The Causes and Consequences of the Spanish-American War
The Spanish-American War was a conflict that took place between April and August 1898, and it resulted in the United States’ victory over Spain. The war had several causes and consequences that shaped the political and economic landscape of the United States and the world.
Notable causes of the Spanish-American War was the growing sense of American nationalism and expansionism in the late 19th century. The United States had recently experienced rapid industrialization and economic growth, and many Americans believed that their country should have a greater role in international affairs. This sentiment was fueled by the belief that the United States had a moral duty to spread democracy and civilization to other countries, a belief known as the “Manifest Destiny” doctrine. Additionally, American business interests, particularly in Cuba, also played a role in pushing for war.
Another cause of the war was the situation in Cuba, where a rebellion against Spanish colonial rule had been ongoing since 1895. American newspapers, particularly William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal, had sensationalized the rebellion and the alleged atrocities committed by the Spanish, which further fueled the American public’s desire for war.
The Spanish-American War had several immediate and long-term consequences. One of the most significant immediate consequences was the defeat of Spain, which resulted in the loss of its overseas empire, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. This marked the end of Spanish colonial rule in the Americas and had a significant impact on the political and economic landscape of the region.
The war also had significant economic consequences for the United States. The acquisition of Puerto Rico and Guam provided the United States with new markets for American goods, and the annexation of Hawaii in 1898 provided the United States with a strategic location for military bases. The war also marked the emergence of the United States as a world power and marked the beginning of the country’s imperialistic foreign policy.
Another consequence of the Spanish-American War was the treatment of the Philippines. The United States acquired the Philippines from Spain, but the Philippines did not become a state. Instead, the United States imposed a colonial government on the Philippines and suppressed the independence movement, leading to the Philippine-American War.
Additionally, the Spanish-American War had a significant impact on race relations in the United States. The war was fought in part to defend American honor, and it was seen by many as a way to prove the superiority of the white race. This led to a resurgence of white supremacy and racism, particularly towards African Americans and Filipinos.
The Spanish-American War was a significant event that had far-reaching consequences. The war was caused by a combination of American nationalism, expansionism, and business interests, and it resulted in the defeat of Spain and the emergence of the United States as a world power. The war had significant economic, political, and social consequences, including the loss of Spain’s overseas empire, the emergence of the United States as an imperial power, and the suppression of independence movements in the Philippines. The war also had a significant impact on race relations in the United States.
“The Spanish-American War.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/topics/spanish-american-war.
“The Spanish-American War.” National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/articles/spanish-american-war.htm.