The Reasons The United States Entered The Spanish American War

1166 words - 5 pages

The Spanish-American war cannot be directly sourced to one cause. Rather it was the result of the combination of events pre-dating the war and the spark that ignited our intervention into this conflict. This paper will trace the reasons behind the United States involvement in this war. The United States partaking in this war, was a signal to the rest of the world that the United States was ready to emerged as a world power. By having one of the best Naval Fleets, by the beginning of the war, the United States sent a messaged to the rest of the world that the US is ready and capable to become more involved in foreign affairs. However, it is important to question the importance of each cause that led up to the United States declaring war with Spain and putting itself between them and Cuba.

Long before our involvement, the Cubans had been leading revolts and revolutions against Spain. The Spanish empire considered Cuba to be its jewel, not only for its beauty but also for its economics. Cuba’s main source of income was from its expansive sugar plantations that greatly contributed to its wealth (more so to the Spanish Empires wealth). Ironically, even due to the high regard to Cuba, it was neglected and oppressed, as the Spanish Empire began its decline in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Empire was falling due to it slowly loosing its control over its territories, closer to the US then to Spain, because of a lack of industrializing. The Spanish would claim ownership, but never contribute back to their land. This opened the door for what is known as the 10-year war and the struggle for Cuban Independence. The United States never got directly involved, but it sympathized greatly with the Cuban’s cause, for the conditions of many of the civilians and for the toll the revolt was taking on the US. Cuba was the United States main producer of sugar and not only were the prices of sugar and other resources skyrocketing, some of the US government worried about future trade restrictions. Although the revolution eventually failed, the tensions between the Cubans and the Spanish remained and fueled the Cubans second revolution in 1895.

As the Cubans rose up against their Spanish rulers, a terrible war commenced, where many of the civilians suffered greatly. Guerrilla war tactics were used, which were the use of small groups of civilians; other than trained military personal to strike a target and then withdrawal quickly. To quell the guerillas, the Spanish rounded up the rural population into rebel camps and deprived them of food and sanitation, and in these camps thousands died. It was at this point, when the US finally began to pay attention. Other then being a very humanitarian nation, the US took special interest in Cuba. For one the US had invested 50 million dollars in Cuba and the war had taken a toll on this investment and other business ventures, but this still wasn’t enough to get involved. Inside the US, the...

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