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Spanish American War. Essay

887 words - 4 pages

In the 1890's the United States became more aggressive and expansive than it had been for the past few decades. There was apparently a hunger for foreign conquest because they started to concur all the land they could grasp. The conflict with Spain derived mainly from the American desire to help the Cubans with their independence from Spain along with their own greed to gain more world power. Americans wanted the war, after the Maine was blown up by itself, which could well have been avoided. Yet the people of America had little understanding of what the results of the war would bring, and the affect it would have on the nation as a whole. So stating this, I believe American entry into the Spanish-American war was not justified.The yellow press played a tremendous part in stirring up sentiment for intervention in Cuba, but these feelings could not be carried into action unless American political leaders of both parties were willing to assume the responsibility of war. On January 12, 1898 an incident occurred which made war seem virtually inevitable. A riot broke out in Havana, and Spanish officers attacked newspaper offices. If the United States sent a naval vessel it might be buying trouble with Spain, but if they didn't and a riot broke out and Americans were killed, the Administration would be stoned for not having a ship there to protect them. After several days McKinley sent the Maine to Havana on a courtesy visit to show that American ships could visit the island without danger to citizens. February 15, 1898 the Maine was blown up by an explosion supposedly caused by the Spanish but in actually exploded by combustion. 260 out of the 350 officers and men were killed. Theodore Roosevelt commented that, " The Maine was sunk by an act of dirty treachery on the part of the Spaniards," and,"[he] would give anything if President McKinley would order the fleet to Havana tomorrow." Even though there was no one to enlist them, volunteers lined up for war service. The question of peace or war now lay with McKinley. Following Proctor's speech, crying out for war McKinley was still holding out. Roosevelt said that McKinley "[had] no more backbone then a chocolate eclair." Afraid of the consequences that war would bring, McKinley embarked on a policy of attempting to regain the fruits of war without fighting. Woodford demanded that Spain agree to an immediate armistice, revoke the re-concentration order, and co-operate with the United States to provide relief. Spain was given 48 hours to reply. Spain replied that they would yield everything we...

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