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Entering the World Stage. 17.2 The Spanish-American War. Focus Your Thoughts . . . What is ‘propaganda’? How is it connected to imperialism?. Unrest in Cuba. Puerto Rico. By the 1890’s, Spain had lost all of its colonies in the Western Hemisphere except Cuba and Puerto Rico

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entering the world stage

Entering the World Stage

17.2 The Spanish-American War

focus your thoughts
Focus Your Thoughts . . .
  • What is ‘propaganda’?
  • How is it connected to imperialism?
unrest in cuba
Unrest in Cuba

Puerto Rico

  • By the 1890’s, Spain had lost all of its colonies in the Western Hemisphere except Cuba and Puerto Rico
  • Cubans, led by Jose Marti, rose in revolt against Spain in 1895
  • Spain sent General ValerianoWeyler to suppress the rebels a year later
    • Forced thousands of civilians into camps controlled by the army to keep them from aiding the rebels
      • Nearly a third of the Cubans in the camps died from starvation and/or disease
        • Shocked and appalled Americans


americans get war fever because that never happens
Americans Get “War Fever”( Because that never happens . . . )
  • Many Americans were sympathetic to the Cubans’ struggles
    • They believed they were similar to their own during the American Revolution
  • They became even more supportive after hearing about the treatment of the civilians under General Weyler

What do you think they did?

the media s role
The Media’s Role
  • The American response was to print scandalous stories and splash large, shocking illustrations across their pages
    • Yellow Journalism
  • The New York Journal threw its support behind the Cuban rebels and refused to use any Spanish sources for news stories
    • This resulted in biased – but exciting - news
  • The New York World abandoned all attempts at objectivity as well

What does it mean to be objective?

the explosion of the maine
The Explosion of the Maine
  • On February 9, 1898, the Journal published a letter written by Enrique Dupuy de Lome, Spain’s minister to the U.S., the de Lome letter criticized President McKinley calling him “weak” because he was reluctant to involve the country in conflict
  • The Final Straw
    • The U.S.S. Maine was sent to Havana, Cuba, to protect American lives and property; but on February 15th, it mysteriously blew up killing 260 sailors
    • This enraged Americans, who blamed Spain without evidence, and McKinley demanded Spain give Cuba it’s independence, when Spain refused, the Spanish-American War began
war in the philippines
War in the Philippines
  • The Philippines
    • A group of islands located east of Vietnam
    • Spain had claimed the islands since the 1500’s
  • Before the United States had declared war, Teddy (then the assistant secretary of the navy) sent secret orders to George Dewey the commander of the Asiatic Squadron, if war broke out, Dewey was to attack the Spanish fleet in the Philippines
    • When he got the word, Dewey attacked the Spanish fleet, who’d been firing on them for some time, and won a decisive victory thanks to superior weaponry and ships
    • Referred to as the Battle of Manila Bay


war in cuba
War in Cuba
  • Days before declaring war, Congress had recognized Cuba’s independence; they adopted the Teller Amendment which stated that once Cuba freed itself from Spanish rule, the united States would “leave the government and control of the island to its people.”
  • Victory in Cuba proved difficult . . .
    • Wool uniforms in the summer
    • Left over mess pans from the Civil War
    • Canned meat so sickening soldiers called it “embalmed beef”
the rough riders
The Rough Riders
  • A volunteer army organized by Teddy after he left his navy post made up of:
    • Adventurous college athletes
    • Cowboys
    • Ranchers
    • Miners


the strategy
The Strategy
  • The American strategy in Cuba was to capture the port city of Santiago; U.S. troops needed to control the hills around the city
  • July 1 – One U.S. division seized the hill at El Caney after a four hour fight; that same day, some 8,000 U.S. soldiers fought to take control of Kettle and San Juan hills
  • Buffalo Soldiers – Experienced African American soldiers from the Ninth and Tenth cavalries led the charge along with Teddy and the Rough Riders
  • Result – By nightfall, U.S. troops controlled the ridge above Santiago
    • For their heroic actions in what became known as the Battle of San Juan Hill, six Buffalo Soldiers and two Rough Riders (Teddy being one of them) received the Medal of Honor
  • July 3 – The U.S. navy sank the entire Spanish fleet off the coast of Cuba in the Battle of Santiago; Spanish troops surrendered two weeks later . . . soon after, U.S. troops defeated Spanish forces in Puerto Rico as well.
consequences of the war
Consequences of the War
  • The Spanish had to give up all claims to Cuba and cede Puerto Rico and the Pacific island of Guam to the United States; they also turned over control of the Philippines for $20 million
  • The United States costs amounted to $250 million; in addition, some 2,000 soldiers died of Yellow Fever
  • Within a year, the United States would acquire the Pacific island of Samoa as well, but the quest for empire troubled many Americans

The culprit

what is yellow fever
What is Yellow Fever?
  • Early stage
    • Headache, muscle aches, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, and jaundice are common. After approximately 3 - 4 days, often symptoms go away briefly.
  • Period of remission
    • After 3 - 4 days, fever and other symptoms go away. Most people will recover at this stage, but others may move onto the third, most dangerous stage within 24 hours.
  • Period of intoxication
    • Multi-organ dysfunction occurs, this includes liver and kidney failure, bleeding disorders/hemorrhage, and brain dysfunction including delirium, seizures, coma, shock, and death.
annexing the philippines
Annexing the Philippines

Arguments for Annexation

Arguments against Annexation

  • Economic and strategic value
    • Located along the route to China
  • Opportunity to civilize, “Christianize”, and educate Filipinos
  • Made the United States appear stronger to control overseas territories
  • Annexation violates the principle of self government, the very foundation of the American system
  • Many African Americans worried about exporting oppression to the Philippines; they believed it was wrong to try and “civilize” alien peoples
  • Some Americans feared a new wave of immigration which would hurt American workers
american rule
American Rule
  • February 6, 1899 - After a fierce debate, the Senate narrowly approved the treaty calling for annexation of the Philippines
  • Filipino nationalists were infuriated; they had been fighting for independence from Spain for years, now they had exchanged one set of rulers for another.
  • Emilio Aguinaldo had already set up a government and proclaimed himself President ; he warned that he was prepared to take military action . . . not surprisingly – fighting broke out
    • Three years later, Aguinaldo was captured and forced to give up power . . . it wasn’t until 1946 that the United States granted the Philippines full independence again.
  • Propaganda Posters
    • Create a propaganda poster encouraging American support of the war against Spain
    • Make sure you’re paying special attention to the media’s portrayal of the Spaniards during this time period
    • Neatness, creativity, and effort will be factored into your grade . . . take pride in your work!