The Spanish-Cuban-American War

2446 Americans was killed or died from disease (385,2061), 1662 where wounded and 11 was caught prisoners in the Spanish-Cuban-American War that lead to the independence of Cuba from Spain in 1998.

USS Maine Passing Morro Castle as she entered Havana Harbor Cuba on 25 January 1898

The Spanish-Cuban-American War (Spanish: Guerra Española-Cubano-Americana) was an armed conflict between Spain and the United States in 1898. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of USS Maine in Havana Harbor in Cuba, leading to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. The war led to emergence of U.S. predominance in the Caribbean region, and resulted in U.S. acquisition of Spain’s Pacific possessions. That led to U.S. involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately in the Philippine–American War.

The main issue was Cuban independence. Revolts had been occurring for some years in Cuba against Spanish rule. The U.S. later backed these revolts upon entering the Spanish–American War. There had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873, but in the late 1890s, American public opinion was agitated by reports of gruesome Spanish atrocities. The business community had just recovered from a deep depression and feared that a war would reverse the gains. It lobbied vigorously against going to war. President William McKinley ignored the exaggerated yellow press and sought a peaceful settlement. The United States Navy armored cruiser USS Maine mysteriously exploded and sank in Havana Harbor; political pressures from the Democratic Party pushed McKinley into a war that he had wished to avoid.

McKinley signed a joint Congressional resolution demanding Spanish withdrawal and authorizing the President to use military force to help Cuba gain independence on April 20, 1898. In response, Spain severed diplomatic relations with the United States on April 21. On the same day, the U.S. Navy began a blockade of Cuba. Both sides declared war; neither had allies.

The ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. As U.S. agitators for war well knew, U.S. naval power would prove decisive, allowing expeditionary forces to disembark in Cuba against a Spanish garrison already facing nationwide Cuban insurgent attacks and further wasted by yellow fever. The invaders obtained the surrender of Santiago de Cuba and Manila despite the good performance of some Spanish infantry units and fierce fighting for positions such as San Juan Hill. Madrid sued for peace after two Spanish squadrons were sunk in Santiago de Cuba and Manila Bay and a third, more modern, fleet was recalled home to protect the Spanish coasts.

The result was the 1898 Treaty of Paris, negotiated on terms favorable to the U.S. which allowed that Spain relinquishes sovereignty over Cuba, and U.S. temporary takes control of Cuba and ceded ownership of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine islands. The cession of the Philippines involved payment of $20 million ($602,320,000 today) to Spain by the U.S. to cover infrastructure owned by Spain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.