served in the Spanish American War, Philippine Insurrection, and China Relief Expedition by Micah J. Jenkins] . Retrieved on October 13, 2007]

The black American community strongly supported the rebels in Cuba, supported entry into the war, and gained prestige from their wartime performance in the Army. Spokesmen noted that 33 black American seamen had died in the "Maine" explosion. The most influential black leader, Booker T. Washington, argued that his race was ready to fight. War offered them a chance "to render service to our country that no other race can", because, unlike whites, they were "accustomed" to the "peculiar and dangerous climate" of Cuba. One of the black units that served in the war was the 9th Cavalry Regiment. In March 1898, Washington promised the Secretary of the Navy that war would be answered by "at least ten thousand loyal, brave, strong black men in the south who crave an opportunity to show their loyalty to our land and would gladly take this method of showing their gratitude for the lives laid down and the sacrifices made that Blacks might have their freedom and rights." [Harvnb|Gatewood|1975|pp=23-29; there were some opponents, ibid. p. 30–32.]

In 1904, the United Spanish War Veterans was created from smaller groups of the veterans of the Spanish American War. Today, that organization is defunct, but it left an heir in the form of the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans, created in 1937 at the 39th National Encampment of the United Spanish War Veterans. According to data from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the last surviving U.S. veteran of the conflict, Nathan E. Cook, died on September 10, 1992, at age 106. (If the data is to be believed, Cook, born October 10, 1885, would have been only 12 years old when he served in the war.)

Finally, in an effort to pay the costs of the war, Congress passed an excise tax on long-distance phone service. [cite web
title=Senators want to nix 1898 telecom tax
date= June 30, 2005
] At the time, it affected only wealthy Americans who owned telephones. However, the Congress neglected to repeal the tax after the war ended four months later, and the tax remained in place for over 100 years until, on August 1, 2006, it was announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS would no longer collect the tax. [cite web
title=Telecom tax imposed in 1898 finally ends
date=August 1, 2006

panish-American War in film and television

* "The Rough Riders", a 1927 silent film
* "Rough Riders", a 1997 television mini-series directed by John Milius, and featuring Tom Berenger (Theodore Roosevelt), Gary Busey (Joseph Wheeler), Sam Elliott (Bucky O'Neill), Dale Dye (Leonard Wood), Brian Keith (William McKinley), George Hamilton (William Randolph Hearst), and R. Lee Ermey (John Hay)
* "The Spanish-American War: First Intervention", a 2007 docudrama from The History Channel

Military decorations

United States

United States awards and decorations of the Spanish-American War were as follows:

;Wartime service and honors:
* Medal of Honor
* Specially Meritorious Service Medal
* Spanish Campaign Medal — upgradeable to include the Silver Citation Star to recognize those U.S. Army members who had performed individual acts of heroism.
* West Indies Campaign Medal
* Sampson Medal, West Indies service under Admiral William T. Sampson
* Dewey Medal, service during the Battle of Manila Bay under Admiral George Dewey
* Spanish War Service Medal, U.S. Army homeland service

;Postwar occupation service:
* Army of Puerto Rican Occupation Medal
* Army of Cuban Occupation Medal

Other countries

The governments of Spain and Cuba also issued a wide variety of military awards to honor Spanish, Cuban, and Philippine soldiers who had served in the conflict.

ee also

*Battles of the Spanish-American War
*Cuban Independence
*Spanish-American relations



* Benjamin R. Beede, ed. "The War of 1898 and U.S. Interventions, 1898–1934" (1994). An encyclopedia.
*Citation|last=Dyal|first=Donald H|coauthors=Brian B. Carpenter, Mark A. Thomas|title=Historical Dictionary of the Spanish American War|publisher=Greenwood Press|year=1996|isbn=0313288526|url=,M1
*Citation|last= Gatewood|first=Willard B.|title=Black Americans and the White Man's Burden, 1898–1903|publisher=University of Illinois Press|year=1975|isbn=0252004752
* Hendrickson, Kenneth E., Jr. "The Spanish-American War" Greenwood, 2003. short summary
*Citation|last= Trask|first=David F.|title=The War with Spain in 1898|publisher=|year=1996|isbn=0803294298|url=

Further reading

Diplomacy and causes of the war

* James C. Bradford, ed., "Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War and Its Aftermath" (1993), essays on diplomacy, naval and military operations, and historiography.
* Lewis Gould, "The Spanish-American War and President McKinley" (1982)
* Philip S. Foner, "The Spanish-Cuban-American War and the Birth of American Imperialism, 1895-1902" (1972)
* Richard Hamilton, "President McKinley, War, and Empire" (2006).
* Kristin Hoganson, "Fighting For American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars" (1998)
* Paul S. Holbo, "Presidential Leadership in Foreign Affairs: William McKinley and the Turpie-Foraker Amendment," "The American Historical Review" 1967 72(4): 1321-1335.
* Walter LaFeber, "The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1865-1898" (1963)
* Ernest May, "Imperial Democracy: The Emergence of America as a Great Power" (1961)
* Paul T. McCartney, "American National Identity, the War of 1898, and the Rise of American Imperialism" (2006)
* Richard H. Miller, ed., American Imperialism in 1898: The Quest for National Fulfillment (1970)
* Walter Millis, "The Martial Spirit: A Study of Our War with Spain" (1931)
*H. Wayne Morgan, "America's Road to Empire: The War with Spain and Overseas Expansion" (1965)
* John L. Offner, "An Unwanted War: The Diplomacy of the United States and Spain over Cuba, 1895–1898" (1992).
* John L. Offner, "McKinley and the Spanish-American War" "Presidential Studies Quarterly" 2004 34(1): 50–61. ISSN 0360-4918
* Louis A. Perez, Jr., "The Meaning of the Maine: Causation and the Historiography of the Spanish-American War," "The Pacific Historical Review" 1989 58(3): 293-322.
* Julius W. Pratt, "The Expansionists of 1898" (1936)
* Thomas Schoonover, "Uncle Sam's War of 1898 and the Origins of Globalization." (2003)
* John Lawrence Tone, "War and Genocide in Cuba, 1895–1898" (2006)
* David F. Trask, "The War with Spain in 1898" (1996)
* Fareed Zakaria, "From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America’s World Role" (1998)


* Donald Barr Chidsey, The Spanish American War (New York, 1971)
* Cirillo, Vincent J. "Bullets and Bacilli: The Spanish-American War and Military Medicine" (2004)
* Graham A. Cosmas, "An Army for Empire: The United States Army and the Spanish-American War" (1971)
* Philip Sheldon Foner, The Spanish-Cuban-American war and the birth of American imperialism (1972)
* Frank Freidel, "The Splendid Little War" (1958), well illustrated narrative by scholar
* Allan Keller, "The Spanish-American War: A Compact History" (1969)
* Gerald F. Linderman, "The Mirror of War: American Society and the Spanish-American War" (1974), domestic aspects
* Joseph Smith, The Spanish-American War: Conflict in the Caribbean and the Pacific (1994)
* G. J. A. O'Toole, "The Spanish War: An American Epic—1898" (1984)
* John Tebbel, "America's Great Patriotic War with Spain" (1996)


* Duvon C. Corbitt, "Cuban Revisionist Interpretations of Cuba's Struggle for Independence," "Hispanic American Historical Review" 32 (August 1963): 395-404.
* Edward P. Crapol, "Coming to Terms with Empire: The Historiography of Late-Nineteenth-Century American Foreign Relations," "Diplomatic History" 16 (Fall 1992): 573-97;
*Hugh DeSantis, "The Imperialist Impulse and American Innocence, 1865–1900," in Gerald K. Haines and J. Samuel Walker, eds., "American Foreign Relations: A Historiographical Review" (1981), pp. 65-90
* James A. Field Jr., "American Imperialism: The Worst Chapter in Almost Any Book," "American Historical Review" 83 (June 1978): 644-68, past of the "AHR Forum," with responses
* Joseph A. Fry, "William McKinley and the Coming of the Spanish American War: A Study of the Besmirching and Redemption of an Historical Image," "Diplomatic History" 3 (Winter 1979): 77-97
* Joseph A. Fry, "From Open Door to World Systems: Economic Interpretations of Late-Nineteenth-Century American Foreign Relations," "Pacific Historical Review" 65 (May 1996): 277-303
* Thomas G. Paterson, "United States Intervention in Cuba, 1898: Interpretations of the Spanish-American-Cuban-Filipino War," "History Teacher" 29 (May 1996): 341-61;
* Louis A. Pérez Jr.; "The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography" University of North Carolina Press, 1998
* Ephraim K. Smith, "William McKinley's Enduring Legacy: The Historiographical Debate on the Taking of the Philippine Islands," in James C. Bradford, ed., "Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War and Its Aftermath" (1993), pp. 205-49
* Richard W. Stewart, General Editor, Ch. 16, [ Transition, Change, and the Road to war, 1902-1917"] , in [ "American Military History, Volume I: The United States Army and the Forging of a Nation, 1775-1917"] , Center of Military History, United States Army, ISBN 0-16-072362-0


*Funston, Frederick. Memoirs of Two Wars, Cuba and Philippine Experiences. New York: Charles Schribner's Sons, 1911
*U.S. War Dept. Military Notes on Cuba. 2 vols. Washington, DC: GPO, 1898.
*Wheeler, Joseph. The Santiago Campaign, 1898. Lamson, Wolffe, Boston 1898.

*kaylaMagazine. The perils of Evangelina. Feb. 1968.
*Cull, N. J., Culbert, D., Welch, D. Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to the Present. Spanish-American War. Denver: ABC-CLIO. 2003. 378-379.
contribution=Canosa in the Cuba of 1898
title=Los últimos días del comienzo: Ensayos sobre la guerra
editor1-first=B. E.
publisher=RiL Editores
location=Santiago de Chile

*Ensayos sobre la Guerra Hispano-Cubana-Estadounidense. 2000.
*Davis, R. H. New York Journal. Does our flag shield women? 13 February 1897.
*Duval, C. New York Journal. Evengelina Cisneros rescued by The Journal. 10 October 1897.
*Kendrick M. New York Journal. Better she died then reach Ceuta. 18 August 1897.
*Kendrick, M. New York Journal. The Cuban girl martyr. 17 February 1897.
*Kendrick, M. New York Journal. Spanish auction off Cuban girls. 12 February 1897.
first=Henry Christopher
title=The Martial Graves of Our Fallen Heroes in Santiago de Cuba
publisher=G. W. Jacobs & Co.

*Muller y Tejeiro, Jose. Combates y Capitulacion de Santiago de Cuba. Marques, Madrid:1898. 208 p. English translation by US Navy Dept.
* ; with Losses From All Causes. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899.


*Harrington, Peter, and Frederic A. Sharf. "A Splendid Little War." The Spanish-American War, 1898. The Artists' Perspective. London: Greenhill, 1998.

External links

* [ Operations of the US Signal Corps Cutting and Diverting Undersea Telegraph Cables from Cuba]
* [ Library of Congress Guide to the Spanish-American War]
* [ "Spain to Use Privateers; An Official Decree Declares that She is Determined to Reserve This Right"] (Headline, NY Times, April 24, 1898)
* [ Emergence to World Power, 1898–1902] (an extract from Matloff's American Military History)
* [ Hispanic Americans in the U.S. Army]
* [ Emergence to World Power, 1898–1902] (an extract from American Military History — revised 2005)
* [ Buffalo Soldiers at San Juan Hill]
* [ Impact on the Spanish Army] by Charles Hendricks
* [ Black Jack in Cuba] —General John J. Pershing’s service in the Spanish-American War, by Kevin Hymel
* [ Centennial of the Spanish-American War 1898–1998] by Lincoln Cushing
* [ The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War — Library of Congress Hispanic Division]
* [ William Glackens prints at the Library of Congress]
* [ Spanish-American War Centennial]
* [ Points of Confusion over the Cuba Question and Cuba Sovereignty]
* [ Images of Florida and the War for Cuban Independence, 1898] from the state archives of Florida
* Individual state's contributions to the Spanish-American War: [ Illinois] , [ Pennsylvania]
* [ Sons of Spanish American War Veterans]
* [ From 'Dagoes' to 'Nervy Spaniards,' American Soldiers' Views of their Opponents, 1898] by Albert Nofi
* [ "History of Negro soldiers in the Spanish-American War, and other items of interest"] , by Edward Augustus Johnston, published 1899, hosted by the [ Portal to Texas History.]
* [ Los ultimos de Filipinas]
* [ The War of 98 (The Spanish-American War)] The Spanish-American War from a Spanish perspective (in English).
* [ Army Nurse Corps in the war]
* [ Art and images]
* [ Name Index to New York in the Spanish-American War 1898]
* [ 1898: El Ocaso de un Imperio] Article in Spanish about naval operations during the Spanish-American war.
* [ Spanish-American War photographic collections] , via Calisphere, California Digital Library

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