April 19th, 1898 US congress declared war on Spain for Cuban independence. On May 1st the first battle occurred in Manila where the US won, while American ships had a protective barrier around Cuba. On June 22, Americans cornered the Spanish in Santiago. The Spanish tried to charge on July 3rd but were quickly demolished by American troops. This lead to the Spanish to surrender.
Teddy Roosevelt led the Rough Riders, the first US volunteer cavalry, to victory in Santiago, Cuba.
Up next: the 1989 Treaty of Paris, the agreement with Spain that surrendered Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the US for $20,000,000. Cuba would also gain its independence.
The Treaty of Paris officially ended the Spanish-American War on December 10th, 1989.
BUT, not everyone was thrilled. This gave rise to the Anti-Imperialist League, who were against expansion. The American Federation of Labor thought that all these new citizens would threaten the American work force.
The US gained Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines from Spain for $20 million in 1989.
After the US annexed the Philippines many native Filipinos were angered by this "betrayal." Lead by the desire for independence, Emilio Aguinaldo along with the Filipinos went to war with the US. This war would last three years and claimed the lives of 200,000 Filipinos and 5000 Americans. Aguinaldo was eventually captured and surrendered which is marked in history as a victory for the US.
Before leading the Filipinos in guerrilla warfare against the US, Emilio Aguinaldo fought alongside the US against Spain for freedom for the Philippines.
The Philippines would finally gain independence years later, after World War II. However, Guam and Puerto Rico are still territories owned by the US while Cuba still remains independent.