The Battle at Manila Bay took place on 1 May 1898 and was the first major engagement of the Spanish-American War. The commander of the Spanish Fleet was veteran Pacific squadron Admiral Patricio Montojo who was up against a rising leader, Commodore George Dewey, who became Admiral after the annihilation of Montojo's fleet. The battle and the overall Victory of the U.S. over the world power Spain made other nations acknowledge the rising power of the United States at sea. Chance and leadership played a big role in the outcome of the Battle at Manila Bay, but America's steel armored, protected cruisers, and long range 8-inch guns had the greatest impact on the victory of the battle which marked the end of the Spanish Colonial period in Philippine history.
The United States prior to the Battle at Manila Bay was in a period of construction and growth in its Maritime and Naval expansion. The United States had no proximate enemies, other than the Native Americans resistance in the heart of the United States which could only be controlled by land warfare due to the Native Americans not having any large bodies of water nor any naval war knowledge in the slightest. Anyway the United States was considered to be growing out of its phase of producing makeshift monitors and shaky non-ocean voyaging vessels. In 1883 congress authorized the first three vessels of what would become a new generation of Steel warships, due partly to Alfred Thayer Mahan's lectures at the Naval War College over of a nations greatness is directly correlated with its power at Sea. This was based upon Britain's power during the Age of Sail. "It is entirely possible that the United States would have built its 'New Navy' even without the influence of Mahan's book, for at the end of the nineteenth century, the United States was a Nation emerging from its awkward teenage years: a bit gawky still-its clothes a bit too short at the wrists and ankles-but bursting with the strength and power of imminent adulthood.