HomeWorld History Encyclopedia - PakistanwapWhat happened in the Spanish American War?

What happened in the Spanish American War?

the Spanish American war brought about the end of Spanish colonial relevance in the Americas and the new chapter for the united states while the conflict itself was between Spain and the united states it actually stemmed from dissension in Cuba as the Cubans fought to gain their independence from the Spaniards despite the fact that the united states refrained from becoming involved in the first Cuban movement for independence known as the 10-year war which began in 1868.

What happened in the Spanish American War

the united states battleship which cost upwards of two million dollars fell victim to an unanticipated explosion on february 15 1898 which killed 260 of the american crew members aboard the ship had been sent to havana to aid american citizens who had gotten stuck in the new rebellion while the official u.s naval court of inquiry simply blamed a mine for the blast not pointing any fingers directly at spain the american people seemed convinced that the culprit was obvious and even congress called for a declaration of war on spain on april 25th 1898.

they got their wish initially u.s president grover cleveland declared neutrality at the start of cuba’s revolution but anti-spain’s sentiment grew as general valeriano whaler enacted a new spanish reconcentration policy forcing thousands of cubans into areas guarded by spanish troops that lacked basic levels of sanitation food and shelter with the punishment for refusing being swift execution general whaler who was serving as governor general of cuba also implemented martial law.

across the entire country likely due to the already prevalent use of yellow journalism and american sympathy for the cubans the actions of general whaler compelled president cleveland to alter his stance and announced that the united states might intercede depending on how spain continued to handle the cuban contention as william mckinley replaced grover cleveland in 1897.

The Spanish American War

The Spanish American War

the u.s became more and more keen to intervene when a letter from the spanish foreign minister enrique dupuy de los may criticizing president mckinley was published by the new york journal on february 9 1898 things began to rapidly escalate and with the sinking of the uss maine occurring less than a week later there was a swift move towards war happening from that point on along with their declaration of war against Spain.

the united states also came up with the teller amendment insisting that they had no intention of trying to seize power or authority over cuba the actual warfare between the u.s and spain began at the battle of the manila bay in the philippines where a huge chunk of the spanish-specific naval fleet was located united states commodore george dewey received orders to head towards the philippines before the april 25th declaration of war even occurred putting him and the u.s aseanic squadron.


in the perfect position to strike after they had arrived at manila bay on may 1st in the early hours of the morning commodore dewey told one of his captains you may fire when ready after a couple of hours the spanish fleet was all but demolished so dewey called for a break and ordered his crews a second breakfast still some spanish ships remained and refused to surrender so the conflict started up again.

in the latter half of the morning finally once the afternoon came around the remaining spaniards officially surrendered even though the american fleet was able to effortlessly desecrate the spanish opponent dewey still lacked enough troops to seize manila completely which was now in the hands of filipino revolutionaries until another 15 000 u.s soldiers reached.


the bay at the end of july and the men launched an attack on manila on august 13th commodore dewey and wesley merits the leader of the u.s land troops that came to the navy’s aid began what is often known as the mock battle of manila essentially the spaniards had decided they would rather give up the philippines to the americans not the Filipinos.

as a result while the us land soldiers held the revolutionaries back from the battlefield the rest of the american troops fought an essentially fake skirmish with the spanish forces providing an excuse for the exchange of power between the warring sides teodoro angoncillo a historian who wrote about the event stated the few casualties on both sides in the phony attack were due to some actors bungling their lines or possibly to the fact that very few officers were let in on the charade nonetheless the stunt was successful and spain was able to hand over control of the philippines.


which they had dominated for over 300 years to the militarily superior united states as opposed to the local revolutionary fighters and essentially passed off responsibility for the strife in the region to the americans back in june after the first battle at manila bay the u.s had focused their efforts on the spanish stronghold of guantanamo bay in cuba conflict officially broke out on june 6 and lasted until june 10th with the results being less innocuous for the americans.

this time at the start of the battle the us troops were heavily outnumbered in terms of manpower with a mere 600 marines and 300 cuban militia fighters though they also possessed two auxiliary cruisers one gunboat one steamer one battleship and one light cruiser the spanish personnel amounted to 5 000 infantrymen as well as boasting seven artillery pieces one shore battery one block house and one fort despite their disadvantage the american naval troops entered the bay on june 6 and successfully attacked a spanish blockhouse with their light cruiser any spanish vessels attempting to intervene did so in vain the following day.

the american troops were able to cut off all outside communication to and from the spanish forces by cutting every cable in guantanamo bay over the next few days the us and cuban troops were able to win over control of the bay through a series of minor clashes until the overall hostility came to an end on the 10th meanwhile the spanish and american troops clashed again at san juan hill on july first u.s general william shafter commanded his forces to besiege.

the village of el caney along with san juan hill clashing with some 500 spanish troops defending the village as roughly 8 000 american soldiers pushed forward to san juan hill the u.s casualties began to add up but the troops pushed on and eventually split into two flanks the goal was to take both san juan hill and cattle hill under one flank aiming for kettle hill fought the rough riders which was one of four volunteer regiments put together.

the united states it actually stemmed from dissension

on the side of the americans the rough riders alongside the 9th and 10th cavalry regiments led the charge up kettle hill as the u.s eventually captured both targets having no plan of stopping there the americans entered the city of santiago the next day and u.s naval forces destroyed the spanish fleet as admiral pascual cereva and his troops from santiago attempted to flee on july third two weeks later the spaniards surrendered the city and subsequently ended the war.

the formal conclusion to the war came on december 10 1898 when a treaty was signed in paris where spain gave up all dominion in cuba guam and puerto rico authority over guam puerto rico and the philippines was to be transferred to the united states although the u.s would owe spain 20 million dollars for the latter while this treaty ended the spanish-american war it sparks the philippine american war that would come the following year due to america’s promise not to claim hegemony over cuba though the former spanish colony was finally independent for both sides of the war the events of the struggle were notably significant for spain.

they ended its overseas colonial endeavors and shifted its focus onto its own domestic needs prompting a new phase of growth and development both culturally and economically for the united states the aftermath was quite different the treaty of paris solidified u.s overseas expansion and prompted the united states to become a much more important global power although some anti-imperialists condemned the u.s deeming.


the government to be hypocritical for their disapproval of european expansionist empires whilst leaning in the direction of becoming one of their own even so the american people supported the actions and belief of their government and were not dissuaded by the consequences of such policies ultimately the spanish-american war in some ways reversed the roles of spain and the united states putting a halt to the expansion of one while inducing the expansion of the other.

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