Spanish American War Essay

Spanish American War

Spanish American war was the conflict between Spain and US which led to the end of Spanish colonial rule and acquisition of new territories in Latin America and Western Pacific. The war was as a result of independence struggle by Cuban which commenced in 1895 February. Numerous sensational newspapers graphically portrayed repressive, brutal measures exercised by Spain increasing the level of sympathy Americans had for rebels.

The calls for demand that the US should intervene increased after USS Maine battleship was sunk in Havana harbor. The battleship was mandated with the task of protecting United States citizens as well as their property after the breakout of anti-Spanish riots. An inquiry that was carried out by the Navy declared inaccurately that the vessel was damaged by a mine. In the attack, two hundred and sixty six Navy men lost their lives while 2 high rankled soldiers lost their lives as well.

Within weeks after Maine sinking, intelligence operatives moved to intercept a letter between the ambassador to Spain that was directed to the US and friend in Havana. The letter was a disparagement of the United States president McKinley and intimidated on plans of sabotage against property held by Americans in Cuba. Several newspapers made publications of the letter and this served to further agitate public opinion. On 19th, April, 1898 Spanish rule was brought to an end by congress.


The declaration of war on the US by Spain was made following the United States war declaration on 25th. This was retroactive to 21st April. The war that ensued afterwards was pitifully one sided because Spain had not prepared its army or the navy for war with a power that was quite formidable like the US. On 1st May, 1898, a squadron was led to Manila Bay in Philippines by George Dewey destroying a fleet that was anchored there in a leisurely engagement leaving 7 American seamen severely injured. By August, Manila was under the occupation of United States troops.

The Spanish Caribbean fleet, that was quite elusive and under the rule of Pascual Cervera was spotted in Cuba’s Santiago harbor, by the United States reconnaissance. Under General William Shafter a regular troop’s army and some volunteers landed on the Santiago East coast and advanced towards the city in a bid of forcing the fleet of Cervera from the harbor. The fleet was decimated though the US did not sustain any losses. The Spanish also surrendered to the Philippines but the fleet of the US remained and commenced on a campaign that would acquire the island as a territory of the United States. The conflict that ensued afterwards lasted till 1914.

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