By the time President McKinley came into office in 1897, the uproar over Cuba was continuing, even though Weyler had left. In 1898, the US dispatched the USS Maine on a "friendly" mission to Cuba. The ship was to wait, ready to rescue US citizens who might be endangered by the conflict in Cuba. On February 15, 1898 the Maine mysteriously blew up. The US blamed a Spanish mine. McKinley gave the OK for war, and by April, both the US and Spain had declared war. In order to assure the world that it was fighting only for the good of Cuba and not for colonial gain, the US passed the Teller Amendment, which promised to make Cuba independent after the war was over.
Once declared, the US fought the war on a number of fronts including Cuba itself. Upon the commencement of hostilities, on the orders of Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, Commodore Dewey immediately attacked Manila harbor in the Philippines. On May 1, Dewey destroyed the old, decrepit, and rotting Spanish fleet at Manila, and the US prepared for an invasion of the Philippines. The US also invaded Guam and Puerto Rico, other Spanish island colonies, during the war.
Under the leadership