The American Press & the Spanish-War
April 21, 2014
Shannon L. Gerlach
The American Press & the American-Spanish War
It has been point out that the American Press was primarily to blame for the involvement of the United States in Cuba that caused the Spanish-American war, more than the actual events themselves. The two competing circulations at the time, the New York World and the New York Morning “sent numerous reports and illustrators to Cuba, and editors in New York demanded (Armstrong, 2011)” intense and exaggerated stories that produced strong reactions from the public causing the rise of extreme patriotism and aggressive foreign policy. This was the beginning of yellow journalism and jingoism in America, as most of the newspapers across the country reprinted the accounts published in these papers.
“The Main Blown Up”
“The Main Blown Up” (New York Times, 1989) was the headline of the New ...view middle of the document...
” This announcement enraged the American public, as they already concluded that it was the Spanish who had caused the explosion.
The article of the Maine was not as sensationalized as much as other stories during this time. President McKinley found himself pressured by the American public and their outrage more so because of a letter written by the Spanish Ambassador to the United States, Enrique Dupuy de Lome, criticizing the President by calling him weak. This letter was stolen and published in newspapers across the nation. The letter helped fuel the American aggression even further, which was felt by the President and further pressured his involvement to assist the Cubans against Spain.“De Lome to be Dismissed (The Times, 1989) was demanded by the State Department, after his letter was published. This article goes into detail of how displeased the American public was of his actions. The President declared war on Spain two months later on April 25th.
Both articles, although written in different styles, shows a time line of events that led to the war on Spain. More importantly it shows how much influence the newspapers and journalism had over the American public that helped fuel the war with Spain in Cuba and the Philippines. We see how President McKinley falls victim to the public’s criticism and its desire to go into war and become involved in foreign affairs. Because of the involvement of the United States in the war, Cuba is granted their independence, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam is purchased for twenty million dollars; that was the extend of which the United Stated affected global politics.
Armstrong, S. (2011, March 4). The Rise of American Imperialism . Retrieved from Education.com : http://www.education.com/study-help/article/rise-american-imperialism-18901913/
New York Times. (1989, Feb 15). Retrieved from On this Day : http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0215.html#article
The Destruction of the USS Maine. (2003, August 13). Retrieved from Naval History : http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq71-1.htm
The times. (Washington [D.C.]), 10 Feb. 1898. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.