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The Spanish American War. Beginning in 1898. Cuba – A Spanish Possession. Spain only had Guam, Cuba, Philippines, and a few outposts in Africa in 1825. 1854 – US diplomats suggested buying Cuba. Leading up to the War . 1868 – 1878, Cuba had first war for independence against Spain.

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The Spanish American War


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the spanish american war

The Spanish American War

Beginning in 1898

cuba a spanish possession
Cuba – A Spanish Possession
  • Spain only had Guam, Cuba, Philippines, and a few outposts in Africa in 1825.
  • 1854 – US diplomats suggested buying Cuba
leading up to the war
Leading up to the War
  • 1868 – 1878, Cuba had first war for independence against Spain.
  • Able to force Spain to end slavery, but no independence
  • US sympathetic, but did not intervene.
  • Americans began to invest $$$ in sugar plantations
  • Cuba’s economy depended on sugar, America was their biggest market.
second war for independence
Second War for Independence
  • Jose Marti – Cuban in exile in NY organized a Cuba resistance in Spain.
  • Cubans deliberately damaged the island, especially American plantations
  • Hoped to provoke US to enter to free rebels.
  • Americans were split
    • Big Business – help Spain to protect business
    • Help the rebels to Freedom. “Cuba Libre”
violent retaliation
Violent Retaliation
  • Gen. Valeriano Weyler (“Butcher Weyler”) was sent by Spain to control order.
  • Created hastily prepared concentration camps, where they died by the thousands, victims of disease and malnutrition.
yellow journalism
Yellow Journalism
  • Yellow Journalism – a sensational shocking style of writing
  • 2 Newspaper Tycoons: Pulitzer vs. Hearst.
  • Competed for publications – wrote scandalous and exaggerated news.
  • When this news did not exist, they were not above creating it!
yellow journalism7
Yellow Journalism
  • Cuban struggle as great opportunity to increase circulation,
  • Exaggerated their reports of Spanish atrocities against the Cuban rebels
    • Poisoned wells
    • Children thrown to sharks
  • Gained American Sympathy.
events which brought america to war
Events which brought America to War
  • Dupuy de Lome letter
  • Cuban agent in Havana stole a private letter written by Dupuy de Lome, the Spanish minister in Washington, and turned it over to the American press
  • Described McKinley as a “weak” and a “bidder for the admiration of the crowd.”
  • Many Americans felt this way, but created anger coming from a foreigner.
events which brought america to war11
Events which brought America to War

2. The Maine

  • USS Maine blew up in Spanish harbor with a loss of more than 260 people
  • Naval court found - external explosion by a submarine or mine had caused the disaster (blamed Spain)
  • War hysteria Swept the country.
the us declares war
The US Declares War
  • WAR HAWKS pushed for war, McKinley hesitant
  • McKinley gave Spain an ultimatum:
    • stop fighting
    • eliminate concentration camps
    • negotiate with the rebels
  • Spain did all but #3. This did not satisfy the War Hawks
  • April 25, 1898, McKinley and Congress declared war