United States in Spanish-American War

United States in Spanish-AmericanWar

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At the time of the Spanish-American War, the United States went fromrelative isolation to increased global involvement because of 1.Change in the country’s policies with reference to their relationwith the rest of the world, changed from non-participant (isolation)from foreign affairs to an imperialist 2. The United States looked toexpand their economic growth in the Latin American region, inaddition to their political growth (search for new markets), 3. Theunited looked to expand its world dominance in terms of military andinfluence (political) quest to make united states a force to reckonwith globally led them into Spanish War. The consequences of thisincreased global involvement in the American society were 4. Therewas an improved standard of living for the Americans due to economicactivities, 5. Different views with regard to the adoption ofimperialism.

American policy makers were forced to consider a greater globalinvolvement with regard to their global participation, (relation withthe rest of the countries). At the beginning of the Spanish-Americanwar, the community and the administration were widely known for theirtaking back position approach when it came to international matters.This was defined by their isolation policy1.However, when Spain invaded Cuba signifying the Spanish War, thecountry’s policymakers had to change their stand in order toaccommodate for them being able to protect their regions of interest.Cuba was one of the regions of interest to the Americans the UnitedStates policies had to be changed to allow for participation in theaffairs outside their country. Before the start of the war, theAmericans had already established a market for their produces withCuba being part of the region they had invested in2.Once the Spanish power decided to set into Cuba, the Americansdecided it was key for them to protect their territories in terms ofeconomic gain, with the Cubans being part of their market. Thisdecision to protect their territories, business, and otherinvestments in Cuba, led to the adoption of a policy that would allowthem to get involved in international affairs. Initially, the UnitedStates had taken an isolated stand when it comes to matters regardingthe participation of world affairs, what concerned them was how tomake their country great. The change in policies resulted in theadoption of the policies that would protect their interest, hencechanging from an isolated state to imperialist3.

Through change of the policies, the United States become and imperialpower, this in turn results in conflicts with other nations such asthe case of Spanish-American War where the Americans locked hornswith Spain. By adopting imperialism, the United States changed itsstand from just economic aspects, or relations with other regions,and in turn looked to make their political power felt. The UnitedStates started taking of colonies, which was unfamiliar scenecompared to other European nations which had already establishedcolonies all over the globe. The global participation of the UnitedStates was one of the key aspects as to why the American indulgedinto the Spanish War4.

Business leaders and the United States leadership came to anagreement that, economic activities of the united were key prospectin the development of the country, both nationally andinternationally. The United States looked to expand their economicgrowth in the Latin American region, in addition to their politicalgrowth. The Spanish-American came at a time when the united hadexperienced a lot in terms of industrialization. This had in turnresulted in increased production of goods from their localindustries. As a result of increased production, the United Stateshad to look for new and stable markets for their increased produce.This in turn led to the establishment of ties with the Cuba, PuertoRico, and the Latin American region. The Latin American market provedto be a positive gain to the American community, and in turn thereason they had to maintain the relationship with the Latin Americansat all cost to protect their economic stability. Cuba and LatinAmerica provided a new and stable market for the American goods. Inaddition to stabilizing their economic stability, the Americanswanted to increase their infrastructure and their militaryorganization. With these aspects in mind, the Americans were in turnforced to undertake effective measures to protect their investment inthe Cuba, and Latin America region. One of the key aspects was toprevent the Spanish attacks of the Cuba, and in turn America becomingpart of the Spanish American War5.

In addition to the change of the country policies from an isolatednation to an imperialist, as well as protection of the economicactivities, the Americans got involved in the Spanish-American Warwith an intention to expand its global dominance is aspects such asmilitary, and influence among other nations. The leadership of theAmerican community looked at ways to make their name in terms ofeconomic and political stability, hence the urge to become a powerfulnation. The United States wanted to become a force to be reckonedwith globally. The United States realized, by gaining an upper handis aspects such as economics, political and in global affairs, theunited states had to flex its power in all aspects that entailedglobal affairs6.One of the wars that the Americans saw a way to be known wasby indulging into the Spanish-American War. Through the acquiring ofcontrol over regions such as Cuba, the United States became a nationto be respected among other colonizing powerhouses. TheSpanish-American War led to the United States, defeating the Spanishtroops, and its leadership over the Cubans, and in turn the UnitedStates being seen a powerful nation. At the end of the war period,there was a change in terms of who controlled Cuba, and despite theCubans achieving independence, which was their primary reason to bein the war, the Americans role in the war couldn’t be undermined,as it impacted massively the result of the war.

Consequences of the Spanish-American War on the American Society

One of the major and most important consequences of theSpanish-American war to the American society is the improvement ofstandards of living. Due to the Americans indulgence in the War, thecountry managed to protect its market for its products which hadturned to be an important source employment for the Americans throughthe sale of their produce to the Cubans. One of the pillars thatdefined the United States before the eruption of the War is its fastrate of industrialization and economic development. Due to the UnitedStates indulging with foreign affairs, there was an increasedeconomic activity between Cuba and America. The Americans viewed Cubaas an ideal market for their produce7.This led to increased income from the business activities with Cuba,which in turn led to improved living standards of the Americansociety. In order to protect their new and steady market, theSpanish War forced the Americans to invest in infrastructures such asroads connecting America and Cuba, and in turn increasing theaccessibility of the Latin America, which increased the volumes ofgood transported to Cuba. The increased economic activity led toimproved living standards of the Americans.

Apart from economic gain to the American community, there was also achange that came as a result of the War. This is in terms of foreignpolicies. The Spanish-American War had forced the American leaders tochange the country policies with regard to how they relate to rest ofthe globe. This led to heated debate among the American society, asthey were left torn between the adoptions of the imperialismpolicies. Part of the American community viewed the imperialism asthe ideal option to elevate the country on the global front as aneconomic, political powerhouse as well as a force to be recognizedamong other nations. On the other hand, there was the group ofAmericans that opposed the new imperialism. This division in terms ofcountry policies led to the formation of anti-imperialist movement8.Still on the impact to the American society, there was an unlikelyunion between the southern and the northern regions to fight theircommon enemy, this time being Spain. This in turn brought togetherthe larger American society.

The Spanish-American war is seen by many as the point at which theAmerican community, not only as society, but also as a nation becomesa global power. This in turn led to the believe by Americans thattheir country is a global power. However, despite the gains to theAmerican society, there were also negative experienced by theAmerican community as a result of the War. One of the downsides isthat the Americans lost their relatives through the war who worked assoldiers, and who actively participated in the war, the Americanparticipants were faced with diseases such as the yellow fever whichkilled more of the American soldiers that the war itself9.These negative effects were a worrying trend in the Americancommunity, as it delayed the development of the infrastructure.

In conclusion, the United States was victorious in theSpanish-American War. This in turn made a tremendous impact to theAmerican society as well as the country itself in terms ofdevelopment and recognition. The ending of the war led to massivechanges not only to the Americans, but also to Cubans who gainedindependence. It can be said that, apart from delayed development anddeath of its people, the United States objectives were achieved. Thecountry changed its policies from isolation to imperialism, expandedits economic and political powers. However, there was a dividedopinion among the Americans, as well as improved standards of living.It’s clear that, from the participation of Americans in theSpanish-American War, the United States become a global force, aposition which has been held till today.


American Experience, WoodrowWilson. Retrieved on 29thOct. 2015. From


Empire and its Discontents. Chapter 3, The Spanish American War.Retrieved on 29thOct 2015.

From http://msu.grtep.com/index.cfm/ushistory/page/3

Fiddian, R. (2002). Under Spanish Eyes: Late Nineteenth-CenturyPostcolonial Views Of

Spanish American Literature.&nbspModern Language Review,&nbsp97(1),83-93.

Gleijeses, P. (2003). 1898: The opposition to the Spanish-Americanwar.&nbspJournal Of Latin

American Studies,&nbsp35(4), 681-719.

Hendrickson, K. E. (2003).&nbspTheSpanish-American War.Westport (Connecticut: Greenwood


Miller, B. M. (2011). The World of 1898: The Spanish-AmericanWar.&nbspJournal of American

History,&nbsp98(3), 948-949

Rockoff, H. (2012).&nbspAmerica`seconomic way of war: War and the US economy from the

Spanish-American War to thefirst Gulf War.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Modern History Sourcebook:&nbspAmericanAnti-Imperialist League, 1899. Retrieved on 29thOct 2015. From: http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1899antiimp.asp

  1. 1Modern History Sourcebook:&nbspAmerican Anti-Imperialist League, 1899. Retrieved on 29th Oct 2015. From: http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1899antiimp.asp

  1. 2Miller, B. M. (2011). The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War.&nbspJournal of American History,&nbsp98(3), 948-949

  1. 3Gleijeses, P. (2003). 1898: The opposition to the Spanish-American war.&nbspJournal Of Latin American Studies,&nbsp35(4), 681-719.

  1. 4Fiddian, R. (2002). Under Spanish Eyes: Late Nineteenth-Century Postcolonial Views Of Spanish American Literature.&nbspModern Language Review,&nbsp97(1), 83-93.

  1. 5Empire and its Discontents. Chapter 3, The Spanish American War. Retrieved on 29th Oct 2015. From http://msu.grtep.com/index.cfm/ushistory/page/3

  1. 6American Experience, Woodrow Wilson. Retrieved on 29th Oct. 2015. From http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/

  1. 7Hendrickson, K. E. (2003).&nbspThe Spanish-American War. Westport (Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

  1. 8Modern History Sourcebook:&nbspAmerican Anti-Imperialist League, 1899. Retrieved on 29th Oct 2015. From: http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1899antiimp.asp

  1. 9Rockoff, H. (2012).&nbspAmerica`s economic way of war: War and the US economy from the Spanish-American War to the first Gulf War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.