Spanish American War

The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States. Revolts against Spanish rule had been endemic for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans; there had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873. By 1897–98 American public opinion grew more angry at reports of Spanish atrocities, magnified by the “yellow journalism”. After the mysterious sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, political pressures from the Democratic Party pushed the government headed by President William McKinley, a Republican, into a war McKinley had wished to avoid. Compromise proved impossible and first Madrid, then Washington, formally declared war.

Although the main issue was Cuban independence, the ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. A series of one-sided American naval and military victories followed on all fronts, owing to their numerical superiority in most of the battles and despite the good performance of some of the Spanish infantry units. The outcome was the 1898 Treaty of Paris, which was favorable to the U.S. followed by temporary American control of Cuba and indefinite colonial authority over Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. The defeat and subsequent end of the Spanish Empire was a profound shock for Spain’s national psyche. The victor gained several island possessions spanning the globe and a rancorous new debate over the wisdom of imperialism.

1898 – 1902

History of the Spanish American War

Obtaining Spanish American War Records

Cemeteries

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Suggested Spanish-American War Books at Amazon

Rough Riders, by Theodore Roosevelt – Upon the 1898 Declaration of War launching the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt resigned from the Navy Department. With the aid of U.S. Army Colonel Leonard Wood, Roosevelt found volunteers from cowboys from the Western territories to Ivy League friends from New York, forming the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. The newspapers called them the “Rough Riders.”

The Spanish War: An American Epic, 1898 – On the night of February 15, 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine was ripped in half by an explosion in Havana harbor with the loss of 266 American lives. War with Spain followed nine weeks later. After a three-month fight on two fronts half a world apart, the era of isolation was gone forever, as the United States formed alliances and gained spheres of influence that would shape its desstiny for decades to come.



MLA Source Citation:

US Military Records. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 19 November 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/military/spanish-american-war.htm - Last updated on Jul 28th, 2014


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