The Spanish - American War (1898) A Case of US Imperialism or a Necessary War?
Yellow Journalism • Yellow journalism is the deliberate use of bold or exaggerating statements in the media done in order to increase sales. • For example, should Persell’s social studies exam scores drop, a headline in the Post Journal might say, “Kresge is Worst Educator on Planet.” • Two newspaper owners, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, were competing in NYC to sell papers and often exaggerated the truth to create more sensational stories
Cause #1 Joseph Pulitzer William Randolph Hearst
Sinking of the U.S.S. Maine • Cuba was seeking freedom for Spain, who was weakening • US citizens support a free Cuba, who we then would trade with • The US trains some Cuban militia men, who promptly get killed or captured by Spanish • US sends a battleship, the Maine, to Havana Harbor to keep an eye on things • The Maine explodes killing 260 US troops • US papers blame Spain without proof of why it exploded
U.S.S. Maine Explosion - How is this image an example of Yellow Journalism? Cause #2
Read the unproven headlines! How would Americans react? Cause #3
Spanish-American War (1898) Imperialism or Necessary?
First Stage - Conquer Philippines? • Commodore Dewey attacks Philippines one week after US declares war over Cuba • Philippines belonged to Spain • Spain -381 killed • US - 0
Why Philippines? • Gave US possible ports and naval bases
US not ready at first, But Spain was so weak we did not have to be • Had only 28,000 troops, need 280,000 • Issued wool uniforms for tropics • Most died from diseases (malaria, yellow fever), not battle
Rough Riders - Theodore Roosevelt’s Volunteer Group • Very Popular in US due to newspaper articles written about them. TR had the reporters follow the Rough Riders to ensure good press. • People debate how much TR and the Rough Riders actually did. Many historians feel TR only fought when assured of victory. • Helped TR get elected as VP after the war
Most Famous Battle - Rough Riders take San Juan Hill • 7,000 US troops attack 600 Spanish • Well covered by press
Was the war Imperialism or Necessary? Imperialism without a doubt
What Does the US do with new Lands after the War? Cuba Philippines Puerto Rico
Cuba • We promised before war we wouldn’t keep it - we lied. • Platt Amendment - Allows US to intervene in Cuban affairs whenever we see necessary.
“This was like handing over the keys to our house so that the Americans can enter it at any time, whenever the desire seizes them, day or night, whether with good or evil design.”
Puerto Rico • Becomes a US territory (didn’t fight like Filipinos did) • 1952 - Becomes a US commonwealth - citizenship, own constitution, sends non-voting Reps to Congress
Philippines • US intends to keep it, Filipinos revolt • 70,000 US troops fight 3 years there • Hundreds of thousands Filipinos die • 1902 - US sets up govt. with some local control • 1946 - Philippines become independent