World History





































Spanish-American War

Theodore Roosevelt leads a charge up San Juan Hill.

During the 1800s, the United States followed the European pattern of industrialism and imperialism. The U.S. expanded its territory to the Pacific by conquering Native American nations and Mexican armies. Then, in 1898, the U.S. extended its empire overseas. At this time, Cuba and Puerto Rico were the last Spanish colonies left in the Americas, and the U.S. was sympathetic to Cuban rebels fighting for independence. When the U.S. showed its concern by sending the battleship Maine to visit Cuba, the ship blew up in Havana harbor killing 266 American sailors. The U.S. immediately blamed Spain for the explosion—probably mistakenly. With newspaper headlines screaming, “Remember the Maine!” the U.S. declared war on Spain.

Cuba = an island country in the Caribbean Sea south of Florida. Its capital city is Havana.

Puerto Rico = an island in the West Indies that used to be a colony of Spain, but now belongs to the United States.

Havana = the capital city of Cuba.

In a war lasting only four months, the modern American navy easily destroyed two older Spanish fleets. Theodore Roosevelt and his band of “Rough Riders” became heroes after newspapers reported their daring cavalry charge at San Juan Hill in Cuba. With its victory in this “splendid little war,” the U.S. acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines from Spain, and Spain lost its standing as a great power. In the same year, the U.S. took control of Hawaii. America was now a power in the Pacific. Five years later, Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States, and he declared the U.S. would take control of any Latin American country that didn’t run its government the way the U.S. wanted it to. This attitude toward Latin America created resentment against the United States that persists to this day.

Guam = a small island in the Pacific Ocean that used to be a colony of Spain, but now belongs to the United States.

Philippines = a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, comprising over seven thousand islands. Its capital city is Manila.

Hawaii = state of the U.S., consisting of a group of islands (Hawaiian Islands) in the North Pacific.

Spanish-American War = a war fought between the United States and Spain in 1898. The war was fought largely over the independence of Cuba. Major battles took place in the Spanish colonies of Cuba and the Philippines. The war began on April 25, 1898 when the United States declared war on Spain. The fighting ended with a U.S. victory three and a half months later on August 12, 1898.