The Spanish-American War (1898)

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  • The Spanish-American War (1898)
    • Outcomes
      • Spanish defeat/US victory
        • Admiral Dewey's fleet captured Spanish colonies in the Philippines by August
        • American warships blockaded Spanish fleet in Santiago de Cuba
        • Spanish fleet destroyed and 474 Spanish sailors killed
        • US victories at battles of El Caney Hill and San Juan Hill
      • Cuba
        • Granted independence when war ended but US occupied for 4 years
        • July 17th 1898 - Spain asked for peace
          • Treaty of Paris signed and ended war in December
        • American investments after war increased to $500 million
          • Cuba reliant on America
      • US Gains
        • Buys the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam for $20 million off of Spain
        • US public supported government for being much more active
          • High point of American history
        • Secretary of State John Hay: "A splendid little war"
      • Platt Amendment (1901)
        • Cuba promised not to make any treaties with foreign powers that would limit independence
        • US reserved the right to interfere with Cuban affairs
      • Deaths
        • 5,000 Americans died from diseases (e.g. malaria) and poor training, equipment, and conditions
        • Only 379 died in battle
      • Naval bases
        • US established naval base at Guantanamo Bay
        • Bases in Guam and the Philippines as well
    • Causes
      • Treatment of people
        • 1895 - José Marti led revolt against Spain fighting for Cuban independence
        • Spanish came down hard - 200,000 Cubans died in unsanitary concentration camps
      • Yellow Press/public opinion
        • US public opinion behind rebels encouraged by lurid newspaper stories about concentration camps
          • "Sights that Sicken Strong Men"
        • Press circulation war going on between Hearst ('The Journal') and Pulitzer ('The World')
        • Sensationalised stories of appalling treatment of Cubans
        • 1898 - De Lome described McKinley as weak
      • USS Maine
        • 1898 - USS Maine sent to Cuban capital of Havana
        • Feb 15th - 266 American sailors killed and Spanish blamed
        • "Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!"
      • Teller Amendment (1898)
        • April 1898 - Congress recognised Cuban independence and authorised McKinley to send troops
        • US didn't want 'sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control' of Cuba
        • There to help it gain independence NOT to take over
        • Appeals to pro- and anti-imperialists
      • Geo-political
        • Cuba 150 km south of Florida
        • Within 'sphere of influence' according to the Monroe Doctrine
          • Need to defend Monroe Doctrine or it looks weak
      • Economic
        • US had investments of $50 million in Cuba
        • Imported $100 million dollars worth of produce from island
        • 86% of Cuban exports went to US


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