Spanish American War Timeline

Timeline created by kozie
  • U.S. Attempts to Purchase Cuba

    U.S. Attempts to Purchase Cuba
    Diplomats recommended that President Pierce purchase the country of Cuba in order for it to be used as a slave state. While Spain did not allow it, Americans remained interested.
  • First Cuban War for Independence

    First Cuban War for Independence
    Later called the Ten Years' War, Cubans made their first attempt to win their freedom from Spain. While it was unsuccessful, it won American sympathies. They were also able to get Spain to abolish slavery, leading Americans to invest millions of dollars into Cuban sugar plantations.
  • José Martí Leads the Second Cuban War for Independence

    José Martí Leads the Second Cuban War for Independence
    José Martí was a Cuban journalist who organized the Cuban resistance. He used tactics such as guerilla warfare and the destruction of American property in order to meet the revolution's goals. He purposefully tried to provoke in the U.S. in hopes that they would intervene.
  • Valeriano Weyler sent to Cuba

    Valeriano Weyler sent to Cuba
    In response to the rebellion, Spain sent General Valeriano Weyler to Cuba. He herded the rural population into concentration camps where around 300,000 Cuban rebels died.
  • Yellow Press shapes American Opinions

    Yellow Press shapes American Opinions
    Exaggerated accounts of what General Weyler had done are published by newspaper tycoons William Hearst (of the New York Journal) and Joseph Pulitzer (of the New York World). They brought about widespread anti-Spanish sentiments among Americans.
  • De Lôme Letter is Published

    De Lôme Letter is Published
    President McKinley, who didn't want a war, attempted to settle the growing problems diplomatically. It worked early on, with Spain recalling Weyler, along with other changes. However, war fever exploded once more with the New York Journal publishing the De Lôme Letter. It was a private letter made by Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, the Spanish minister to the U.S., that had been leaked by Cuban rebels. The letter condemned McKinley, calling him "weak" and "a bidder for the admiration of the crowd".
  • U.S.S. Maine Explodes

    U.S.S. Maine Explodes
    Only a few days after the de Lôme letter was published and de Lôme, in turn, had resigned, another event fueled the anger it had started. The U.S.S. Maine was tasked with bringing home American citizens from Cuba. However, on February 15, the ship blew up while in the harbor of Havana, resulting in the deaths of over 260 people. While no one actually knew why the ship had blown up, newspapers blamed it on the Spanish. "Remember the Maine!" quickly became a rallying cry for the U.S.
  • U.S. Declares War on Spain

    U.S. Declares War on Spain
    Despite the Spanish agreeing to almost all of the American demands by April 9th, including a 6-month cease-fire, the war commenced. Ultimately, the American public, having been influenced by the media, favored going to war.
  • U.S. Attack on Manila Bay

    U.S. Attack on Manila Bay
    The first battle of the war took place in the bay of Manila, the Philippine Islands' capital. Commodore George Dewey led the command for the American fleet to open fire at the Spanish ships. Nearly every Spanish ship was destroyed within a few hours.
  • Naval Blockade of Cuba

    Naval Blockade of Cuba
    In the Caribbean, the first action was a blockade of Cuba. Admiral William T. Sampson and his men barricaded the Spanish ships inside the Santiago de Cuba harbor.
  • U.S. Invades Cuba

    U.S. Invades Cuba
    In contrast to the well-prepared American Navy, the American Army was in poor condition. They lacked adequate supplies, along with having only a small amount of experienced members. Despite these factors, the army landed in Cuba and converged onto Santiago.
  • Battle of San Juan Hill

    Battle of San Juan Hill
    The Rough Riders, alongside the Ninth and Tenth Calvaries, had reigned victorious in the battle on the nearby Kettle Hill; this cleared the way for the infantry attack on San Juan Hill. The American forces defeated the greatly outnumbered Spanish troops.
  • Destruction of the Spanish Fleet in Cuba

    Destruction of the Spanish Fleet in Cuba
    After the defeat at San Juan Hill, the Spanish fleet attempted to escape the blockade. The battle that ensued destroyed the entire Spanish fleet.
  • Invasion of Puerto Rico

    Invasion of Puerto Rico
    After emerging victorious from their battles in Cuba, 16,000 troops stormed Guánica, Puerto Rico. They were led by General Nelson Miles, who later presided over civil and military affairs on the island.
  • Armistice is Signed

    Armistice is Signed
    After only 15 weeks of fighting, the Spanish-American War came to an end. Spain agreed to a peace protocol on American terms, surrendering Cuba and Puerto Rico to the United States.
  • Spain Surrenders the Philippines

    Spain Surrenders the Philippines
    General Dewey, having been unaware that a peace protocol just a day earlier, continued with his bombardment of the Spanish opposition on schedule. After being defeated, the Spanish gave formal possession of Manila, Philippines, to the United States. It is occasionally referred to as the Mock Battle of the Manila, due to the fact that local Spanish and American generals had planned for the transfer of control to the Americans.
  • Treaty of Paris of 1898

    Treaty of Paris of 1898
    Spanish and American representatives met in Paris in order to discuss a treaty. Spain freed Cuba and gave possession of the islands of Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States. The Philippines were also sold to the United States for $20 million. Whether the annexation of these countries was moral was hotly debated among Americans.