History Essay

Submitted By catwoman45
Words: 1388
Pages: 6

The Spanish-American War changed America’s view of expansion. It was a brief and intense war between America and Spain that lasted only from April until July of 1898. The war was not started by one thing in particular. Many events happened preceding the war. It all began with the Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894, which put restrictions on sugar imports to the United States. This hurt Cuba’s economy since it was based on producing and selling their sugar. At the time, Cuba was a Spanish colony. Angry citizens known as “insurrectos” began revolting. Spain then sent General Weyler to stabilize the situation in Cuba and put a lot of people in concentration camps. The United States became concerned having many businessmen with investment interests in Cuba. The American public was stirred into an anti-Spain frenzy by the yellow journalism of men like Hearst and Pulitzer. President Grover Cleveland did not declare war. Not long after President McKinley came into office, he was criticizing Spain’s “uncivilized and inhuman” conduct. By this time, Weyler had left Cuba. McKinley sent the USS Maine on a “friendly” mission to Cuba. The ship was to wait, ready to rescue any U.S. citizens endangered by the conflict in Cuba. On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine mysteriously blew up, killing 266 sailors and sinking the ship. McKinley gave the OK for war and by April, both the US and Spain had declared war. The Spanish-American War was called “a splendid little war” because the war only lasted 10 weeks and only 460 soldiers were killed. It was a complete victory for the United States, and we made considerable territorial gains at Spanish expense. The war had many effects on American society. It gave the United States, for the first time, an overseas Empire. We acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. It also helped the men of the northern and southern United States to unite behind a common cause - the war bred camaraderie and the grudges of the Civil War really began to fade with the Spanish-American War. In addition, the war scuttled an early effort to resolve international conflict by arbitration, it set back the women's suffrage movement, and it served as a foundation for widespread U.S. adventurism and occupation overseas. American expansion into Latin America was the authority of the U.S. to govern the island of Cuba until they established a stable government of their own. McKinley assigned General Leonard Wood to oversee this process. Wood conducted municipal elections and also arranged for the election of delegates to a constitutional convention. They adopted a constitution modeled after America’s constitution and included provisions for future relations with the U.S. The American military government also built roads and schools, and established order in rural areas of the island. There was also a public health campaign that wiped out yellow fever. By May 1902, the Cubans finally had their independence.

Theodore Roosevelt became known as a “trust buster” while in office by forcing the great railroad combination in the Northwest to break apart. As President, he saw himself a representative of all the people, including farmers, laborers, white-collar workers, and businessmen. Therefore, he was focused on bringing big business under stronger regulation so that he could effectively serve all the people he represented. He wanted to regulate rather than dissolve most trusts. Efforts continued over the years to reduce the control of big business over the American economy and workers. Earlier Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act to maintain economic independence and to eliminate restraints on trade and competition. This act came in to play during Roosevelt’s “trust busting” activities. This was not a term Roosevelt favored. He believed the offending corporations needed to be regulated, not destroyed. Many of his critics failed to note the difference. While promoting social and governmental