Spanish–American War

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The Spanish–American War

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.

Spain lost the sea war and so had to give up its colonies of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and part of Guam. All of those colonies, except for Cuba, became US colonies after the war.

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]

Volunteers throughout the country signed up for the war. Future US President Theodore Roosevelt raised troops and became famous in leading the Rough Riders during the Battle of San Juan Hill.

In a big naval battle in Manila Bay, an American fleet, commanded by George Dewey, destroyed the Spanish fleet. Ground battles took place in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

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,[1] Later, it got the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Military Map, Island of Puerto Rico". World Digital Library. 1898. Retrieved 2013-10-23.