Us imperialism in latin america
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US Imperialism in Latin America. The Spanish- American War 12.4. Spain’s weakening empire. By the end of the1800’s, Spain—once the most powerful colonial nation on earth—had lost most of its colonies.

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US Imperialism in Latin America

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Us imperialism in latin america

US Imperialism in Latin America

The Spanish-American War


Spain s weakening empire

Spain’s weakening empire

  • By the end of the1800’s, Spain—once the most powerful colonial nation on earth—had lost most of its colonies.

  • It kept only the Philippines and the island of Guam in the Pacific, a few outposts in Africa, and islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Americas.

Cuba rebels a gainst spain

Cuba Rebels Against Spain

  • When the Cubans rebelled against Spain In 1896, Spain responded by sending troops to Cuba to restore order.

  • They tried to crush the rebellion by herding the entire rural population of Cuba into barbed wire concentration camps.

  • Here civilians could not give aid to rebels. An estimated 300,000 Cubans filled these camps, where thousands died from hunger and disease.

Headline wars


  • Spain’s actions fueled a war over

    newspaper circulation that had developed between US newspapers

  • Stories of poisoned wells and of children being thrown to the sharks deepened American sympathy for the rebels.

  • This sensational style of writing, which exaggerates the news to lure and enrage readers, became known as yellow journalism.

  • These newspapers fueled war fever in America

The u s s maine explodes


  • President McKinley ordered the U.S.S. Maine to Cuba to bring home American citizens in danger from the fighting and to protect American property.

  • On February 15, 1898, the ship blew up in the harbor of Havana. More than 260 men were killed.

  • No one really knows why the ship exploded.

  • In 1898, American newspapers claimed the Spanish had blown up the ship.

War with spain erupts

War with Spain Erupts

  • “Remember the Maine!” became the rallying cry for U.S. intervention in Cuba.

  • On April 20th the US declared war



  • 1. What events led to the US and Spain going to war?

  • 2. Define yellow journalism. Explain how this contributed to the war with Spain.

  • 3. What actions in Cuba prompted American support of the rebellion against Spain?

  • 4. Describe the treatment of Cuban rebels when the Spanish troops arrived.

  • 5. Do you believe that newspapers should have the right to exaggerate reports to sell more papers?

The spanish american war

The Spanish American War


The spanish american war 12 4 2

The Spanish American War (12.4.2)

  • The destruction of the USS Maine in Havana harbor combined with yellow journalism in US newspapers led to the US declaring war on Spain in 1898

  • The US forces began fighting not in Cuba but in the Pacific

The war in the philippines


  • The war began in the Spanish colony of the Philippines where US forces joined Filipino rebels fighting the Spanish

  • Over the next two months, 11,000 Americans joined forces with Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo.

  • In August, Spanish troops in Manila surrendered to the United States

The war in the caribbean


  • In the Caribbean, hostilities began with

    a naval blockade of Cuba

  • American forces landed in Cuba in June 1898 and began to converge on the port city of Santiago.

  • The army of 17,000 included four African-American regiments of the regular army and the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry under the command of Leonard Wood and Theodore Roosevelt

Rough riders


  • Although Roosevelt and his units played only a minor role in the victory, U.S. newspapers declared him the hero of San Juan Hill.

  • Two days later, the Spanish fleet tried to escape the American blockade of the harbor at Santiago.

  • The naval battle that followed, ended in the destruction of the Spanish fleet.

  • On the heels of this victory, American troops invaded Puerto Rico on July 25.

Treaty of paris


  • The US and Spain met in Paris

    to agree on a treaty.

  • At the peace talks, Spain freed Cuba and turned over the islands of Guam in the Pacific and Puerto Rico in the West Indies to the US.

  • Spain also sold the Philippines to the United States for $20 million.

Debate over the treaty


  • The Treaty set off a debate in the US over imperialism and whether or not the US had the right to take over the Philippines

  • Some felt that the treaty violated the Declaration of Independence by denying self government to the newly acquired territories.

  • On February 6, 1899, the annexation question was settled with the Senate’s approval of the Treaty of Paris.

  • The United States now had an empire that included Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.



  • 1. What events led to the US declaring war on Spain?

  • 2. Who aided the US in the battles in the Philippines?

  • 3. Who were the rough riders? Do you think this groups actions helped Teddy Roosevelt’s political career?

  • 4. What new territory did the US gain as a result of the Spanish American war?

  • 5. Explain the debate over imperialism that began after the Treaty of Paris. Do you think the US was right to take over the Philippines and other Spanish colonies? Explain your answer.

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