Section I,2. Analyze the consequences of American rule in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines. Did the citizens prosper? Enjoy freedom? Accept American rule? Comment on the consequences for the United States with regard to the statement made by Eric Foner in the text, “Thus, two principles central to American freedom since the War of Independence – no taxation without representation and government based on the consent of the governed – were abandoned when it came to the nation’s new possessions.
The struggle of Cuba to gain its independence from Spain, which began in 1895, has captured the attention of many Americans. Spain’s brutal repressive measures to halt the rebellion were graphically portrayed for the U.S. public by American newspaper publishers, William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer which caused to shape the national mood of agitation against Spain. Hearst and Pulitzer exaggerated the actual events in Cuba and how did Spanish brutally treated their prisoners by adding sensational words to catch the emotions of readers. However, publishing stories against the atrocities of Spain did not convince President Cleveland to support the intervention with Spain. When President McKinley held the office in 1897, he wanted to end the revolt peacefully, and he tried to avoid the involvement of America to the conflict between Cuba and Spain. McKinley sent Stewart Woodford to Spain to negotiate for peaceful Cuban autonomy and it all went smoothly and the independence of Cuba was supposed to be awarded after the negotiation. However, the peaceful settlement suddenly vanished after the incident of February 1898 when a private letter for a Cuban friend written by the Spanish minister Enrique Dupuy de Lome was stolen by a Cuban agent, and turned it over to the press. The letter described Mc Kinley as a weak man and a bidder for admiration of the crowd. Coming from a foreigner, the mockery of the Spanish minister to the president of the United States sought by many Americans as highly offensive and it caused an elevated anger of America against Spain.
The growing popular demand for America’s intervention became an insistent chorus after the explosion of the battleship “Maine” in Havana on February 15, 1898 which killed more than 260 men. Although the cause of the explosion was still unknown at that time , Americans assumed that Spain was responsible for the explosion and demanded President McKinley to start an urgent action by declaring a war with Spain. In order to assure that the war was for the sake of gaining independence for Cuba, and not for colonial gain, Congress passed the teller Amendment which states the secured independence for Cuba after the war.
McKinley asked congress to appropriate $50 million for military supply and congress obliged. In March of 1898 at the President’s request, Spain agreed to stop the fighting and eliminate its concentration camps but refused to negotiate with rebels, and reserved its rights to retain their...