The Spanish-American War: Casualties and Consequences

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THESIS : " The United States didn't want to get involved in the Spanish-American War, but was dragged into it due to yellow journalism, they wanted to control the seas, and wanted complete control over Cuba." The Spanish-American War - "The Splendid Little War" Pia DeAngelis Mr. Fishman Period 7 For 113 days during the summer of 1898, the United States was at war with Spain. Neither the president of the United States, nor his cabinet, nor the the queen of Spain, nor her ministers wanted the war wanted the war. It happened eventhough they made their best efforts to prevent it. It happened because of ambition, miscalculation, and stupidity; and it happened because of kindness, wit, and resourcefulness. It also happened because some were indifferent to the suffering of the world's wretched and others were not (O'Toole 17). By winning the war the United States proved the the rest of the world and to itself that it could and would fight against foreign nations. For many years, world power had been concentrated in the countries in Europe. Nations such as Great Britain, France, Germany, and Spain had the most influence in global affairs. But a shift in power was gradually taking place as the United States matured. The young nation gained wealth and strength. Its population grew immensely, and many people believed it would become a major world power (Bachrach, 11) Spain was one of the many European countries that had territory in the United States. Spain controlled mostly some islands off the coast of Central America. The most important of these were Cuba and Puerto Rico. The United States was led to believe that the Spanish mosgoverned and abused the people of these islands. In fact, Spain did overtax and mistreat the Cubans, who rebelled in 1868 and again in 1895. Thus, the American people felt sympathetic toward the Cuban independence movement. In addition, Spain had frequently interfered with trade between its colonies and the United States. Even though the United States had been a trading partner with Cuba since the seventeenth century, Spain sometimes tried to completely stop their trade with Cuba. In Spain doing so, this sometimes caused damage to U.S. commercial interests. The United States highly disagreed with Spain's right to interfere with this trade relationship. (Bachrach, 12) The United States was also concerned that other trading and commercial interests were threatened by the number of ships and soldiers Spain kept in the area. If the United States had to fight a war with Canada or Mexico, these Spanish forces could quickly mobilize against the United States. U.S. officials especially wanted Spanish troops out of Cuba because it lies only ninety miles of the coast of Florida. Over the years, then, the United States built up a great deal of resentment toward Spain, although it was unable to oppose such a powerful nation. At the same time, Spain's power was gradually weakening. Its economy had declined, and its military ships and weaponry were antiquated and in disrepair. Rapid political change toward the end of the noneteenth century further weakening Spain's power. Because political parties were attempting to overthrow its monarchy, the Spanish government was forced to devote many of its soldiers to defending the monarchy. As a result, there were fewer resources available for defending its distant colonies around the world. The stage was set for the United States to take stand against Spain. The United States didn't want to get involved in the Spanish-American War, but was dragged into it due to yellow journalism, they wanted to control the seas, and wanted complete control over Cuba (Bachrach, 13). The American press played a major role in leading the United States into a war against Spain in 1898. The press aroused a nationalist sentiment to such a fever pitch that President McKinley came to believe that if he did not fight the Spanish, he and his political party would suffer. This uproar was stimulated by two...
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