The Spanish–American War was a war fought between Spain and the United States of America in 1898. The war was fought in part because many people wanted Cuba, one of the last parts of the Spanish Empire, to become independent. Many Americans also wanted their country to get a colonial empire.
Causes[change | change source]
Following reports of Spain abusing and killing Cubans, the US sent warships to Cuba. Spain was losing control of Cuba and had been putting Cubans into concentration camps. The US sent ships to Cuba to try to force Spain to give up Cuba. The USS Maine (ACR-1) exploded in Havana harbor, killing about 260 people on board. "Remember the Maine" became a common wartime saying. US newspapers blamed Spain for the explosion. Spain tried to avoid going to war, but pressure from US newspapers, called "yellow journalism," and ordinary people, persuaded the US government to go to war. Some of them wanted Cuba to become independent, but others hoped that the US could build a colonial empire overseas, as many European countries had already done so.
Fighting[change | change source]
The US won the war and soon began to occupy and take control of the colonies after Spain surrendered. Almost 400 American soldiers died during fighting, but more than 4000 Americans died from diseases such as yellow fever, typhoid, and malaria.
End of war[change | change source]
The war stopped when the Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898 by the United States and Spain. The United States became the owners of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, Later, it got the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.