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Spanish American War

            The end of the nineteenth century saw the birth of a new American attitude and ideology. The events that led up to the Spanish American War in 1898 and the results of it changed America's view of expansion. The war with Spain was not fought over territory but for Cuban independence, yet war and the results of the Treaty of Paris gained the United States imperial status.
             The explosion of the US battleship Maine was the event that triggered the United States to fight a war with Spain. During the war President McKinley and others began to express the idea that it was the country's "destiny" to have territories outside of the borders of the United States. The war also led to the end of Spanish rule in the Western hemisphere when Spain gave up Puerto Rico to the United States. The situation with Cuba and the decision not to take on Cuba as a territory along with the United States stance that wanted to see Cuba independent was a key factor to American imperialism. The United States acquiring the Philippines was the cornerstone of American imperialism. This group of islands would define America as an imperial nation but would also be the most controversial. The Spanish American War, and the results of it, led to the downfall of the Spanish empire and allowed for the emergence of the new American empire. .
             The United States sent the battleship Maine to Havana Harbor to protect the Americans that were in Cuba. On February 15, 1898, the ship exploded in the harbor. 1 The results of the explosion led to an outcry from both politicians and the American public. In the opinion of the American people Spain had caused the explosion because of tension between the United States and Spanish governments. The people in the United States wanted to see retaliation against Spain for sinking the Maine. Newspaper journalist used yellow journalism to make the news sound more dramatic and incredible than it really was to amplify the emotions of the people.

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