Spanish-American War (1898–1899)

Updated June 26, 2019 | Infoplease Staff

War fires stoked by “jingo journalism” as American people support Cuban rebels against Spain. American business sees economic gain in Cuban trade and resources and American power zones in Latin America. Outstanding events: Submarine mine sinks U.S. battleship Maine in Havana Harbor (Feb. 15); 260 killed; responsibility never fixed. Congress declares independence of Cuba (April 19). Spain declares war on U.S. (April 24); Congress (April 25) formally declares nation has been at war with Spain since April 21. Commodore George Dewey wins seven-hour battle of Manila Bay (May 1). Spanish fleet destroyed off Santiago, Cuba (July 3); city surrenders (July 17). Treaty of Paris (ratified by Senate 1899) ends war. U.S. given Guam and Puerto Rico and agrees to pay Spain $20 million for Philippines. Cuba independent of Spain; under U.S. military control for three years until May 20, 1902. Yellow fever is eradicated and political reforms achieved.

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