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  1. Spanish American WarCauses-Events-Effects Mr. Ferbert Ch18-2

  2. “A Splendid Little War”secretary of state John Hay • This was an immensely popular war with the American people • For the first time since the Civil War men from the north and south fought side by side for a common cause • It lasted less than 100 days, resulted in over 4,000 deaths (only 289 battle deaths) - most from disease (particularly yellow fever) and food poisoning), and resulted in a resounding victory over the once great Spanish Empire • It changed the course of American history, making the US a full fledged world power with new responsibilities in the Pacific and Caribbean

  3. Important Causes • US Business Interests in Cuba • American Sympathies for Cubans • De Lome Letter • Sinking of the USS Maine • Yellow Journalism

  4. 1. US Business Interests in Cuba • Repressive Spanish rule caused Cubans to revolt in 1895 – demanding their independence • Fighting between Cuban nationalists (rebels) and the Spanish military threatened US investments and property in Cuba • Most businessmen wanted the US to help Spain at first • Sugar mills and plantations were attacked by Cuban nationalists led by Jose Marti in hopes of forcing the US to help the Cuban rebels • $100’s of millions of lucrative trade and investments between US and Cuba was threatened by a long drawn out war

  5. 2. American Sympathies for Cubans • Many Americans sympathized with the Cuban Rebellion because . . . • Americans had themselves fought for Independence from colonial rule during the American Revolution • The cry “Cuba Libre!” reminded Americans of Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” • Cuba was only 90 miles from Florida, and much of the funding and organization for the revolution came from Cuban immigrants in the US (NY & FL) • Most Cubans were Catholic, as were many Americans • Thousands of Americans lived and worked in Cuba • As 1898 events were sensationalized in the yellow press (newspapers) more and more Americans favored war against Spain

  6. 3. De Lome Letter • February 1898 the New York Journal published a private letter written by the Spanish Ambassador to Washington, DC • In the letter Enrique Dupey de Lome criticized president McKinley, claiming he was “weak and a bidder for the admiration of the crowd” • Americans were outraged and considered his comments an insult against the US • Although de Lome resigned as Ambassador it was too late - the damage had been done and many more Americans now called for war against Spain

  7. 4. Sinking of the USS Maine • The USS Maine (battleship) was sent to Havana Harbor, Cuba days after the de Lome letter was made public for TWO REASONS: • To protect American citizens and if necessary evacuate them if a threat to their safety arose • Press Spain to settle the conflict with the Cuban nationalists • Feb 15, 1898 the USS Maine exploded killing over 260 men • Immediately American newspapers (yellow press) owned by publishers William R. Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer printed stories blaming the explosion on a Spanish mine. • Even Assistant Secretary of the Navy, future president Theodore Roosevelt, said that “the Maine was sunk by an act of dirty treachery on the part of the Spanish” • Most historians now believe the real cause of the explosion was an onboard fire in the coal bunkers that then spread to an adjacent room that contained explosives • Immediately the cry “Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain!” rang throughout the US as jingoism increased immediately

  8. 5. Yellow Journalism • Throughout the Cuban revolution American newspapers sensationalized, even fabricated, stories about the mistreatment of Cuban’s by the Spanish in order to sell more newspapers • This type of sensationalized newspaper coverage was known as “Yellow Journalism” • William R. Hearst (publisher) reportedly said to his most gifted artist “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war” • Stories (most false or exaggerated) about the mistreatment of Cuban’s by the Spanish General Valeriano “the Butcher” Weyler stirred sympathy and outrage in America • His use of concentration camps where thousands died from malnutrition, mistreatment and disease • Stories of his soldiers poisoning wells • Stories of his soldiers throwing children to the sharks • Stories of Spanish officials strip searching women

  9. War is Declared • Despite the fact that Spain agreed to almost everything the US demanded, an intense burst of nationalism fueled war fever (Jingoism) lead to a call for war President McKinley could no longer ignore or control • On April 20, 1898 the US declared war on Spain • The US Army was ill prepared for war – numbering only 28,000 men (most of these men were in the west) to Spain's 100,000+ • The US Navy on the other hand was more modern than Spain's • The first fighting occurred not in Cuba, but in another Spanish colony thousands of miles away . . . the Philippines

  10. War in the Philippines • Before the US began to fight in Cuba, war began in another Spanish colony, the Philippine Islands • On orders from Sec. of Navy Teddy Roosevelt, Commodore George Dewey moved 6 US ships from Hong Kong in order to prepare to invade the Philippines • On May 1st Dewey and his fleet attacked the Spanish squadron • In 7 hours the US demolished the Spanish forces

  11. The Storming of Manila • Dewey wanted for reinforcements and with the help of Filipino patriot Emilio Aguinaldo captured Manila on August 13, 1898 • Aguinaldo joined the US with the belief that the US would grant the Philippines their independence after Spain was defeated • He was mistaken

  12. US Troops Land in Cuba • Under the command of General Nelson Miles and General William Shafter, 17,000 troops landed in Santiago • The US troops, which included African Americans, who were anxious to bring independence to Cubans, many of whom were of African descent or mulattos • Fighting began on the island on June 20, 1898

  13. The Rough Riders • One unit became known as the “Rough Riders” • The were a colorful regiment of volunteers under the supervision of Teddy Roosevelt • They were undisciplined and not always effective fighters, but embodied the American enthusiasm for the fight against Spain • On June 22 the charged up San Juan Hill, a strategically important part of the ridges surrounding Santiago

  14. African Americans in the War • The role of African Americans was largely ignored by the press • There were numerous African Americans outfits that were racially segregated in the US Army and they played a central role in defeating the Spanish

  15. Battle of Guasimas • The black 9th and 10th Cavalries (the “Buffalo Soldiers”) opened the way for the Rough Riders, possibly saving them from annihilation

  16. Defeating the Spanish • The battle of San Juan Hill, the first major land battle of the Spanish American War, turned out to be the last • On July 3, the Spanish fleet tried to run from the US blockade, but were defeated in a one sided battle

  17. Puerto Rico • After defeating the Spanish fleet, the US turned to Puerto Rico, which they conquered in July

  18. The War’s Toll on US Soldiers • US ambassador to London, John Hay, called the Spanish American War, a “splendid little war” • However, 385 soldiers were killed in action and another 5,000 died of tropical mosquito born disease • Upon return the soldiers had to be quarantined in New York, so yellow fever would not spread in the US

  19. The Treatment of African Americans • Even though the fought valiantly, the 9th and 10th cavalries never received the acclaim that the Rough Riders did. • As troops passed through the South they were called racial slurs and refused service in restaurants and other public places • Tensions were so high over their service that there were race riots in 1898

  20. The “Splendid Little War” • Spain signed a peace protocol or cease-fire on August 12, 1898. A day before Dewey and his troops captured Manila • A permanent settlement was made in October 1898

  21. Treaty of Paris • In the Treaty of Paris, Spain granted independence to Cuba and ceded (gave) the US Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines for a payment of $20 million • The new territories added 100,000 square miles and close to 10 million people to the American empire

  22. The US Emerges as a World Power • The US emerged as a world power, with an empire that stretched from the Caribbean Sea to the South China Sea. • The economic and political consequences of such expansion created a new international role for the US.