Motives Of The Spanish American War

972 words - 4 pages

The Spanish American War started in 1898 and lasted about four months. Although the war might have seemed focused on freeing Cuba from Spain and gaining independence for Cuba and the Philippines, it was actually stimulated by nationalism and commercialism. Commercialism was a major factor when declaring war because the United States depended on Cuba and the Philippines for trade and business with other countries, especially in Asia and Latin America. Another major factor for the war was that the United States wanted to spread its Anglo-Saxon culture around the world and emerge as a world-wide power. Other minor motives for the war include the United States coming to the aid of the Cubans in ...view middle of the document...

Nationalism was another major factor in declaring war against Spain. Nationalism emerged in the United States and all of its people seemed to support the war. The “yellow press” printed multiple stories of scandals, including the explosion of the Maine in the Havana harbor. The yellow press printed that the Spanish were responsible for this action, which led to the slogan “Remember the Maine.” Nationalism and pride surged within the United States and war became imminent. The “rough riders,” who were volunteers from the United States, invaded the Santiago harbor in order to drive out Spanish ships. They paved the way for the American army and forced Spain to sign an armistice. After the war was over and the Cubans were free, The Platt Amendment was passed. It provided that Cuba had to state in its own constitution that the US might intervene with troops in Cuba in order to restore order and to provide mutual protection. It also promised to sell or lease naval stations to the US. The doctrine of Manifest Destiny also played a major part in the war. The US wanted to expand its country and spread its Anglo-Saxon culture. Imperialism was also part of this objective.
What appeared to be an important motive in starting the war was humanitarianism. Although it appeared to be a primary motive, it was not equivalent to the other major factors. The United States went to war with Spain to help Cuba gain their independence. The Cubans began a revolt against their Spanish captors. General “Butcher” Weyler, a Spanish general, decided to put an end to the rebellion and placed the Cubans in reconcentration camps. These camps were unsanitary and ridden with disease. Many Cubans died “like dogs.” The US wanted to invade Cuba in order for it to gain its independence from Spain. The Teller...

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