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The Spanish-American War

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Elizabeth Kelley

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of The Spanish-American War

By: Carson Dowling, Amanda Dugas, Kristina Powell, & Elizabeth Kelley
The Spanish-American War
Pre-war Situation
American Sentiments

In early April, Spain is willing to make concessions (ending concentration camps) to avoid war, but US insists on full Spanish withdrawal from Cuba, which Spain refuses. McKinley asks Congress for war despite pleas from other countries to keep the peace. Teller Amendment passed prohibiting America from annexing Cuba, but allowing it to be liberated as an independent state.
The Spanish started to lose the will to fight.
On the day Roosevelt wrote to Lodge, Spain’s Atlantic fleet tried to retreat from Santiago harbor and was promptly destroyed by a U.S. fleet.
The Spanish army in Santiago surrendered on July 16th, and on July 18th the Spanish government asked for peace.
While negotiations for an armistice proceeded, U.S. forces overran Puerto Rico.
August 12th: U.S. and Spanish governments agreed to an armistice, but the U.S. had captured Manila and taken prisoner 13,000 Spanish soldiers before the news got to them.
The armistice required Spain to relinquish its claim to Cuba, cede Puerto Rico and Guam to the U.S., and tolerate the American occupation of Manila until a peace conference could be convened in Paris on October 1st, 1898.
At this conference, American diplomats also demanded that Spain cede the Philippines.
The Spanish government agreed to give up this colony (after 2 months of stalling) for $20 million.
The Treaty of Paris (December 10th. 1898) sealed this transaction.
Spain declares war on April 23, 1898. US declares war two days later, but makes decision retroactive to the 22nd, when their Cuban Blockade started.
May 1, 1898 - Battle of Manila Bay. Complete victory for American forces. All Spanish ships were destroyed or captured. Seen as risky at the time because no one knew about the building up of the American Navy. This battle caused the world to take America seriously as a military power.
While Commodore Dewey’s squadron waited for troops to arrive to invade the Philippines, German and British ships showed up – Germany to bother the US, and Britain to offset their efforts and improve US relations.
Spanish fleet sailed into Cuba, where they were blockaded by US Navy. US prepared for landing of the US Army.
Once Army was in Cuba, they realized that they were ill-prepared for war, as they weren’t used to the tropical climate.
Also, in order to drum up support, the Cuban rebels had been presented as just like white Americans, but in reality most of them were black and rough-mannered. US troops usually refused to coordinate with the Cubans.
July 1 – Battles at El Caney and San Juan Hill proved decisive US victories.
Rough Riders, led by Colonel Leonard Wood, were more prepared for the job.
Major General William R Shafter, who commanded the landing, being received by Cuban rebels on June 20th
Frederic Remington painting of San Juan Hill
After these battles, Admiral Cervera, commander of Spanish fleet, ready to surrender, but is told he must keep fighting to preserve Spanish honor. Within two days his fleet has been destroyed and 500 Spaniards had lost their lives.
US quickly took Puerto Rico and kept it as a colony. Armistice signed on August 12th, ending the fighting just in time for the Americans, who were winning the war but dying of tropical diseases.
In the end, there were less than 500 Americans killed by the Spanish (though 5,000 died from disease). Details about Spanish casualties are less reliable, but an estimated 55,000 died during the conflict, 90% of those from disease.
N.d. Photograph. Crucible of Empire - PBS Online. PBS. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <http://www.pbs.org/crucible/tl18.html>.
N.d. Photograph. WRS Latin American and the 20th Century. PB Works. Web. 16 Feb. 2013.<http://wrscoldwar.pbworks.com/w/page/5319978/Spanish-American%20War>.
N.d. Photograph. Cambridge Modern History Atlas 1912. University of Texas Libraries. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <http://lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/ward_1912.html?p=print>.
The Cubans planned another revolt against the Spanish in 1895 because of their resentment of Spanish control and by a U.S. tariff law in 1894 that made Cuban sugar too expensive for the U.S. market
The relationship between the Cubans and the Spanish (who were ruling them) had been deteriorating.
It took the Spanish 10 years to suppress the revolt.
The Cubans led a revolt against the Spanish in 1868
America sympathized with the Cubans because it reminded them of the American Revolution that was 100 years earlier.
The Spanish army led large numbers of Cubans into concentration camps where an estimated 200,000 died of starvation and disease. (1/8 of the island’s population).
They were accused of “yellow journalism”.
William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer were transforming newspaper publishing.
They were the owners of the New York Journal and the New York World.
In late 1897 riots broke out in Havana and McKinley ordered the battleship Maine into Havan harbor to protect U.S. citizens and their property.
President Cleveland resisted pressure to intervene in the war with Cuba and Spain.
Spain relived “Butcher” Weyler of his command, released Cubans from the concentration camps, and granted Cuba limited sovereignty.
William McKinley hated the Spanish and wanted to force them into dispensation that would assure the Cuban rebels and end the war
Advocates for Imperialism & for a Big Navy
Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan – "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660-1783": modern sea power is essential for riches in peacetime and victory in wartime.
By 1898, the US is the third largest naval power in world (GB & Fr/Ger).
USS Maine (ACR-1)
The Maine exploded in Havana harbor, Cuba.
“Remember the Maine” became the battle cry.
Maine sent to harbor in case Americans were in danger.
260 of the 350 men aboard were killed.
The ship’s ammunition went up in flames.
The evening of Feb. 15, 1898, there was an explosion.
No one knows why it blew up.
Yellow Journalism
It was sensationalist (sometimes fictitious) journalism.
A photographer in Cuba cabled Hearst saying war between the US and Spain seemed unlikely, but Hearst replied, “you furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”
The De Lome Letter
The De Lome Letter was a private letter from the Spanish minister in Washington to a friend.
The letter was stolen and published.
It said McKinley was a “spineless politician”.
De Lome resigned his post.
N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2013. <http://www.mrmanos.com/documents/SAWarOL.pdf>.
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Spanish American War (1898-1901).” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. n.d.. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
Ushistory.org. "The Spanish-American War and Its Consequences." US History Online Textbook. N.p., 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.
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