War and the Americanization of the World (1897-1902)

The Spanish-American War (April 25-August 12, 1898)



With ever increasing jingoism and patriotism, Americans urged for war in Cuba. Cuban nationalists were fighting to overthrow the Spanish government. Reporters (known as yellow journalists) worked to promote war in the spirit of America.

<<>> The Humboldt Times carried this Associated Press story on Feb. 16, 1898:

A Female Insurgent Captured

"Havana, Feb. 15 -- Seniorita Isabelle Rubio, an Amazon, was captured, after being wounded, in a skirmish between a detachment of Spanish troops and some insurgents. She joined the insurgents at the invitation of the late Antonio Maceo. She belongs to a prominent family." <<>>

Stories such as this were created to fire up the hearts of Americans to support nationalism and expansionism. Major newspaper editors included Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Often the Spanish-American War was called "The Newspaper War." Sensationalist writing hit the country in order to sell papers, not necessarily for informational purposes.

Major events of the war:

The De Lôme Letter (1898) --
Spanish diplomat Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, the Spanish Minister with the Portfolio of Cuban Affairs in Washington DC, sent a letter to his friend Don Jose Canelejas. It was stolen from the post office in Havana and was headlined in the papers "THE WORST INSULT TO THE UNITED STATES IN ITS HISTORY." The letter was incredibly critical of President McKinley, describing him as "weak and catering to the rabble, and, besides, a low politician, who desires to leave a door open to me and to stand well with the jingoes of his party."
Delome.jpgdoc_053_big.jpg * (De Lôme pictured on the left -- to the right, the De Lôme letter ) * The sinking of The Maine: A few days after the De Lôme letter, the U.S. battleship Maine exploded on the coast of Havana, killing 260 Americans. Spain was accused of this action, but experts admit this could have possibly been a mistake. Still, McKinley responded with war, which began in Manila Bay in the Philippines. Manila was quickly captured by the strong US military.-maine1.jpg-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Annexation of Hawaii: McKinley, with the help of Sanford Dole, annexed the territory in 1900. Hawaii became a state in 1959.
The Treaty of Peace: 1) recognition of Cuban independence --- Most expansionists pointed to the Teller Amendment, which stated that the US would respect Cuba's sovereignty. However, Congress then put forth the Platt Amendment (1901), which enraged Cubans. The US explained they would only withdraw troops from Cuba if the Cubans complied to the Platt Amendment. This amendment forced Cuba to never sign a treaty with foreign powers that might impair its independence, not to build up debt, to let the US maintain Cuban affairs, and to give the US Guantanamo Bay as a naval base. 2) US taking hold of Puerto Rico and Guam 3) US taking hold of the Philippines by paying 20 million in tribute to Spain --- Lead to the Philippine-American War, in which Emilio Aguinaldo lead Filipinos against the US in order to try and prevent their country from being taken over. Many anti-imperialists believed that the Philippines should not be allowed to be a part of America, considering they were nowhere near US soil, and therefore were not constitutionally protected. exflag.jpeg Open Door Policy in China: John Hay coined the term "Open Door" policy, in which China should be open to trade with all countries, as opposed to maintaining trade under specific spheres of influence from different countries. John Hay sent a diplomatic note to major countries concerning this policy. When they evaded responding, he assumed their acceptance to the idea and implemented it immediately. It was an incredibly significant diplomatic victory for the US. trmiddle23.jpg *"Speak softly and carry a big stick"*