The Spanish-American war was the first and biggest step that the United States of America took toward imperialism. It was the war that secured the US as the most powerful country in the world. This war was a benefit to the USA because we gained land, gained respect, and taught a lesson to one of our enemies. In addition to this, the losses that we suffered were almost nothing compared to other conflicts or wars.
The Spanish-American war was by no means for the sole purpose of gaining land and respect, the United States freed an oppressed country and took pieces of land that were better off under US control. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Imperialism was a popular trend among the large, powerful countries. Imperialism is defined as “The policy of extending a nation’s authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations” Imperialism cannot be said as either good or bad, but as a general rule; If you live in an annexed country, imperialism is not good, if your country annexes smaller ones to gain profit, land, and respect, then imperialism is good. The United States was not much of an imperialistic country until we won the Spanish-American war.
As a result of this war, we annexed Guam, The Philippines, and Puerto Rico. This is the point at which the US becomes and imperialistic nation, and though it was a hard struggle to keep these annexed countries under control and eventually gave them all back to their rightful owners. The importance of taking these countries is that we then could have coal stations around the world to fuel our navy, and we got respect from other countries around the war. This respect and intimidation helped the allied powers defeat the central powers during World War II. Ever since the US became the most powerful nation after the Spanish-American war, we have retained the title. One reason why the Spanish-American war was good for the US is the relatively small losses we had.
... make suggestions that regard their country and dignity. Both the Mexican War and the Spanish-American War resulted because of the unfair ... always looking to profit themselves. During the Mexican war and the Spanish-American War, the dominance and ethnocentric ideals that America held ... Guam, and many others. Both the Mexican War and the Spanish American War were a direct result in the abusive ways ...
332 Americans were killed and 1642 were injured, and 2957 died from disease. These numbers amount to a total of 3289 soldiers killed because of the Spanish-American war (McSherry).
This seems like many casualties, but if one compares it to any other war, it is almost nothing, considering there were 15 million battlefield deaths in the Second World War (Ash 71).
Another factor to consider is that the United States spent 5 billion dollars (year 2000 currency) on the Spanish-American war. This also seems like nothing, compared to the 2, 300 dollars we spent on World War II (McSherry).
The US had a right to declare war on Spain on April 25 th in the year 1898.
During this time, Cuba was under intense oppression from Spain. The Cuban people were in a state of uprising against Spain, which prompted Spain to group the Cubans into small villages where they were forced to live. Since the US once was in a situation like this, we felt for the Cubans and argued with Spain on their behalf. This raised much tension between Spain and the US.
To make matters worse, the “yellow journalists” made up stories about severe brutality taking place in Cuba, the American people were strongly against Spain at this point. The next bad event to take place was the “Delo me letter”, a letter sent from the Spanish diplomat Enrique Dupuy De Lome. This letter criticized the American president William Mckinley, calling him “weak” and “a low politician.” Americans were outraged at this; some because they felt Spain was hostile toward us, and some because they just would not stand for the making fun of our president. Finally, to top it all off, The US battleship Maine was destroyed in harbor in Havana. The cause of the explosion is unknown, but it was and still is widely believed that an enemy mine detonated on the ships hull, and ignited the weapons and ammunition stored in the bottom of the ship, causing the whole ship to explode and kills 266 crewmen. As the general rule of democracy, the country does what the people want.
... American people, this is another civil conflict that will waste American tax dollars. How can President Clinton explain to the American citizens that this war ... is anything but a political gain to his presidency? When President Clinton said that American soldiers would be going to Kosovo, people ... and keep killing innocent individuals; or, the American people can demand that the soldiers get out ...
If the people want to go to war, it doesn’t matter if their anger is fueled by yellow journalists, who greatly blow out the facts to make the opposing country look bad. One must accept that propaganda is a major part of war and it cannot be blamed for the start of one.