An Effect of the Spanish-American War

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The Spanish-American war, lasting from April 21, 1898 to August 13, 1898, had many effects on our world today.  Fought in Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Philippines, and Guam, between the United States and Spain, this war had many impacts on the two countries who participated, and the territories in which they took place.

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Decades before the beginning of conflict over Cuba, the United States had tried to purchase the island from Spain.  The current president, Polk, made proposals as far back as 1847 to acquire Cuba.  Then, in 1895 after nearly a century of misrule, the Cubans rebelled against Spain.  This is when the road to war for the US and Spain began.

Cubans had, for many years, been unpleased with the harsh treatment and lack of representation they received from the Spanish government.  Having tried twice already in 1868 and 1876, the Cubans were put down swiftly.  When Spain canceled a trade pact between Cuba and the US in 1894, the new taxes and restrictions forced the depressed Cubans to try again.  

  On February 24, 1895 Cuban revolutionaries staged multiple uprisings all across the island.  The uprisings suffered from poor organization and failed.  The leaders were captured and either executed or exiled.  A second, more successful attempt on April 11, 1895 saw the rebel army take control of the eastern region of the country.  In September of that year they declared the Republic of Cuba and invaded the western provinces.  By 1896, the rebels controlled most of the island, prompting a response from the Spanish government.  General Valeriano Weyler attempted to segregate insurgents and the general population.  After relocating more than 300,000 into reconcentration camps, he did not consider the obligation of caring for the separated individuals.  Thousands died due to hunger and disease.  Exaggerated accounts of this spread across the globe, accompanied by demands to assist Cuba in their freedom fight. 

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