The Spanish-American War of 1898 was a military intervention of America in a conflict between Spain and Cuba, resulting in Cuban independence.
The war was preceded by three years of fighting by Cuban revolutionaries to gain independence from Spanish colonial rule.¹ By early 1898, tension between the United States and Spain had been mounting. After the American battleship Maine exploded and sank in Havana harbor under suspicious circumstances in February, United States military intervention in Cuba became much more likely.¹
On April 11th, 1898, President William McKinley asked Congress for authorization to end the fighting in Cuba between the rebels. Nine days later, Congress passed a resolution that:¹
1) acknowledged Cuban independence and demanded that the Spanish government give up the island
2) forswore any intention on the part of the United States to annex Cuba
3) authorized McKinley to use whatever military forces he deemed necessary to guarantee CUba’s independence
The Spanish government rejected this resolution and severed diplomatic relation with the United States. On April 22nd the President issued a call for 125,000 military volunteers and Spain declared war on the United States. On April 25th, the U.S. Congress voted to go to war against Spain.¹
A ceasefire was signed on August 12th and the war officially ended four months later when both governments signed the Treaty of Paris on December 10th, 1898.¹
The Spanish-American War resulted in the end of Spain’s colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere and secured the position of the United States as a Pacific power.¹ This American victory led to a peace treaty that made Spain relinquish claims to Cuba and cede sovereignty over Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the United States.¹
This map illustrates the campaign named Siege of Santiago, the last major operation of the Spanish-American War.
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