The Spanish-American War: Definition and Facts
In 1898, Spain and the United States entered into an armed conflict with each other. Hostilities lasted for thirteen weeks, and, in the end, the US acquired Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The war began after USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, Cuba, and the US decided to intervene in the local struggle for independence. Theodore Roosevelt played a significant part in the events, leading a cavalry brigade during the war. The Spanish-American war impacted the imperial policies of the US since the country participated in the military actions of other nations. In Cuba, Roosevelt’s interest in Cuba led to him supporting the war with Spain. Cuba’s trade relationship with the US was strong, and its governing country, Spain, did not have the same economic authority in the region. Thus, the US’ acquisition of territories led to the shift in global economic power.
US companies invested in Cuba’s plantations of sugar cane when the latter was fighting for its independence. Thus, the US viewed it as necessary to become involved in the conflict between Cuba and Spain in 1898. Nonetheless, Cuba was occupied by the US as a result of the war. From 1898 to 1912, Cuba remained under the control of its economic partner. Moreover, the US had the ability to interfere with local politics in order to protect the lives, property, and liberty of individuals. While being freed from the rule of Spain, Cuba became dominated by the US which used Cuba’s territories for its own financial gain. The Spanish-American war changed the disposition of power, and although the US was not interested in becoming a colonial power (such as the British Crown), its financial interests led to the acquisition of many territories. The US posed this intervention as a necessary measure to watch over other countries.