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Alfred Mahan, a captain in the United States army was a proponent of expanding territories. He proposed power on the sea through navy naval bases at strategic regions in the world (Mooney 88). This promoted world domination including Pacific islands as main targets of this idea of expansion. This pushed the US to modernize its navy making it the fifth powerful navy in the world by 1898. Some saw it as the “white man’s burden”, (Mooney 88) to exploit resources of weaker nations. Theodore Roosevelt supported imperialist US strategies to survive in the world.
Gold discovery at the Venezuelan boundary led to a dispute with the British Guiana prompting President Cleveland to warn Britain against taking Venezuela. Britain rejected, triggering Cleveland to hint at war with Britain. Latin American nations appreciated the protection from US (Mooney 89).
Spain misrule affected Cuba’s industries prompting United States to offer mediation, but Spain rejected. Pressure from the United States led Spain to grant Cuba semi-autonomy, triggering Spanish population there to revolt. Safety fears for Americans in Cuba, President William McKinley, “sent the USS Maine to Havana in March 1898”, (Mooney 93) which exploded week later, killing its sailors. Americans blamed this act to Spain, but no direct evidence of foul play ever presented. Roosevelt, the then assistant secretary of the navy, offered a reward to the conviction of the perpetrators of that destruction. April, 1898, President McKinley requested use of the army to mediate between Spain and Cuba. Congress approved and through the Teller Amendment stated that the US wouldn’t subdue the island. Spain declared war on the US, marking the onset of the Spanish-American war. George Dewey’s offensive at Manila bay, ensured victory for the US. After three months, US took over Manila, assisted by Filipino troops, led by Emiliano Aguinaldo. Soon
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