What you have to do first is to decide what you are going to say about this declaration of war. One way that you might decide to organize your paper would be like this:
- Reasons why the US might have wanted to go to war with Spain. Under this, you should put in things such as Mahan's ideas about the navy, the desire for commercial gain, and unhappiness with the way Spain was treating the Cubans.
- Immediate causes of the declaration of war. Here, you would talk mostly about the USS Maine, but you might mention the de Lome letter as well.
- Reasons against going to war. This would include racial reasons as well as the idea that the US should not try to take an empire.
- How McKinley actually made his decision.