Why was the Spanish-American War a "splendid little war"?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Spanish-American War was a splendid little war for a few reasons. One reason is that we were looking for a war to fight. We wanted to become a world power, so we needed to get colonies. Since most lands were already colonized, we would have to fight a colonial power to get these lands. Newspaper stories exaggerated events in Cuba about how poorly the Spanish were treating the Cubans. When a United States warship exploded in Havana Harbor, we blamed Spain. This gave us an opening to go to war, and war was declared.

This war was a short and glorious war. It was over within three months, and we were able to gain lands in the Pacific and the Caribbean. Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam became lands that we controlled. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders were glorified in the war, even though they didn’t do as much as they said they did. In short, this war that we desperately wanted to fight was a short war that gave us the desired results. We got colonies and were now considered a world power. People in the Us thought it was splendid, indeed.

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