Why did the U.S. end up in a war with Spain? Describe why the US was interested in Cuba and what role the Monroe Doctrine played in this interest. The sinking of the Maine is just a spark for war—think about long term reasons why the US saw itself as the “protector” and “big brother” of many Central and South American countries.
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The United States ended up in a war with Spain for several reasons. One reason was we wanted to gain colonies throughout the world. Since most good lands were already colonized, we most likely were going to get our colonies by going to war.
There are other reasons for going to war with Spain. We became interested in Cuba because newspaper reports were sensationalizing the poor treatment of the Cubans by the Spanish. Americans were outraged by this treatment. When the Spanish ambassador criticized President McKinley and when the U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, people demanded action. Thus, we went to war with Spain in 1898.
The United States wanted to have some control over Cuban independence after the war ended. We were concerned the Cubans might make some poor decisions that could lead to European intervention in Cuba. We did believe in the Monroe Doctrine. As a result, we didn’t want Europe coming into Latin American or the Caribbean area. If an issue were to arise, we would handle it.
We wanted to be actively involved in Latin American because we believed it would be in our best interests to do this. This would help increase our trade and help establish us as a legitimate world power. We believed if we were involved in Latin America, this would keep the Europeans out, allow us to invest in the region, and become the dominant power in the Americas. The United States was trying to establish itself as a world power, and Latin America provided us a great opportunity to do this.
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