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Spanish American War – manifest destiny america The Spanish American war was just another attempt (and asuccessful one at that) to promote manifest destiny, American trade,and to become a world power. The war originated in the Cuban struggle for independence fromSpain that began in 1895. The conditions we (the Spanish) imposed onthem were not that harsh but the American newspapers played them upto be more than they really were. This aroused a great deal ofsympathy from the United States. In addition the United States had agenuine economic interest in seeing our little island of Cubaindependent. Business involvements on the island were estimated at50 million dollars, and trade with Cuban ports was valued at 100million dollars yearly. A large hunk of propaganda were the newspapers made by WilliamRandolf Hearst, and Joseph Pulitzer, both who were hungry for warwith Spain. Our beloved general Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau wasdubbed by them “the butcher”. Nothing has been so far from the truth. All he did was take Cubans who were convicted of treason and putthem in jail. I am not saying jail life was cake and candy but as Irecall neither was the American system. You were still going underpenal reforms and from what I hear in my country you can get lockedup for being a certain race and all you get is water and bread. Weput our prisoners in camps and let them eat what they want. By 1896 there were American demands for the intervention in thewar between Cuba and Spain. To appease both sides we did whatEngland had done for your country. We offered them their ownparliament and we even recalled our beloved general. How did Cubarespond? The insurgents demanded total independence! All attempts
to end the struggle peacefully became futile. America sent the Maine, a big battle ship, to Havana and there it blew up for some reason. I believe it was Hearst who had something to do with the explosionbecause right after it blew up he wired his correspondent in CubaFrederic Remington and said “Please remain. You furnish the picturesand I’ll furnish the war.” Enough said. On March 27th President Mc. Kinley sent an ultimatum to Spainoffering American mediation. What they didn’t tell you was thatanother letter was sent saying that nothing less than Cubanindependence would be satisfactory. We were not going to take thissitting down from a country who only wants this Cuba because it cantake it. It was one of the few last colonies we had and we had aright to it. When the Teller amendment was passed we broke offdiplomatic relations and declared war on April 24. On both fronts(the Caribbean and the Philippines which were ours too) we weredefeated by the overpowering navy of the US in ten weeks. When the formal peace negotiations took place in Paris on Oct. 1,1898 the American representatives committed themselves to a policy ofimperialistic expansion and did so in the peace talks. They took thePhilippines in exchange (although hardly fair) for 20 million dollars. In doing so Spain lost the last remnants of its world empire. Theunited states in contrast gained an empire. The Spanish American war assured that the Panama canal would bebuilt (since the US now needed a two ocean navy) and thus commercewould flow both to the Atlantic and pacific oceans. The war alsoadvanced the career of the assistant sec. of the Navy who won the v. presidency in 1900 and became president in 1901 when Mc. Kinley wasassassinated.
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