Spanish-American War By: Gavin Shellhammer

In the late 19th century Spain was in control of Cuba

The Spaniards were cruel and abusive toward the Cubans and the Cubans wanted their independence back from Spain

Picture of modern day Cuba

America wanted Cuban independence as well and wanted to trade and tap into their economy, one of the main reasons being their sugar.

Congress passes the "Wilson-Gorman" Tariff which ends the free duty status on the sugar and causes a depression in the economy.

Jose Marti a Cuban revolutionist launched forces from American soil to liberate Cuba.

A small memorial for Jose Marti, Cuban revolutionist

Jose's troops use guerrilla warfare to destroy property and hurt the Spanish economy rather than directly fighting their soldiers.

The Spanish use concentration camps as a way to intimidate and control the population, this backfires as the US uses this as motivation to bring the American people to their side and support the independence of Cuba.

January 1898 President McKinley sends the USS Maine to Havana Harbor as a show of force and to scare the Spanish forces.

February 15th the USS Maine is destroyed killing 266 of its over 300 passengers. This was believed to have been a mine at the time, but historians today theorize that it could have been an internal explosion that caused its destruction.

The US congress passes the teller amendment which stated that if Cuba were to gain its independence it would not become a state in the Union.

Washington orders the Spanish to discontinue the concentration camps and they comply, however due to continued bloodshed the US was forced to send in forces to liberate Cuba.

April 19th Congress declares war and gives the president permission to use lethal force in liberating Cuba.

May 1st Battle of Manilla was the first battle of the Spanish-American war.

The assistant secretary of the navy at the time Teddy Roosevelt had been the one who prepared the navy for the battle at Manilla by sending the troops they had at a base in Hong Kong.

A picture of Teddy Roosevelt, assistant secretary of the Navy who would later become the president

June 22nd American troops landed near Santiago and laid siege to the city for several days until on July 3rd the Spanish third squadron engaged US forces and was defeated.

Teddy resigns as assistant secretary and forms the first US cavalry volunteer force and names it the "Rough Riders"

A framed flag for Teddy's Rough Riders

Teddy uses his Rough Rider cavalry to storm the Spanish forces on San Juan Hill forcing them to surrender.

After several military defeats to the US forces eventually both sides agree upon the 1898 Treaty of Paris stating that the US would be given: Puerto Rico, Guam and the Phillippines and Cuba would gain their independence for $20 million.

A picture of Cuba and the surrounding area


Created with images by Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "War maps of Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines" • Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Map of Central America, Cuba, Porto Rico, and the islands of the Caribbean Sea" • kouk - "Jose Marti" • rich701 - "USS Battleship Maine 1907" • JBrazito - "Teddy Roosevelt" • dbking - "Roosevelt's Rough RIders" • Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Pascaerte van Westindien de Vaste Kusten en de Eylanden"

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