The May 4th, 1893, the country was

The documentary Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War
takes a look into motivations, causes and effects of the Spanish-American
War. The documentary starts by letting us know that Assistant security of the
navy Roosevelt thought that a war with Spain over Cuba would make us a world
power (1:30). The Americans always felt that the Cubans wanted to be a part of
the United States. The Filipinos were led to believe they were liberating them,
but when the soldiers came, they began to get suspicious of the Americans
motives (1:53). Around May 4th, 1893, the country was hit by the
worst recession in history. Millions of Americans lost their jobs (4:10).

Frederick Jackson Turner, a historian, thought the solution for the United
States could be found somewhere beyond it’s borders. The frontier was gone, and
there were no more gifts of free land to be found within the borders. Americans
panicked, they needed to expand their institutions before they shrank. They
rationalized this by taking their power overseas.

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Spain once ruled a
huge empire encompassing most of central and south America and a large portion
of North American, but after several civil wars destroyed Spain’s authority, and
by the 1890’s, all they owned was Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, and
a few other scattered tiny islands (6:00). The Ten Years War was Cuba’s first
attempt at independence from Spain. Cuba failed, but it resulted in the destruction
of almost the entire island and more than half of their money was gone. This
caused Cuba to become more reliant on America. The Spanish-American war reached
the Philippines when Commodore George Dewey defeated the Spanish squadron at
Manila Bay. Emilio Aguinaldo was the leader of the Filipino independence movement
and declared independence of the Philippines on June 12, 1898, but was later
destroyed by the United States Army and he was captured in 1901.

Earlier, on February
15th, 1898, the U.S.S. Maine was anchored in Havana, Cuba for weeks
without incident. The ship mysteriously exploded. Even though an investigation
was taking place to find the cause, many Americans already had their minds made
up. There were several newspapers blamed the Spanish for this explosion. The
newspaper articles the following days had articles stating the Americans had no
choice now but to go to war not only to avenge the U.S.S. Maine, but to save
the Cubans from the treachery of Spanish colonization (37:05). U.S. troops
arrived in Cuba a few months later on June 22nd, 1898 and a victory
in San Juan Heights came within days on July 1st.

The war was over in
a matter of weeks and the United States were easily victorious. Span gave up
its power of Cuba and gave Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam to the United
States as a result of the Treaty of Paris. People in the Philippines and Cuba
had thought the Americans were saviors, but they soon realized all America did
was replace one imperial power with their own. When the conflict was settled by
the Treaty of Paris, Spain relinquished its sovereignty over Cuba, and ceded
Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam to the United States. America was
fighting another small colonial war against Filipino Rebels Months after the
Spanish surrender, America was fighting its own colonial war against Filipino
rebels. This new territory acquired by America had new military bases installed
on them and pushed America into the world power that it still is today.