The Spanish-American War began through pressure from the public to take action against ill treatment of the Cubans, military interests, and many more reasons while resulting in annexation, imperialism, the building of the Panama Canal, and more. Cuba was facing oppression at the hands of the Spanish nation and Americans, being at the receiving end of oppression before, the Americans felt empathy and sympathy towards the Cubans. Yellow journalism blew the actual events out of proportion and collected the money and anger of the people. The demands to assist the Cubans grew but McKinley was reluctant to engage the Spaniards, a world power, in battle. The explosion that blew up the Maine was the last straw and the U.S. sent in troops. After the Spanish-American war came the annexation of the Philippines and Hawaii. The U.S. built up its military forces and pushed its way into imperialism becoming a world power.
Yellow Journalism, started by newspaper tycoons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, fueled the war fever. Hearst and Pulitzer had a sensational style of writing that exaggerated news to lure and enrage the readers. Their style of writing fueled the American’s outrage at Cuban oppression by the Spanish. “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Hearst reportedly said this to Fredric Remington, a gifted artist sent to Cuba to draw sketches of the fighting. The information sent out through yellow journalism enraged many U.S. citizens and fueled much of the ill feelings towards the Spaniards though most of it was blown out of proportion.
Yellow journalism played a big role in fueling the war by tugging at the hearts of sympathetic and empathetic Americans. The United States faced oppression from Great Britain before they won their independence. Many Americans felt that they could relate to the Cubans and voiced their opinions. Americans read the newspapers printed by Hearst and Pulitzer and were enraged at what they read, ill treatment of Cubans, reconstruction camps, and high casualty rates labeled General Valeriano Weyler as “Butcher” Weyler. Pressure from the U.S. citizens pushed along the war and made the government really consider intervening.
The business owners had their own reason for wanting to aid Cuba and engage Spain in war. If they were to offer their assistance than they could gain natural resources not available in America, expand trade, and gain access to new business revenues. The prospect of making so much money excited businesses and they encouraged the government to offer their aid. They encouraged the annexation of the Philippines, Hawaii, and Cuba because of their strong desire for raw materials and new revenues that would bring in more money for them.
The government was interested in helping Cuba and engaging Spain in battle not because they felt sympathy but because the people pushed the idea and the strategic military positioning of Cuba. Cuba was close to Florida, in the Atlantic Ocean, and the...