The Spanish-American War was a brief, yet intense conflict between Spain and America that lasted from April of 1898 until July of 1898. The dispute concluded with the effective end of Spain's worldwide empire, and gained the United States several new possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Although the majority of Americans, including President Mckinley wished to avert war and hoped to settle the conflict of Cuba by peaceful means, a series of incidents early in 1898 intensified U.S. feelings against Spain. This included the use of yellow journalism, by two leading sources Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, to help build anti-Spanish sentiments throughout the nation. .
For many years preceding the Spanish-American war Cuban insurgents had been fighting for their independence from Spain. Since America was always looking to expand its territory and sympathy for the Cuban rebels was running high especially after the savage Ten Years War, the United States decided to become involved in the efforts to liberate Cuba. During this time period the Spanish military commander, Valeriano Weyler Nicolau instituted the reconcentrado, or concentration camp system in 1896, after failed efforts to suppress guerrilla activity. This concentration camp system force Cuba's rural population into confined, centrally located towns, where thousands died from disease and starvation.
As these horrible events were occurring in Cuba, back in America journalists such as W. R. Hearst and his publication of the New York Journal along with Joseph Pulitzer and his publication of New York World constantly gave interpretations of the events that were taking place in Cuba. This often led the American people to be reading distorted and exaggerated news articles without any way of verifying their validity. This type of journalism caused a rapid spread of anti-Spanish sentiments and helped fuel President McKinley's decision to go to war with Spain.