Spanish-American War essay sample

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The Spanish-American War was a conflict between the United States and Spain in 1898 (Golay 7). The conflict ensued following the U.S intervention during the Cuban independence war. U.S attacks on pacific possessions of Spain paved way for the involvement in the Revolution of the Philippines and ultimately the American-Philippine war. Revolts occurred for several years against the Spanish rule in Cuba. The United States were unprepared for any war. Although the Americans had largely invested in enthusiastic spirit, they dearly lacked military strength.

The war lasted about only ten weeks but had far reaching consequences for both Spain and the United States.The huge victory in the War transformed the United States, formerly a colonial state, to a massive imperial power (the taking of colonies). Just after the war, the U.S annexed Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico to stations of coaling to the US Navy all over the world (Bradford 36). Most of the Americans viewed this development a magnificent natural part of United States’ “Manifest Destiny”. This was a strong belief that the United States’ expansion was both inevitable and right. Opposition also existed to this new role. In June 1898, several people formed the American Anti-Imperialist League to fight against the Philippines annexation. Its founding members included Industrialist Andrew Carnegie, President Grover Cleveland, labor leader Samuel Gompers and author Mark Twain (Bradford 36).The war signaled the immediate emergence of the United States as a very great power onto the world stage of diplomacy and international relations. The war did not just make the U.S. a great super power. The rapid economic and industrialization growth of the previous years had done that. However, the war did declare to the rest of the nations in the world that the U.S. was now a leading player. Raising its head from a disappointing century of isolationism and muscle flexing against the Spanish, the United States now transitioned to a very vigorous role in the affairs of the world (Wars 22).The war as well revealed media’s growing power to control and influence public opinion in United States. Newspapermen like Pulitzer and Hearst exercised yellow journalism most notably just before the war, during the war, and around the century’s turn. They sensationalized stories, whipping the whole public into a frenzy mode in order to simply increase their circulation (Wars 23).

There is even a great deal of historical evidence that the “Yellow Journalists” tried to initiate the Spanish-American war in order to get more customers for their newspapers. In this war, the newspapers role foreshadowed the growing importance of the media and its public’s opinion shaping power regarding the wars. This would later be seen in all U.S. successive wars, culminating with the Gulf War and the Vietnam War (Wars 25). The Spanish-American War also revealed that the development and industrialization in the late 19th century had already made the U.S. a super power. Now, as the American West’s frontier disappeared, the whole nation sought new room …

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