the spanish american war
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The Spanish-American war was the first and biggest step that the United States of America took toward imperialism. It was the war that secured the US as the most powerful country in the world. This war was a benefit to the USA because we gained land, gained respect, and taught a lesson to one of our enemies. In addition to this, the losses that we suffered were almost nothing compared to other conflicts or wars. The Spanish-American war was by no means for the sole purpose of gaining land and respect, the United States freed an oppressed country and took pieces of land that were better off under US control.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Imperialism was a popular trend among the large, powerful countries. Imperialism is defined as “The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations” Imperialism cannot be said as either good or bad, but as a general rule; If you live in an annexed country, imperialism is not good, if your country annexes smaller ones to gain profit, land, and respect, then imperialism is good. The United States was not much of an imperialistic country until we won the Spanish-American war. As a result of this war, we annexed Guam, The Philippines, and Puerto Rico. This is the point at which the US becomes and imperialistic nation, and though it was a hard struggle to keep these annexed countries under control and eventually gave them all back to their rightful owners. The importance of taking these countries is that we then could have coal stations around the world to fuel our navy, and we got respect from other countries around the war. This respect and intimidation helped the allied powers defeat the central powers during World War II. Ever since the US became the most powerful nation after the Spanish-American war, we have retained the title.
One reason why the Spanish-American war was good for the US is the relatively small losses we had. 332 Americans were killed and 1642 were injured, and 2957 died from disease. These numbers amount to a total of 3289 soldiers killed because of the Spanish-American war (McSherry). This seems like many casualties, but if one compares it to any other war, it is almost nothing, considering there were 15 million battlefield deaths in the Second World War (Ash 71).
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American War Spanish American War Spanish-american War Central Powers Other Countries Losses Territorial Guam Addition
Another factor to consider is that the United States spent 5 billion dollars (year 2000 currency) on the Spanish-American war. This also seems like nothing, compared to the 2,300 dollars we spent on World War II (McSherry).
The US had a right to declare war on Spain on April 25th in the year 1898. During this time, Cuba was under intense oppression from Spain. The Cuban people were in a state of uprising against Spain, which prompted Spain to group the Cubans into small villages where they were forced to live. Since the US once was in a situation like this, we felt for the Cubans and argued with Spain on their behalf. This raised much tension between Spain and the US. To make matters worse, the “yellow journalists” made up stories about severe brutality taking place in Cuba, the American people were strongly against Spain at this point. The next bad event to take place was the “Delome letter”, a letter sent from the Spanish diplomat Enrique Dupuy De Lome. This letter criticized the American president William Mckinley, calling him “weak” and “a low politician”. Americans were outraged at this; some because they felt Spain was hostile toward us, and some because they just would not stand for the making fun of our president. Finally, to top it all off, The US battleship Maine was destroyed in harbor in Havana. The cause of the explosion is unknown, but it was and still is widely believed that an enemy mine detonated on the ships hull, and ignited the weapons and ammunition stored in the bottom of the ship, causing the whole ship to explode and kills 266 crewmen.
As the general rule of democracy, the country does what the people want. If the people want to go to war, it doesn’t matter if their anger is fueled by yellow journalists, who greatly blow out the facts to make the opposing country look bad. One must accept that propaganda is a major part of war and it cannot be blamed for the start of one.
The Spanish American War of 1898 Essay
1316 Words6 Pages
The Spanish American War of 1898
One hundred years ago, in 1898, the United States was fighting the Spanish-American War. The victory over Spain made the United States a colonial power. The Spanish colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, as well as the formerly independent nation of Hawaii, became American possessions. The excuse for entering the war was the rebellion by the Cubans against Spanish rule and the explosion of an American battleship U.S.S. Maine. The Spanish colonies in mainland North and South America became independent in the early 1800s, but Cuba and Puerto Rico remained Spanish. Many Americans in the U.S. sympathized with Cuba, which began in 1895, and also, maybe more importantly, U.S. citizens…show more content…
Before dawn on May 1, 1898, Commodore George Dewey's flagship Olympia led seven U.S. Navy cruisers and gunboats into Manila Bay. By 8 AM that morning Dewey's squadron had located and destroyed virtually the entire Spanish naval forces in the Philippines. Damage to the American ships was very little, and their crews suffered no fatalities and few injuries. The Battle of Manila Bay was a singular demonstration of the daring and decisive application of sea power. In a few hours, Dewey had eliminated any threat that the Spanish Navy might pose to U.S. Far Eastern commerce and placed Spain's centuries-long rule of the Philippines in great jeopardy. A few days later, with the capture of Cavite arsenal, he also gained a repair and refueling base, essential for maintaining his squadron under wartime conditions thousands of miles from home. On May 15, Theodore Roosevelt began training the famous Rough Riders for battles in Cuba, which brought him the fame that made him vice president in 1901 and then president on September 13 . In Washington, President McKinley received the news of the great battle. However, the battle of Manila did not end the war. 100 miles off the US coast is where Spanish held Cuba, by a substantial army, and hostile to American interests there. No naval force could impose on Cuba, and in order to force the Spanish out, a full scale invasion would have to be mounted. In 1897, Theodore