Describe the major events of the Spanish-American war

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mrkirschner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The Spanish-American War was a conflict of independence in Cuba and the Philippines against Spain.  The United States became embroiled in the conflict to protect its economic interests, particularly in Cuba.  The important events of the conflict are listed below:

  • February 16, 1896--Spanish General Valeriano Weyler issues a reconcentration plan in which Cubans would be relocated to concentration camps.  This was very unpopular in the United States and was a motive for American intervention.

  • August 26, 1896--War for independence begins in the Philippines.

  • January 25, 1898--United States sends the battleship USS Maine to Cuba to protect American interests.

  • February 9, 1898--a letter from a Spanish diplomat that is critical of U.S. President William McKinley is intercepted and printed in the American press.  This DeLome Letter sparked outrage in the United States and is a motive for American intervention in Cuba.

  • February 15, 1898--the battleship USS Maine explodes in the harbor at Havana, Cuba.  The U.S. government blames the Spanish for the explosion and death of 266 crewman.  This is another motive for American intervention.  American outrage is at a fevered pitch after this incident.

  • March 31, 1898--Spain refuses American demands to give Cuba its independence

  • April 25, 1898--The United States declares war on Spain.

  • June 21, 1898--Guam is captured by the United States

  • July 25, 1898--U.S. forces invade Puerto Rico.

  • August 12, 1898--Spain signs a truce agreement with the United States.

  • August 13, 1898--The United States captures Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

  • October 18, 1898--United States formally receives Puerto Rico from Spain.

  • November 28, 1898--Spain formally cedes the Philippines to the United States.

  • December 10, 1898--The Treaty of Paris is signed and formally ends the Spanish-American War.
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