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

The Spanish-American War was deemed a "splendid little war" by US ambassador John Hay because of the war's brevity. In just ten weeks, the US secured a decisive and relatively bloodless victory over Spain.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Spanish-American War took place in 1898 between the United States and Spain. At the time, Spain ruled Cuba, and Cubans were fighting for their independence. Following the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, the Americans entered the conflict on the side of the Cubans.

The United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, John Hay, wrote to Teddy Roosevelt that the armed conflict had been “a splendid little war,” in reference to its brief 10-week duration. One reason for this swiftness was that the United States was able to gain victory with low levels of casualties. Another reason was the United States, at the tail end of a period of reunification, was able to reap great benefits on the world stage. Following the bloody and destructive Civil War, Northerners, Southerners, black citizens, and white citizens all came together and fought side-by-side against a common enemy.

This was a major step towards the world's perception of the United States as a massive player in foreign...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 818 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on