The Spanish-American War

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The Spanish-American War During the last years of the nineteenth century, the United States would find itself involved in what John Jay, the American secretary of state, later referred to as a "splendid little war; begun with highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that fortune which loves the brave." From an American standpoint, because there were few negative results, and so many significantly positive consequences, John Jay was correct in calling the Spanish-American War a "splendid little war." The defeat of the Spanish forces marked the end of their rule in the Americas and also marked the rise of the United States as a global military power. The Spanish-American War affected the United States in a number of other ways. It helped speed the construction of the Panama Canal and also resulted in the U.S.'s acquisition of foreign territories. There were also many other minor positive outcomes to the war as opposed to the few negative consequences that resulted. The Spanish-American War was the brief conflict that the United States waged against Spain in 1898. The war had grown out of the Cuban struggle for independence, and whose other causes included American imperialism and the sinking of the U.S warship Maine. The actual hostilities in the war lasted four months, from April 25 to August 12, 1898. Most of the fighting occurred in or near the Spanish colonial possessions of Cuba and the Philippines, nearly halfway around the world form each other. In both battlegrounds, the decisive military event was the complete destruction of a Spanish naval squadron by a vastly superior U.S. fleet. These victories, after brief resistance, brought about the surrender of the Spanish to U.S. military forces as indicated by a peace treaty signed between the two countries on December 10, 1898, in Paris, France. In the end, the Americans had minimal casualties, while the Spanish suffered immense fatalities and damage to their naval resources (Encyclopedia Britannica). The Spanish-American War marked the end of Spain's colonial empire and the end of its rule in the Americas. Since the early 19th century, Americans had watched the series of revolutions that ended Spanish authority throughout South America, Central America, and Mexico. Many people in the United States, however, were irritated by the fact that the Spanish flag continued to fly in Cuba and Puerto Rico. Spain's brutal ways of putting down Cuban demands for some form of personal liberty aroused feelings of sympathy and anger among Americans (Chidsey).

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