A war with Spain was needed in the eye’s of the American government. They had many motivations for interfering with Spain. To them a war with Spain was needed to expand the United States Territory. The main reason to interfere with Spain was to get land across the Pacific Ocean. The United States had a desire to become a world power. The Americans knew that without war there would be no land. When interfering with Spain, Americans knew that it would be an easy victory because the Spaniards artillery was far behind the Americans. Another reason a war with Spain was needed was to establish trade. A war with Spain would help the Americans to establish trade with Asian markets and possibly China. The only problem was that the United States did not have much of a reason to interfere with Spain, considering the fact that the Spaniards listened to the United States request of granting Cuba their independence. Therefore, the United States needed to create a reason to go to war with Spain.
The United States began to find reasons to interfere with Spain. They did this by getting the American people to form a negative opinion towards Spain.They began to use yellow journalism, the media exaggerating sensationalism to sell papers and manipulate readers. An example of this was, The De Lome Letter which was written by a Spanish minister who attempted to slander President William Mckinley by stating that he was a weak, low politician. A letter, talking about The De Lome Letter, was then later published in the Hearst’s New York Journal. This letter helped get the American people on board with a war with Spain by helping them form an anti-Spain opinion. Another way the government got the American people on board with a war with Spain was by creating sympathy for the U.S.S Maine. The U.S.S Maine was a warship sent to Havana to protect American businesses and civilians. The ship then mysteriously exploded and killed two hundred and sixty six American people. The American military investigated the explosion and concluded that a submarine mine caused the explosion. The American press then blamed the Spaniards for the explosions in a article called Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain. This act drew at the emotions of many American civilians helping them agree to a war with Spain.
Overall, the United States were not justified in declaring a war with Spain. The Spaniards accepted the conditions of the McKinley Ultimatum and agreed to grant Cuba its independence. The United States simply went to war to get more land across the hemisphere. For example, the Platt Amendment, turned Cuba into an American protectorate, causing America to gain control of Cuban decisions, basically but not fully allowing America to own Cuba. They sneakily convinced their citizens that they needed a war with Spain, when in reality it was never truly needed. The United States just wanted to become a more powerful nation, they targeted Spain because it was a weak nation across the Pacific Ocean that they could easily capture a victory from. While they did get an easy victory, it should not be seen as a just one.
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