What were the causes and effects of the Spanish-American War?

The causes of the Spanish-American War were that the US wanted to expand its empire, wanted to maintain control in the western hemisphere, and was fueling anti-Spanish sentiments. Some effects of the war were that the US gained the Philippines, Guam, the port of Guantanamo, and Puerto Rico as territories, and that Cuba was further opened to American economic exploitation.

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One cause of the Spanish-American War: the United States wanted an empire. The United States needed coaling stations in the Pacific in order for its ships to reach the rich markets of China. This is one reason why the United States captured Guam and the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. Another cause of the war would be Spain's inability to control Cuba. Cuban rebels started to agitate for their independence. When the Spanish general in charge of the island put the Cubans in concentration camps in order to pursue the insurgents, many Cubans died due to overcrowding. The Cuban insurgents attacked both American sugar interests and Spanish businesses. The United States wanted to protect its own economic interests as well as exert its ability to control the Western hemisphere.

Yellow journalism was another cause of the war. William Randolph Hearst made a great deal of money by selling the narrative that the Spanish were barbaric and the Cubans were good. He even sent noted artist Frederic Remington to the island in order to draw pictures of Spanish atrocities. Remington did not see any, but Hearst continued to push for war by showing the Spanish as barbaric and inept. When the USS Maine sank off the coast of Havana, the American press clamored for war. It was only later proven that the ship sank due to an internal powder magazine explosion and not a Spanish mine.

There were many effects of the war. While the United States gained the Philippines and Guam, it also gained its own insurgent war in the Philippines, as Emilio Aguinaldo led forces against the occupying Americans in order to take back the islands for Filipino rule. This war would kill thousands of Filipinos and drag on for four years—longer than the Spanish conflict. The war would also prove to be politically divisive as some in the United States did not want the nation to become imperialistic. The United States gained the port of Guantanamo and the island of Puerto Rico which it still administers today. The war unified the Southern and Northern members of Congress who still felt separated by the Civil War. The war also opened Cuba to greater exploitation by American commercial interests, much to the consternation of many Cubans who expected their lives to improve after the expulsion of the Spanish.

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The proximate cause of the Spanish-American War was the explosion of the American battleship The Maine in Havana harbor in 1898. One of the more general reasons for the war was the American desire to become a world power, particularly in the Western Hemisphere, and their desire for raw materials such as sugar from Cuba. In addition, influential thinkers such as Alfred Thayer Mahan believed that sea power was necessary to acquire world power, and Americans wanted Caribbean naval bases. 

The effects of the war were that the United States acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines (for which the U.S. paid $20 million) and temporary control of Cuba. The United States became a world power and increasingly intervened in foreign nations, including in the Caribbean, to protect its economic and military interests following the war. The United States used brutal tactics in the Philippines and elsewhere during the war, engendering debate about whether the country should become imperialistic. However, it was clear that American foreign policy would focus on intervention overseas after the war. 

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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.

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The Spanish American War was largely caused as the United States responded to the Cuban struggle for independence. In 1895, Cuban revolutionaries began an armed uprising against Spain. A the time, many US businesses had large investments in Cuba, and the revolution had a negative effect on this. Additionally, many Americans felt sympathetic towards the Cubans after word of the Spanish response was publicized. Pro-business newspapers in the US printed sensational accounts of Spanish cruelty towards the Cuban people. People began demanding that the US intervene in Cuba, and a majority of Congress agreed. However, presidents Cleveland and McKinley disagreed and worked to keep the US uninvolved.

In 1898 massive protests took place in Havana. The US Navy dispatched the battleship Maine to Havana in order to protect US interests there. On February 15, 1898, the Maine blew up and sank, killing 260 American sailors. While no proof existed to blame the Spanish for this, the finger was quickly pointed at them. The sinking of the Maine became a rallying cry for US intervention. President McKinley was unable to ignore this and demanded that Spain leave Cuba immediately. Spain refused, and McKinley followed through with his threat. On April 22, 1898, Congress declared war on Spain.

The Spanish-American War resulted in the dismantlement of the Spanish Empire. The Treaty of Paris granted the United States its first overseas territories, such as Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Cuba gained independence. This was the beginning of America's role as a major global power. The US navy was grown and expanded its reach around the world. After inheriting the Philippines, the US became embroiled in a brutal insurrection as Filipino rebels fought for independence. The war resulted in heated debates in the US over its role as an imperial power.

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