American people wanted Spaniards to clear out of American hemispheres. Spain would not leave Cuba so the Americans wanted war with them. Spanish, American, and Cuban diplomats began to meet quietly to solve their differences. The Maine was a U.S. battleship that sailed to Cuba to pick up Americans incase there was any trouble. The ship suddenly exploded and 260 sailors were killed. American experts said that the ship hit a mine, while the Spaniards said that it happened from the inside.
The United States of America has not always been the world superpower that it is today. The same goes for its Navy. In the first several years of existence, the United States Navy was not a formidable fighting force. The young nation was hesitant to invest in a navy for many reasons, one of them being to prevent provoking the world powers of the time, France and Britain. On top of that, navies were very expensive to build and required a significant amount of resources to maintain, which the U.S. did not have at the time. To say that the United States Navy was ill prepared for war would be a dramatic understatement. The U.S. had a total of fifteen ships in its entire naval fleet compared to the might of the Royal Navy which possessed over six hundred warships. Even with the odds stacked against the U.S., President Madison declared war on 18 JUN 1812. The lack of size and power of the navy at the time would make it extremely difficult to satisfy the needs of the newly founded nation.
To protect the interests of the nation, the United States sent the USS Maine into Havana Harbor, but on February 15, 1898, the unthinkable happened. The battleship exploded, killing 260 members of the crew. Without a thorough investigation, the U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry stated the explosion was caused by Spain. Doubt from the public was virtually absent and the United States declared war on Spain, beginning the Spanish-American War. The war resulted in a swift American victory, leading to the addition of multiple territories. Although the explosion is now known to have been caused by an internal fire, it caused American intervention and imperialism in both Latin America and islands in the Pacific
Cuba “held an economical potential that attracted American business interests and a strategic significance for any Central American canal” (Goldfield, Abbott and Anderson, p 638). Cuban rebellion “erupted again in 1895 in a classic guerrilla war… [and] American economic interests were seriously affected” (book pg638). The Spaniards started confining the locals to concentration camps “where tens of thousands died of starvation and disease” (book pg 638). This gained a lot of publicity throughout America as journalist’s were reporting the harsh treatment, which helped persuade our nation to intervene. Furthermore, this led to growing tension between Spain and
Nevertheless the replies at this time of the Madrid government to President McKinley 's demands concerning the pacification of Cuba, notwithstanding the Spanish offer to arbitrate the Maine trouble, led the authorities at Washington to believe that pacification could not be attained without the armed intervention of the United States. The President 's message to Congress . . . . stated the entire issue, rightly considering the Maine disaster a subordinate matter, stated that the only hope of relief and repose from a condition which can no longer be endured is the enforced pacification of Cuba. In the name of humanity, in the name of civilization, in behalf of endangered American interests, which give us the right and the duty to speak and act, the war in Cuba must stop.” “Outbreak Of The War With Spain”, America, Vol.10, Pg.120.
Cuba, a Spanish colony, had been in rebellion since 1895. The brutal Spanish response turned American sympathies to the Cuban insurgents. The US Battleship Maine arrived in Havana Harbor in January 1898 with a dual mission to protect American interests and present the Spanish with a show of force. At 9:40 PM on the evening of February 15, an
In 1895 Cuba rebelled against Spain to declare their independence. Americans were outraged with the Spanish after they had killed off a quarter of the Cuban population. Newspapers flooded with propaganda and pressure for the U.S. to intervene and help the Cuban revolution. Americans felt that it was there duty to help Cuba and freeing them from Spain’s control. Not only did they feel it was the humanitarian thing to do but the Cuban rebellion also damaged American business in Cuba.
Shankman discusses the view of the war, and the sinking of the Maine, from the perspective of the Methodist church. Throughout the church there was varying opinions of the explosion and the war itself. Some people believed that the war would be necessary, while others believed there was no need for a war. IN an editorial from a New York Methodist newspaper in April 1898: "Should we now go to war," insisted the Syracuse Northern Christian Advocate, "our cause will be just, and Methodism will be ready to do its full duty. Every Methodist preacher will be a recruiting officer” (Shankman, 1973). However, in the south, the Southern Christian Advocate pushed for people to help send aid to the Cubans that are refugees and on the island; some groups even set up soup kitchens and churches donated some money as charity. These opinions helped spread the divide after the attack on the Maine:
The subsequent bombing of the ship was blamed on the Spanish with virtually no evidence; however, yellow journalists Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst sensationalized Spanish “atrocities” in Cuba fanning the flames for war. McKinley sought support for a military campaign against the Spanish in Cuba on April 11, 1898 in his Message to Congress Requesing a Declaration of War. The address highlights four justifications for intervention in the region. McKinley’s third reason for intervention was “justified by the very serious injury to the commerce, trade, and business of our people” and fourth justification “…which is of the utmost importance. The present condition of affairs in Cuba is a constant menace to our peace and entails upon this Government an enormous expense” resonate with a sense of American imperialism. The primary concerns of the nation dealt with trade and business implications for American markets instead of the safety and security of the Cuban people. The Platform of the American Anti-Imperialist League supported the “immediate cessation of the war against liberty, begun by Spain.”
The United States embargo of Cuba has its roots planted in 1960, 53 years ago, when “the United States Congress authorized President Eisenhower to cut off the yearly quota of sugar to be imported from Cuba under the Sugar act of 1948… by 95 percent” (Hass 1998, 37). This was done in response to a growing
When Fidel Castro took over Cuba by means of a revolution, he quickly established his government as the first openly Communist government in the western hemisphere. He petitioned the Soviet Union for aid, which was cheerfully given him. These events went against our current policies, as well as the Monroe Doctrine, which established us as the police force of the western hemisphere. Ninety miles away from the greatest bastion of Capitalism was now residing its greatest foe. This tense situation was brought to a boiling point by the arrival of
While public tensions before August 1898 were surely high, nothing turned the public against Spain like the tragic blowing up of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor. The lives of 260 American officers and men were lost. The yellow press and American investigators quickly blamed spanish officials in Cuba for the mysterious wreck. Although it is extremely unlikely that the spanish had anything to do with the Maine’s sinking, the War-Mad American public accepted this conclusion out of rage, overwhelmingly persuading President Mckinley to begin the war. McKinley personally did not want to fight a war against Spain, for he had seen enough bloodshed as a General in the Civil War. But the public, encouraged by the Cuban patriotic cause, yellow journalism, and the sinking of the Maine, clamored for a war. Finally, President McKinley yielded and gave the people what they wanted. He believed that the people should rule, even if they don’t know what’s best for themselves. Public pressure was the main reason we went to war with Spain, and the biggest cultivator of public unrest was the blowing up of “The Maine”.
While it may be true that Fidel Castro had a strong impact on the uprising of the crisis, it is crucial to consider John F. Kennedy as the person most at fault for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy, America's president at the time, is often been called the most to blame because he overreacted to the missiles in Cuba. The question is if it was an overreaction or just a precaution for the safety and security of the American people. After the CIA spotted the missiles in Cuba, they informed Kennedy and he immediately called for a “quarantine” on Cuba’s eastern coast, setting up a blockade of ships along the coastline. Although many perceive this as an act of safety and protection, it is also easy to say that it was in fact “an act of aggression”
The battleship, USS Marine was stationed in Havana’s harbor to protect American interest in Cuba. An explosion destroyed the vessel on February 15, 1898. “A naval court of inquiry blamed the explosion on a mine, further inflaming public sentiment against Spain” (HIS104 U.S. History Since 1877 30-Jun-2008, OL20). Again, the press stirred up the public with stories and headlines of a Spanish conspiracy. American now demanded revenge for the deaths of 266 sailors (Faragher, J., 2008, Out of Many). President McKinley demanded that Spanish government end brutality of the Cuban people, engage in armistice, and promise the eventual independence of Cuba. Upon Spain’s refusal, McKinley asked for a declaration of war. (HIS104 U.S. History, Lecture, 30-Jun-2008, OL20). “In order to assure the world that it was fighting only for the good of Cuba and not for colonial gain, the US passed the Teller Amendment, which promised to make Cuba independent after the war was over” (SparkNotes: The Spanish American War, 1898-1901: Summary).