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Spanish American War Essay

1069 words - 4 pages

Kenneth Wong Wong
Mr. Hackett
Section 001
Spanish­American War
Throughout the spanish american war and even before it began, until the end of the
spanish­american war the newspaper had the power to heavily influence the choices people
made. It started with industrial revolution at the turn of the 19th century as the United States
became the number one leading manufacturer and foremost industrial power in the world, jobs
became harder to do and competition for their jobs grew. There were two people who controlled
the newspapers at the time, Joseph Pulitzer of New York World and William Randolph Hearst,
the editor of the New York Journal and they competed in the Newspaper business. Their
competition lead to yellow journalism, which is an exaggerated way of reporting news in order to
gain readership, profits, and influence. The conflict between spain and cuba for cuban
independence and yellow journalism grew during this period allowing the influence of
newspapers to once again grow.
The USS Maine, in havana harbor on February 15th, 1898 caused the Spanish­American
War. To protect American citizens, the USS Maine was sent to cuba to keep out the cuban
revolution or in order words, national security. When the explosion happened, the immediate
question for Americans was whether or not this was done by spain. Joseph Pulitzer, the editor of
the New York World published in February 17, 1898, a newspaper under the headlines "USS

Maine explosion caused by bomb or torpedo?" The question is asking attack or be attacked. The
paper implies that this is all perhaps spain's fault and we either need to attack now or be
eventually be attacked. This was false
Wong 2
actually, in 1976 the navy researchers concluded that the explosion was caused by an
underground mine. The competition for readership fueled up this yellow journalism. It pushed
the United States towards the war against Spain further with exaggerated news so they could get
readership, profits, and influence. According to the headlines it was published in "explosion
caused by bomb or torpedo", Joseph pulitzer is only giving the readers two choices and they're
both for pro­war reasons. The headline was a rhetorical question and the language was as if it
had already made up the mind of the readers. Joseph Pulitzer's claim that this was either an
accident by bomb or on purpose by torpedo contradicted what the actual reason of the explosion
was as concluded in 1976. He did this because he would be having an advantage in the
competition between the New York Journals by getting more readerships. Joseph Pulitzer, editor
the New York Journals rhetorical claim of "USS Maine explosion caused by bomb or torpedo",
was significant because the influence of yellow journalism grew during this period and it heavily
influenced the minds of the people.
The Spanish­American War was also majorly triggered by the De lome letter.This was a
letter that was not meant to be published but since it was...

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