Spanish American War

Spanish American War

In 1898, there was a rise in conflict between the United States and Spain that eventually led to the end of Spanish rule in the Americas and the U.S taking over territories in Latin America. The war began in Cuba, when Cuba began its conquest for independence from Spain. Due to the portrayal of Spanish brutality in United States, the American people grew sympathy for the rebel forces in Cuba. Americans began to support the idea of intervention  when  the sinking of the battleship, USS Maine, occurred unexpectedly. The USS Maine was sent  to protect U.S citizens who were caught in the crossfires of anti-Spanish rioting. The United States Congress intervened and declared Cuba’s right to independence and demanded that Spain withdraw their armed forces from Cuba. If Spain refused to leave, Congress authorized the President’s use of armed forces to make sure they do withdraw from Cuba.

On April 24 , 1898, Spain declared war on the United States ,who then followed by their own declaration of war. However, Spain was unprepared for a war against the United States. Unfortunately for Spanish forces, the war was one sided. The United States had the greater advantage due to the readily armed forces available. Commander George Dewey of the United States Naval squadron led a fleet into Manila Bay in the Philippines and destroyed a still Spanish fleet.

A Spanish fleet was docked at the Santiago harbor in Cuba when an army of troops led by General William Shafter made their advances to the city in order to force Cervera’s fleet away from the harbor. Cervera’s ships were hit under heavy fire from U.S forces. Santiago was then surrendered to Shafter on July 17, which ended the Spanish American War.

The end of the Spanish American War led to the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10,1898. In this treaty, Spain released all claims of Cuba, Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States. Spain also sold sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States for twenty million.