War Is Declared
On April 25th 1899, the United States declared war on Spain. President McKinley* initially did not want to go to war with Spain, but with the media attention which led to public pressure he finally gave in to war. The Spanish-American War lasted only 113 days. The war was initially fought in the Philippines where the Spanish fleet was easily defeated in early May.
Next, the American forces moved to fight in Cuba. Even Theodore Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy and future United States President, wanted to fight in Cuba. He resigned his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and joined a volunteer force. Roosevelt along with his "Rough Riders" and many other soldiers, were victorious in San Juan, Cuba.
Visit the PBS site Crucible of an Empire to explore the Spanish-American War. Be sure to take some time with the timeline and the other important resources provided.
War Is Over and Expansion Begins
In just 113 days, the war was over. The Americans were victorious. The Treat of Paris was signed in Paris in December of 1898. This treaty wrapped up the conflict. As a result of this treaty, The United States gained control of Spanish territories Guam and Puerto Rico. In addition, the United States paid $20 million to gain control of the Philippines. Cuba was given some independence after the Treaty of Paris was signed. At about the same time, the United States acquired Hawaii, Samoa, and other island groups in the Pacific Ocean. This gave the United States the ability to create military bases in other parts of the world. This was a tremendous time of American expansion. The United States emerged from the Spanish-American War as a world power.
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