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What were the principal causes and consequences of the Spanish-American War - Essay Example

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The paper operates mainly based on research questions which can be stated as follows: What were the principal causes and consequences of the Spanish-American War? The current paper presents the principal background; the Spanish attitude; the US response; bombing of USS Maine; consequences of the war. …
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What were the principal causes and consequences of the Spanish-American War
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that various wars were fought by Cuba in order to gain independence from Spain. Spain held the country as a colony ever since the end of the 19th century. These wars were labeled as the Cuban War of Independence. While these wars were being fought, Cuba’s status was slowly being changed. Slavery was abolished in October 1886 and many of these liberated slaves were able to gain positions as farmers or urban working class employees. These social changes caused rich people to lose their properties, downgrading their status to middle class. A significant amount of money was also flown into Cuba from the US, with amounts reaching almost 50 million dollars. While money was flowing into Cuba, issues on whether the country was US or Spanish territory were raised politically and economically. During the Cuban War of Independence, the last few months of the conflict triggered the bigger Spanish-American War. Spanish colonial policies were revised soon after the country experienced two major losses in the colonial wars. These defeats caused the loss of its colonies in the Americas and in the Peninsular Wars. Soon after, the concept of the Spanish empire was being redefined by Spain. Spain’s colonialism can be explained in terms of culture and language. Although oceans separated these territories from each other, their culture and language united them as Spanish colonies. Cánovas also claimed that Spain was remarkably different from other empires such as Britain, and France. As opposed to these empires, Spain uniquely contributed to spreading civilization to the New World.3 On the other hand, the US also had its own interests in the Caribbean area. According to the US Monroe Doctrine, it would not allow any interference in any states’ issues and goals in expanding their colonies. Interestingly, however, Spanish Cuban colonies were exempted from the statement. For Americans, Cuba has been attracted by offers to be brought from Spain and other Americans were also high in ‘their hopes of future annexation’4 of the country. The US government did not however consider the same possibilities for other Spanish colonies like the Philippines, Guam, or Puerto Rico.5 Canovas del Castillo was in charge of Spain’s restoration following the wars and it mandated General Martinez-Campos to control the uprisings in Cuba. The general was however unable to control these insurgent activities; he was then replaced by General Valeriano Weyler who succeeded in stripping the insurgents of their weapons and supplies; he also moved many of the insurgents into reconcentration camps. This move however enraged the US and labeled Spain’s actions as extermination, not civilized warfare.6 Towards the end of the 19th century, various factors eventually came together in the US which established its concerns on overseas expansion. Concerns were also growing on new markets and other sources for its raw material needs7. The erratic economy of the late 1800s where the US was hit with depression, prompted the US to consider the foreign expansion of its markets. In effect, they saw the foreign market as a market which could take in their industrial and agricultural surpluses at the same time, one which they could also get their raw materials from8. Latin America and the Far East were considered fertile ground for its economic plans. America was however very much aware that in order for it to succeed in its economic expansion plans, it also needed to build a strong navy to protect its interests9. This meant that the US would have to establish its naval bases in the Pacific islands of the Far East, including the Philippines, Guam, and American Samoa10. A canal through Central America would therefore also be necessary for its economic expansion plans. Other elements also came into play in the Spanish-American war. The end of the 19th century also brought about the missionary expansion of American Protestant Churches11. These missionaries ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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This essay was always my weak point. I could never complete it on time. Still, after I found this precise essay, I understood how it should be done. So, I performed my research afterward and completed the essay in several hours, instead of days as it was previously.

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