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Spanish American War 1898. America Becomes an Empire.

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spanish american war 1898

Spanish American War 1898

America Becomes an Empire


The Spanish-American War (April-July 1898) was a brief, intense conflict that effectively ended Spain's worldwide empire and gained the United States several new possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Preceded by a naval tragedy, the destruction of USS Maine at Havana, Cuba, the Spanish-American War featured two major naval battles, one in the Philippines and the other off Cuba, plus several smaller naval clashes.

The Navy also provided essential support for U.S. Army and Marine Corps forces ashore. The war made public heroes of a number of U.S. Navy officers, and marked the beginning of an extremely dynamic period in the Navy's history.

spanish background
Spanish Background
  • For several centuries Spain’s position as a world power had been slipping away. By the late 19th century the nation was left only a few scattered possessions in the Pacific, Africa, and the West Indies. Guerilla forces were operating in the Philippines, and had been present in Cuba for decades. The Spanish government did not have the financial resources or the manpower to deal with these revolts and thus turned to expedients of building concentration camps to separate the rebels from their rural base of support.
yellow dog journalism
Yellow Dog Journalism
  • William Randolph Hearst was the founder of the Hearst Corporation.  During his career in newspapers, magazines, radio and film broadcasting, he changed the face of the way mass media would be seen throughout the world.
joseph pulitzer
Joseph Pulitzer
  • In 1883, he purchased the New York World, a not too successful daily owned by the financier Jay Gould. Within a year, Pulitzer had turned the paper around, building its success on a steady diet of titillation and crusading, catching the readers attention with large headlines and flashy illustrations
yellow dog journalism1
Yellow Dog Journalism
  • The outbreak of the second Cuban Revolution in 1895 was seen as a major news story, and many papers, conservative, yellow and middle of the road, were soon scrambling to get reporters on the scene. Most of these "journalists" go no closer to the fighting than Key West or the bar of the Hotel Inglaterra in Havana.
yellow dog journalism2
Yellow Dog Journalism
  • From these comfortable positions, they concocted stories of wild fantasy, based upon slanted press releases coming from the "Cuban Junta", the Revolution's propaganda agency in the US, or from their own fertile imaginations. Readers were treated to a steady diet of battles that never happened, Cuban victories which never occurred, exaggerated stories of Spanish brutality and such flights of fancy as repeated stories of beautiful, savage Cuban "Amazon" warriors, serving the Revolution as Cavalry and showing no mercy to the hated Spaniard
stephen crane standing
Stephen Crane (standing)
  • Crane's greatest novel, The Red Badge of Courage (1895),
  • was a correspondent for Pulitzer’s World  during the Spanish American war.

At 9:40 on the evening of 15 February, a terrible explosion on board Maine shattered the stillness in Havana Harbor. Later investigations revealed that more than five tons of powder charges for the vessel's six and ten-inch guns ignited, virtually obliterating the forward third of the ship. The remaining wreckage rapidly settled to the bottom of the harbor. Most of Maine's crew were sleeping or resting in the enlisted quarters in the forward part of the ship when the explosion occurred. Two hundred and sixty-six men lost their lives as a result of the disaster: 260 died in the explosion or shortly thereafter, and six more died later from injuries. Captain Sigsbee and most of the officers survived because their quarters were in the aft portion of the ship.

sinking of uss maine
Sinking of USS Maine
  • USS Maine, a second-class battleship built between 1888 and 1895, was sent to Havana in January 1898 to protect American interests during the long-standing revolt of the Cubans against the Spanish government. In the evening of 15 February 1898, Maine sank when her forward gunpowder magazines exploded. Nearly three-quarters of the battleship's crew died as a result of the explosion
funeral in cuba
Funeral In Cuba
  • Funeral procession for crewmen killed when the ship exploded, in the streets of Havana, Cuba, shortly after the disaster.
april 11 th 1898
April 11th 1898
  • McKinley asks for war
  • Teller Amendment –which tied America’s hands after the war by guaranteeing a free Cuba at the end of the war. Europe watched for the outcome and German aided Spain
manila bay
Manila Bay
  • Before dawn on 1 May 1898, Commodore George Dewey's flagship Olympia led seven U.S. Navy cruisers and gunboats into Manila Bay. By 8 AM that morning Dewey's Asiatic Squadron had located and destroyed virtually the entire Spanish naval force in the Philippines. Damage to the American ships was negligible, and their crews suffered no fatalities and few injuries.
  • The Battle of Manila Bay was a singular demonstration of the daring and decisive application of sea power. In a few hours, Dewey had eliminated any threat that the Spanish Navy might pose to U.S. Far Eastern commerce and placed Spain's centuries-long rule of the Philippines in grave jeopardy. A few days later, with the capture of Cavite arsenal, he also gained a repair and refueling base, essential for maintaining his squadron under wartime conditions thousands of miles from home.
commodore george dewey
Commodore George Dewey
  • Commander of the Pacific fleet
  • Flag Ship USS Olympia
  • Destroyed Spanish Fleet at Manila Bay
  • “You may fire when ready Greedly”
commodore dewey
Commodore Dewey
  • Dewey was promoted to Commodore in 1896, to Rear Admiral in May 1898 and to Admiral of the Navy in 1899.
us navy span am war
US Navy Span Am War
  • U.S. Navy cruisers came in great variety in 1898, all armed with medium caliber or smaller guns. Excluding the larger armored cruiser type, these warships were "protected cruisers", with a steel armored deck covering machinery and ammunition magazines. In some smaller cruisers, however, this armor was so thin that the ships really deserved to be called gunboats. Cruiser missions included providing presence throughout the World, fleet scouting, commerce protection and raiding, all vital missions for a maritime nation.
    • Generally, the Navy's cruisers were fairly fast by the standards of their day and had good seagoing characteristics. While a few still retained sails to enhance operating range, the introduction of triple-expansion engines a decade earlier had made possible a high standard of endurance under steam alone.
      • During the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Navy actively employed fifteen ships rated as cruisers:
uss olympia
USS Olympia
  • USS Olympia (Cruiser # 6) was a heavily-armed protected cruiser that became the Asiatic Squadron flagship in 1895, soon after she first commissioned. Under Commodore George Dewey, she led U.S. Navy forces in the Battle of Manila Bay and during subsequent operations in the Philippines area.Olympia's active service continued until 1922. The only survivor of America's Spanish-American War fleet, she is now a museum ship at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
rough riders military governor
Rough Riders/Military Governor
  • commander of the First Volunteer Cavalry (The Rough Riders)
  • Following the war, he served as Military Governor of Cuba until 1902
sec navy teddy roosvelt
Sec. Navy Teddy Roosvelt
  • As Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt played an important role in war preparations. He resigned that post a few weeks after hostilities commenced and actively participated in combat as Lieutenant Colonel of the Army's First Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. Under Wood
cuba san juan and kettle hill and santiago
Cuba San Juan and Kettle Hill and Santiago
  • The best-known image of the Spanish-American War is that of Teddy Roosevelt on horseback charging with his Rough Riders up San Juan Hill in Cuba. But not only was the role of the Rough Riders exaggerated, it also displaced attention from the black soldiers who made up almost 25 percent of the U. S. force in Cuba.
make up of the troops
Make up of the troops
  • Of the approximately 20,000 U.S. troops that participated actively in the Cuban campaign, the majority were regular soldiers (of whom 7,000 were African Americans) and only 7,400 were volunteers. Most of the 200,000 volunteers recruited in the United States at the time of the war stayed at home in military camps; only a third of them saw action in Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. 
rough riders
Rough Riders
  • The "Rough Riders" was formed from men from the western frontier of the United States - men who were used to life in the saddle and to the use of firearms - and from some eastern high-class young men who were athletic and also skilled in horsemanship and the use of guns...but for entirely different reasons.
rough riders1
Rough Riders
  • The unit included miners, cowboys preachers, tradesmen, writers, professors, athletes, and clergymen. Remarkably, there were men from each of the forty-five states then in existence, the four territories and from fourteen countries! There were even sixty Native Americans on the roster. 
10 th cavalry buffalo soldiers
10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers
  • At the outbreak of war the army  utilized all four of its all black regiments.  Despite the prejudice of the time, these units were among the very few experienced combat troops in the army.  All four of these regiments had fought in the Indian wars
10 th cavalry
10th Cavalry
  • Created in 1866
  • 1898 troops of the 10th, under the command of, Lt. John J. Pershing played a critical role in the war against Spain in Cuba. The future General Pershing was nick-named "Black Jack" because of his service with the 10th.
john black jack pershing
John Black Jack Pershing
  • He graduated from West Point in 1886 and served in the Spanish-American War, the Philippines Insurrection, the Mexican Expedition and was the overall American Commander in Europe during World War I.
general joe wheeler
General Joe Wheeler
  • U.S. Military Academy in 1859.
  • 1861 he resigned from the army joined with the Confederate forces.
  • Spanish-American War General Wheeler served as the major general of volunteers
general shafter
General Shafter
  • Shafter, at age 63,was a corpulent three hundred pounds in weight and suffering from the gout. He was in no condition to command troops
  • Overall Command at San Juan
  • Newspapers Glorified Battles for their readers
  • Unbiased reports depict a much less glorified version of events, where Spanish troops often more quickly surrendered than fought. The U.S. troops had far more problems dealing with heat and disease than with the Spanish forces, and within a month the island was in U.S. hands.
guantanamo bay
Guantanamo Bay
  • The first action in Cuba was the establishing of a base at Guantanamo Bay on 10th June by U.S. Marines
  • a brief but violent phase of the Spanish-American war.
  • The invasion was instrumental in the Battle of Santiago and the invasion of Puerto Rico
the hills protecting santiago
The Hills Protecting Santiago
  • The Battle of San Juan Hill was the bloodiest and most famous battle of the Spanish American War.At San Juan Hill, 750 Spanish soldiers were ordered to hold the heights against an American offensive on June 1, 1898. The struggle lasted for more than twelve hours, and cost at least two hundred American and an equal number of Spanish lives.
kettle hill
Kettle Hill
  • Theodore Roosevelt became a war hero when he led a charge up the Kettle Hill at the Battle of San Juan Hill outside of Santiago as lieutenant colonel of the Rough Riders Regiment on July 1st
  • This attack was at the same time as the 10th went up San Juan
puerto rico
Puerto Rico
  • On May 10 1898, the first shot which marked Puerto Rico’s entry into the Spanish American War was shot at USS Yale from Fort San Cristobal's cannon batteries. Fort San Cristóbal's gunners duel with US Navy warships during a day long bombardment May 12 1898 Six months later Puerto Rico becomes US territory by terms of the Treaty of Paris
  • The Battle of Guam was a bloodless conflict between the U.S and Spain during the Spanish American War. The capture of Guam gave the United States its first possession in the Pacific Ocean.
uss charleston
USS Charleston
  • Being that the Spanish had no adequate defenses and were without powder for their cannon, Governor Marina surrendered, despite his protests of being attacked without any knowledge of the
treaty of paris
Treaty of Paris
  • Hostilities were halted on August 12th 1898. The Treaty of P aris was signed in Paris on Dec. 10th 1898 and was ratified by the U.S. Senate on Feb. 6th 1899
  • The United States gained almost all of Spain's colonies, including the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Cuba was granted independence, but the United States imposed various restrictions on the new government, including prohibiting alliances with other countries.
president william mckinley
President William McKinley
  • President of the United States, 1897-1901
alfonzo iii king of spain
Alfonzo III King of Spain
  • was the posthumous son ofAlfonsoXII. The mother ofAlfonso XIII, another Maria Cristina, acted as regent until her son came of age officially in 1902. Alfonso XIII abdicated in 1931.