SpanishAmerican War1 Essay

This essay has a total of 1348 words and 6 pages.

SpanishAmerican War1



Most may think that the Spanish-American War was a war between the Americans and the
Spanish. Most are right, but only to a point, because the Spanish-American War also
included wars between the Americans and the Filipinos, as well as between the Americans
and Puerto-Ricans. Reasons for these wars occurring are obvious to the history
connoisseur, but to the normal individual, they may not be so distinct.

America has been a country of great power for years, and that power has come not only from
years of hard work and fighting, but also from years of audacity. About one hundred fifty
years ago, the United States began sending armed forces to foreign countries in an effort
to attain each individual country’s opulent resources. This commanding attitude taken by
the United States government spread into the American people as well, with corporate
giants such as Rockefeller and Morgan, who controlled large parts of American business
with monopolies over the railroads and oil industry. Events such as the
Spanish﷓American War and interference in the Philippines marked the indisputable
beginning of American imperialism. Invasions such as these propelled United States
capitalist expansion and produced the ideas of economic expansion in government as well as
in homes.

The Philippines played a larger part in the Spanish-American War than most may like to
believe. The Philippine-American War as it could be called is forgotten to most everyone
in all of United States Military history. The events that occurred in the Philippines
could be mildly compared to the events that occurred nearly seventy years later in
Vietnam. The reasons for the war occurring at all are directly related to the Filipino’s
attempts to gain independence from Spain. Lead by Emilio Aguinaldo, the Filipino people
fought for one year for independence from Spain with a shortage of weapons, ammunition and
food. A treaty with the Spanish Authorities was forced in 1897, and Aguinaldo and his
government were forced into exile with payment of four hundred thousand pesos. American
Consuls residing in many Asian countries, as well as Hong Kong, where Aguinaldo was exiled
to, agreed with Aguinaldo to give the Philippines independence, as long as they helped the
United States defeat the Spanish. Commodore George Dewey of the United States Navy was to
lead Aguinaldo back to the Philippines. He only brought Aguinaldo back to Luzon, the
northern-most island of the Philippines. Dewey continued to refuse to support Aguinaldo
now though, and Aguinaldo once again controlled the Philippines, which was still under
attack by Spanish forces. Dewey blockaded Manila, a completely different island from the
Philippines, from seaside, but land was blockaded by Spanish troops. Though Dewey had the
Bay of Manila in his hands, no other Filipino land was in the hands of Americans. Finally
American volunteer soldiers arrived, and a mock battle was fought to preserve Spanish
honor, and it was ended in the surrender of Manila by the governor of Manila. Note that
the governor of Manila, not the Spanish governor of the Philippines, sanctioned the
surrender. The Americans attempted to keep this fact from the Filipino governor, who did
not want Manila out of his control, even though Manila was not part of the Philippines.
Aguinaldo’s men were furious that the United States had occupied Manila, but Aguinaldo
implored his men to be patient. Now the United States administration would not have any
communications with Aguinaldo and worried the Filipinos because the United States
administration would not mention independence. Two days before a peace treaty was to be
voted on, an American Priovate killed a Filipino soldier who was evidently ridiculing him.
Not even a day passed and fighting broke out along the demarcation line between United
States and Filipino forces. Over the next couple years of fighting, the number of
Americans dead equaled fifteen for every dead man in Cuba. It cost the American
government six hundred million dollars to fight Filipino forces, and two hundred thousand
Filipinos died, but only twenty thousand were in the Filipino Army. The
Philippine﷓American War lasted until mid-1901, and the United States won it at the
cost of its own innocence.

Another part of the Spanish-American War was fought in Puerto Rico. Due to the Cuban
crisis with the Americans at the time, where American forces lost many men, the invasion
on Puerto Rico was withheld. General Miles lead the invasion on Puerto Rico once
President McKinley released the ships on July 21, 1898 to land in Santiago de Cuba. Miles
did not yet have satisfactory armed force support to lead an attack, but he was directed
to go anyway. He had only thirty-five hundred troops with him, but he did have more than
sufficient naval backup to invade. Over twenty-five thousand troops were to invade San
Juan, along with the assistance of the United States Navy. Overall command of the United
States naval force was under Captain Francis J. Higginson. All twenty-five thousand plus
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