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The War of 1898. “A Splendid Little War”. Focus Question. Why do you suppose Secretary of State John Hay referred to the War of 1898 as “a splendid little war”?. The Last Major Spanish Outpost. Cuba remained part of the Spanish Empire in the 1890s Major gem in the Caribbean

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the war of 1898

The War of 1898

“A Splendid Little War”

focus question
Focus Question
  • Why do you suppose Secretary of State John Hay referred to the War of 1898 as “a splendid little war”?
the last major spanish outpost
The Last Major Spanish Outpost
  • Cuba remained part of the Spanish Empire in the 1890s
    • Major gem in the Caribbean
    • Major supplier of sugar
    • Left without autonomy
cuba and the united states
Cuba and the United States
  • The U.S. long had an interest in Cuba
    • Close to the U.S.
    • Major sugar producer
    • Tried to purchase Cuba in the early 1800s
ten years war
Ten Years’ War
  • Cuban rebels rose against Spain in 1868
    • Rebel leaders driven from Cuba in 1878
    • The island was devastated
    • Spain was bankrupt
  • Cuban planters turned to the U.S. for loans
    • Major U.S. investment in sugar
  • Cuban emigrés settled in U.S.
role of the yellow press
Role of the Yellow Press
  • Inexpensive, sensationalized newspapers
    • Pioneered by William Randolph Hearst
    • Saw a war as a way to sell papers
  • Focused sympathy for the Cuban

people in the Cuban War for


spanish atrocities
Spanish Atrocities
  • Cuban rebels quickly seized the countryside
  • Governor Weyler responded brutally
    • Periodic executions
    • Mass exiles
    • Destroy plantations
reconcentration camps
Reconcentration Camps
  • Weyler ordered peasants collected into camps
    • Remove support from rebels
    • Keep an eye on suspected rebels
  • Disastrous policy
    • Poor sanitation and medical facilities
    • Lack of food
    • Wiped out 1/3 of Cuba’s rural population
policy shocked americans
Policy shocked Americans
  • Incredible sympathy for the Cuban people
  • Belief that Spanish were fiendishly cruel
  • U.S. long-term interest in Cuba
  • U.S. business investment in Cuba
  • Public opinion highly sympathetic to the Cubans
  • All that was needed was a spark
the sinking of the maine
The Sinking of the Maine
  • The U.S. battleship Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana on February 15, 1898
  • Public opinion blamed the Spanish for “mining” the Maine
  • Congress declared War on Spain on April 25, 1898
    • Sought to “secure peace in Cuba”
    • War ends in August 1898
  • Treaty of Paris, 1898
    • Cuba granted independence
    • U.S. gains Puerto Rico and Guam
    • U.S. paid Spain $25 million for the Philippines
independence or dependence
Independence or Dependence?
  • Was Cuba an Independent Nation?
    • McKinley’s War Message
    • Teller Amendment
    • Platt Amendment