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Transcript of Spanish-American War
Yellow Journalism: Late 1890's
Journalists were trying to make U.S. men to join the military to support Cuban rebels. For this purpose reporters like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst published stories from Cuba. In these stories they told how Cuban rebels were fighting for their independence. They printed exaggerated news stories about Spanish brutality in Cuba. This was called yellow journalism. As a result, many men join the army.
William McKinley: 1896
The current president for the United States was opposed to his country involvement in Cuba, even the growing support of the military. In 1896 William McKinley was elected president. He was also in favor or helping Cuba to get their independence. Since this event, he made politics that soon led to war.
USS Maine: January 1898
The United States sent the battleship "USS Maine" to Havana Harbor in January 1898. Their goal was to protect U.S. citizens in Cuba and other economic interests in Cuba.
On February 15, the Maine blow up and sank, and 226 men died. The cause of the explosion was unclear, but the American media blamed Spain. They used this incident to get more people's support, using the words: “Remember the Maine!”
The Letter: February 1898
The Hearst's newspaper published a letter that was written by the Spanish minister, Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, to the United States. In this letter the Spanish minister called the U.S. president, McKinley, as “weak and a bidder for the admiration of the crowd.” Many Americans felt insulted by this letter, so they got more involved in this war.
The preparation: April 1898
President McKinley asked for $50 million to prepare for war, and the U.S. Congress approved it. Cuba wasn't U.S. territory, but Congress suggest a resolution on April declaring Cuba independent and demanding that Spain leave the island within three days. Attached to the resolution they said that the U.S. had no interest in taking control of Cuba. In response to the resolution, Spain declared war on the United States.
Philipines War: May 1898
While attention was focused on Cuba, the U.S. Navy won a quick victory nearly halfway around the world in the Philippines, a Spanish colony. Filipinos, like Cubans, were rebelling against Spanish rule. On May 1, Americans sailed into Manila Bay and destroyed the Spanish Pacific fleet stationed there. After some battles, more troops arrived, and on August, U.S. troops and Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo took control of the Philippine capital, Manila.
The war starts:
In response to the resolution of Cuba, Spain declared war on the United States. The next day, Congress passed, and McKinley signed, a declaration of war against Spain. The war began then.
Sara Viviani Ballesteros