The 1898 War that involved Spain and the United States signifies a dramatic turning point in the history of the United States. The immediate origin of the 1898 conflict between the Spanish and United States started with the 1894 Wilson-Gorman Tariff (King, Howard, & Robley 12). The war grew out of the struggle by Cuba for independence. The Cuban nationalists began a revolution in opposition to the colonial rule of the Spanish regime. The War, which took four months before coming to an end, had a tremendous significance on the US (Rosenfeld 2). Several factors are attributable to the start of the Spanish-American war.
Firstly, by the time when President McKinley came into power in the US in 1897, there was still uproar in Cuba and the US sent off the US Maine to Cuba with the aim of rescuing US citizens who might be in danger. However, the Maine strangely blew up, and the US blamed the Spanish (Rosenfeld 20). The occurrence made President McKinley to give the go-ahead for the US to go for war, whereas Spain as well made a declaration to war. The United States of America passed the Teller Amendment so as to assure the rest of the world that it was going to war not for any colonial achievement, but for the greater good of Cuban nation. According to King, Howard, & Robley (15), the amendment was aimed at promising to give Cuba independence once the war would come to an end.
Secondly, the United States drew its motivation for the 1898 War from trade and business interests. The United States tariff had placed restrictions upon the importation of sugar into the United States, leading to serious had adverse effects on the Cuban economy, which was being supported by the production as well as sale of sugar (Rosenfeld 14). During that time, Cuba was under the colonial rule of the Spanish. As a result, General “Butcher” was sent by Spaniards to Cuba so as to stabilize the circumstances by putting a large portion of the population into concentration camps. This led to a significant concern among the US businesspersons who had investment interests in the Cuban nation. Commercialism was the most important factor in the declaration of war since the US relied on both Cuba and the Philippines for trading and conducting business with other nations, particularly from Asia and Latin America.
The 1898 War transformed the United States in a tremendous way. The greatest effect of this war to the United States is how it showcased the US military prowess on the global platform. The United States, through the war, was able to display its naval powers. The nation came out as a colonialist power as well as noticed a significant opportunity to conquer other lands. The War marked the end of the colonial empire of Spain as well as the conclusion of its rule within the Americas (King, Howard, & Robley 30).
In conclusion, even though the 1898 war may seem to focus on liberating Cuba from Spain in addition to gaining independence for Cuba, as well as the Philippines, , it was essentially motivated by both nationalism and commercialism. It is apparent that nationalism, the aspirations to come forward as a world power, as well as advance commercial significance, were the principal factors that made the US affirm war upon Spain.
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