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Spanish American War Essay

857 words - 3 pages

The Spanish-American War: What it Meant for Cuba and America Over 100 years ago, 1898, Cubans fought for independence from Spain and Americans sought to gain greater world power, wealth and to become a more prominent nation. Both Cuba and the Americas could gain from this war if they played it right, and that's exactly what they did. It all started on the night of when a US battleship, On February 23, 1895, mounting discontent culminated in a resumption of the Cuban revolution, under the leadership of the writer and patriot José Martí and General Máximo Gómez y Báez. The U.S. government intervened on behalf of the revolutionists in April 1898, precipitating the Spanish-American War. Intervention was spurred by the sinking of the battleship Maine in the harbor of Havana of February 15, 1898, for which Spain was blamed. By the terms of the treaty signed December 10, 1898, terminating the conflict, Spain relinquished sovereignty over Cuba. the USS Maine was destroyed by an explosion. The explosion killed two-thirds of the Maine's crew. The fact was, nobody knew for sure what had caused the explosion, but the United States press saw this as a great opportunity to make some money; so they, with their Yellow-Journalism tactics, which is a method of reporting "fact" based on inference and exaggeration, conjured up a story which had a great impact on the public as well as the already weak relations between the United States and Spain. They reported that the Maine had been sunk by a torpedo from a Spanish ship. This was the final straw for the United States, and also a reason for them to engage with the Spanish. And so it was, the short war which was to only last for a couple of months had begun, the Spanish-American War. One account of the explosion on the Maine comes from Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee, he said: I laid down my pen and listened to the notes of the bugle, which were singularly beautiful in the oppressive stillness of the night. . . . I was enclosing my letter in its envelope when the explosion came. It was a bursting, rending, and crashing roar of immense volume, largely metallic in character. It was followed by heavy, ominous metallic sounds. There was a trembling and lurching motion of the vessel, a list to port. The electric lights went out....

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