Let Slip the Dogs of War… Recall! Based on the work you did last week in class, what Spanish colonies did we “acquire” following the Spanish American War? Cuba, Guam, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and The Philippines
A Little Revolution… Cuba has been struggling for their independence from Spain. Slavery had been abolished on the island. Spain continued to rule the Cuban colonials repressively. Cuba is only 90 miles from Florida. Americans see Cuba as a part of the U.S. (Monroe Doctrine). Americans also sympathize with the Cubans plight. Why? The United States also sees $$$ in Cuba. Why? Jose Marti- Cuban expatriate in NY starts to recruit men and supplies for the “fight”.
Viva la Revolution Marti launched a revolution from NYC. The war was brutal for the island. The conditions were horrid. The death toll grew steadily while the economy fell apart. Americans had invested heavily in the sugar crop. With the island burning, American investors followed the crisis closely. Some of the events were HIGHLY exaggerated by the American press. McKinley was elected POTUS and was for the U.S. acquisition of new territories. McKinley sought peace with Spain as a new Spanish government came to power. This new government proposed reforms in some of the harsh war tactics.
Remember the Maine Spanish troops in Cuba opposed these reforms. They rioted in Havana. Cubans were in full revolt. The Spanish were ordered to quell the violence. However, they were outnumbered and too timid to enforce the new reforms. They did put the Cubans into concentration camps. However, this only enraged the Cubans more. This uprising showed the world that Spain was not in control of Cuba. McKinley orders the U.S.S. Maine to Havana to help protect U.S. personnel and property. The Maine was destroyed in Havana Harbor. 260 seamen were killed. “Remember the Maine! To War with Spain!” Many Americans felt that the Maine was bombed by the Spanish. The press fuels this thought. However… the destruction of the Maine was later said to have been accidental.
Yellow Journalism American newspapers flooded their pages with stories about the Maine and this need to go to war. William Randolph Hearst- Publisher of the New York Journal. He was a key component of “Yellow Journalism”. Joseph Pulitzer was another component. The stories that they published were sensational and hair raising. Some yellow journalists fabricated stories of Spanish cruelty. Hearst hired an artist to go down and sketch images of the Spanish atrocities. He reported to Hearst that it was not as bad as they had been reporting. Hearst responded- “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.” Many think that these journalists and their stories forced politicians to take military action against Spain. McKinley still wanted to avoid war. He sent one last ultimatum. It was not successful.
A Declaration of War Public pressure forced McKinley to ask Congress to use force against Spain. Congress debated for a week. On April 19, 1898, they declared Cuba to be an independent nation. On April 25, McKinley signed the declaration of war with Spain.
“You don’t object to our help, I hope?” War began in the Philippines before it did in Cuba. Secretary of the Navy Teddy Roosevelt ordered Commodore George Dewey to prepare to invade the Philippines. Manila was the target. It took the U.S. Navy 7 hours to crush the Spanish fleet in Manila Harbor. Dewey could not take the city with just sailors. He had to wait. Dewey also collaborated with Emilio Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo had led a rebellion that forced Spain out of other Filipino territories. Aguinaldo agreed to help Dewey take Manila and end Spanish rule. The U.S. wins and Aguinaldo is betrayed by Dewey.
Cuba Once the Philippines were taken, Cuba became the target. General Nelson Miles and General William Shafer landed 17,000 troops near Santiago. African Americans were involved. Fighting began in Cuba on June 20, 1898
The Rough Riders A colorful volunteer unit led by Teddy Roosevelt. Composed of cowboys, college students, ex-polo players, steeple chasers, and other adventurous types. AKA Teddy’s Terrors: they were undisciplined and not always effective. They did embody the overall American fighting spirit for this war. The press LOVED them… They became legendary after they charged up San Juan Hill. This hill was important strategically. The Americans charged up the hill on foot and demoralized the Spanish who held the hill.
“A Splendid Little War” African Americans: They played a vital role in this war. The army was segregated. These segregated black units made it possible to win several key battles. They even saved the Rough Riders on two occasions. The Battle of San Juan Hill was the first and last major land battle of the war. The Spanish tried to flee Cuba 3 days later and were defeated by the U.S. blockade. The U.S. turned its attention to Puerto Rico. They easily took this island. They called this mission a “moonlight excursion”. 385 Americans died in combat. 5,000 died because of mosquito born diseases. Many were kept in quarantine following their return to the states out of fears of massive outbreaks of disease. African American distrust and intolerance continues.
Results Treaty of Paris signed in October of 1898. Spain gave independence to Cuba and ceded Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the U.S. for a payment of $20 million. These new territories added 100,000 square miles to the U.S. and 10 million new people. U.S. still exerted influence in Cuba. The U.S. becomes a world power. Anti-Imperialist tendencies begin to emerge.
So… A naval vessel is destroyed A media tycoon embellishes the story for ratings and power The sinking of a ship pushes two nations to the brink What am I talking about?