Causes of the Spanish American War



      for War

Comparisons of the Navies

Comparisons of the Armies


The Battle of Manila Bay and other actions in the Philippines

The Spanish American War in Cuba

Peace and aftermath

Time Line of the Spanish American War



MP3 Lectures on the Spanish American War

Test yourself on the Spanish American War

Spanish American War Links


Early movies about the Spanish American War







The Spanish American , called Guerra Hispano-Estadounidense in Spanish was was fought between Spain and America from April 25 to August 10, 1898 . The war was fought in some of the last remaining colonies of Imperial Spain : Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico .



Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War

The war arose out of the indignation of Americans of Spain's brutal suppression of an independence struggle in nearby Cuba, fanned by sensational stories published by American newspapers and belief in some quarters of Americas manifest destiny to continue to expand and join in the grab for colonies as the European powers were doing . The still unsolved explosion of the USS Maine on February 15, 1898 in Havana while protecting American interest brought clamors for war from many Americans, who felt the Spanish were behind the explosion . On April 11, 1898 , the American Congress passed a resolution recognizing the independence of Cuba .

Spain for her part , viewed Cuba as an integral part of Spain and the American demand for Spain to withdrawal from Cuba after centuries of rule there since the discovery by Columbus to be unacceptable and declared war on America on April 23, 1898 .


An American Epic 1898


Even though the war was of a short duration , it had many important consequences for America, Spain and the world .


 Rough Riders movie

Many historians regard the Spanish American War and the year 1898 as a sharp dividing line for America .Before America was regarded as a country of rising economic power, but a second rate military power. After the war and its new found holding in the Americas and Asia, America became a respected member of the Imperialists club, not without serious misgivings about this at home . How can a democracy be an empire ?


The war, which was so short in duration and lopsided with American victories, makes the outcome seem inevitable. But it could have turned out differently. If the Spanish had marshalled their naval strength as Admiral Cervera wanted and stayed in Spanish home waters ( with the repaired battleship Pelayo and armored cruiser Carlos V ) under the protection of powerful shore batteries and drawn the American Navy to them, the Spanish might have had a better outcome . If General Weyler  had been in charge of Spanish operation in eastern Cuba instead of the incompetent Linares, he may have been able to drag the war out long enough for yellow fever and malaria to decimate the American troops as it was starting to do after the surrender of Santiago de Cuba . And what of Spain ? True to the law of unintended consequences found itself stronger economically after the war. Modern industries sprang up .It no longer had the huge drain of the colonies and the endless Cuban rebellion which cost hundred of thousands of Spanish lives . Politically,however, the loss of the did destabilize the country .One aspect of the war that many Americans didn't understand was, that for the Spanish, the war was about maintaining honor, not winning the war. To not fight at all and give up its five hundred year old colonies would have had disastrous consequences in Spain, maybe have even led to civil war .





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