There were several causes and effects of the Spanish-American War. By the 1890s, the United States wanted to become a world power. Since other countries already took most of the land for colonization, we most likely would have to go to war to get land. Cuba, controlled by Spain, presented an opportunity for us to do this.
American newspapers picked up reports that the Spanish were treating the Cubans poorly. The newspapers reported on this treatment and then over-exaggerated the reports. Since most Americans got their news from the newspapers, they had no way to verify the reports. Americans generally trusted the newspapers to report on events accurately. When Americans read about the alleged mistreatment of the Cubans, they were unhappy with the Spanish.
Another event leading toward the war was when a letter written by the Spanish ambassador to the United States was intercepted and given to one of the newspaper companies. This letter was very critical of President McKinley. This outraged our people. Anti-Spanish feelings were rising because of these two events.
When the U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana harbor, Americans were outraged. They immediately blamed Spain and demanded we go to war. As a result of these events, we went to war against Spain.
As a result of the Spanish-American War, the United States became a world power. We now controlled colonies beyond our borders. We got control of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam as a result of this war. From this point on, we were considered as a world power. Our goal of expanding Manifest Destiny worldwide had been achieved. We now would have to deal with the benefits and the problems of being an imperial power.
The Spanish-American War had a significant impact on the United States. It led us into world power status.