US In the Spanish-American War “The Splendid Little War” –Teddy Roosevelt
Motivations for Imperialism • In the 1890s, due to rising exports, manufacturing, power, and wealth, US sought overseas markets to sell its goods. • US sought to prove itself as world power and spread democracy • Darwin’s theory of survival-of-the-fittest = United States was the fittest and needed to take over other nations to improve them. • Such events already were happening, as Europeans had carved up Africa and China by this time. • White Man’s Burden – civilizing the world’s savages
Cuba • In 1895, Cuba revolted against Spain, citing years of misrule • America supported Cuba, and the situation worsened when Spanish General came to Cuba to crush the revolt and put many civilians into concentration camps
Yellow Journalism • Goal is to sell papers, not about responsible reporting • Perpetuated by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer in a selling war • Presents little or no legitimate well-researched news • Techniques include exaggeration and sensationalism • Term is used today to discredit reporting seen as unprofessional or unethical
Spark of War • On February 15th of 1898, the U.S. battleship U.S.S. Maine mysteriously exploded in Havana Harbor, killing 260 officers and men. • America was war-mad in part due to HI success and Yellow Journalism and Spain received the blame. • Hearst called down to Cuba, “You supply the pictures, I’ll supply the story.” • What really happened was an accidental explosion had blown up the ship • However, on April 11, 1898, the president sent his war message to Congress anyway, since war with Spain seemed inevitable, America had to defend democracy Spanish-American War begins!