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After the war with Spain, the US actually took formal control of some territories and controlled other territories informally.
There were three territories that the United States took formally. These were the island of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, the island of Guam in the Western Pacific, and the Philippine Islands. In addition to taking formal control of these territories, the United States took informal control of Cuba. By the Platt Amendment, the US essentially took control of Cuba's affairs even though Cuba remained independent. The Platt Amendment also gave the US permanent control of the Guantanamo Bay area, where a naval base was established in the early 1900s.
The Spanish-American War was concluded with the Treaty of Paris, which was signed on December 10, 1898. This treaty gave the United States control over all of Spain's territories outside Africa, including three new American territories--Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The United States paid Spain $20 million to acquire the Philippines. Spain also relinquished its claims to Cuba, which became a protectorate of the United States after the war. In the immediate aftermath of the war, Cuba was ruled by the United States Military Government, and in 1902, it formed its own government and became independent. However, the United States retained the right to intervene in Cuba and still controlled the lease to Guantanamo Bay. The Spanish-American War marked the end of Spain's colonial conquests and the beginning of the American quest to become a world power.
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