Spanish American War

Topics: United States, USS Maine, Philippines Pages: 5 (2055 words) Published: March 22, 2012
The Birth of American Imperialism

The United States of America was founded on July 4, 1776 and has fought three wars before the Spanish-American War. The United States has fought numerous times for different reasons. The States fought Britain for their independence in 1776, and then in 1812 they fought Britain because American ships were being taken prisoner by the British for no apparent reason. America stood up against the British and let them know that was going to push America around. America also fought against itself trying to preserve the nation and keep The United States as one and from not separating. The United States of America unified again in 1865 becoming one with unified ideas. In 1898 the United States fought a new enemy for new reasons, but these reasons were not justified and not appropriate to declare war on Spain. In the 1890’s the United States attitude turned much aggressive and expansionistic than it had ever been. There was in fact a lust for forming colonies. What triggered the war was the blowing up of the Maine Battleship. The blame was put on Spain’s shoulders believing the Spanish had a hand in the destruction of the Maine. Years after the end of the war investigators have concluded that the Maine blew up due to the boiler room overheating and blowing up. The Spanish-American War is the most unnecessary war of all-time and could have easy been avoided if America did not declare wars on other nations solely on belief without any evidence. The defeat of the Spanish forces marked the end of their rule in the Americas and also marked the rise of the United States as a global military power. The Spanish-American War affected the United States in a number of other ways. It helped speed the construction of the Panama Canal and also resulted in the U.S.'s acquisition of foreign territories. This war marks the being of American Imperialism, and the beginning of American intervention in other countries.

Before the war and before the explosion of the USS Maine there was a lot of tension between America and Spain at the time. The United States and Spain all most started a war when Spain captured an American ship in 1873. The captain and the crew were executed on charges of having rebel leaders aboard (Gay 9). There were many reports of U.S citizens in Cuba being imprisoned or murdered. Spanish officials even confiscated U.S property (Gay 9). Also, Americans living in Cuba were captured and sent without trial to this prison known as Morro Castle (Gay 23). Also, Cuba was rebelling against Spanish rule and wanted its own independence. Constant fighting between Spain and the natives became deadly. Cuba was an important colony for the Spanish. The islands export sugar, tobacco, and other raw materials were traded by the Spanish to generate great amounts of wealth (Bachrach 15). In January 25, the USS Maine arrives in Havana, Cuba. The Maine is there to protect Americans in Cuba against the riot occurring in Havana (Bowan 103). February 15, the USS Maine while docked in the Havana harbor is rocketed by two explosions. The ship begins to sink killing 266 U.S sailors (Bowan 104). The United States places the blame upon Spain for the destruction of the Maine and in April the United States and Spain break off diplomatic relations. The U.S president orders a naval blockade of Cuba’s ports (Bowan 104). McKinley stressed that the United States had tried to remain neutral, but too many Americans were treated inhumanly in Cuba by the Spanish (Gay 28). In 1823, the Monroe Doctrine stated that further efforts by European governments to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would not be accepted by the U.S., but Spain's colony in Cuba was exempted. In 1890, Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan wrote The Influence of Sea Power upon History, which credits the rise of Britain to world power to the Royal Navy. Mahan’s ideas on projecting strength through a strong navy had a powerful worldwide influence....
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