Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Wartime Wednesday: The Spanish American War

Wartime Wednesday: The Spanish American War 

Photo: Pixabay/Mooline1

Despite only lasting four months, the 1898 Spanish American was a great turning point for world powers. The war originated during the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain which began three years earlier. Some scholars feel that Spain treated Cuba like a province rather than a colony, depending on the country for prestige and trade. Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Canovas del Castillo was quoted as saying, “the Spanish nation disposed to sacrifice to the last peseta of its treasure and to the last drop of blood of the last Spaniard before consenting that anyone snatch from it even one piece of its territory.” He was assassinated in 1897, the years before the war started. 

Many Americans likened the Cuban desire for independence to that of the United States more than one year prior. Additionally, several sensational newspapers engaged in “yellow journalism” and graphically portrayed Spain as using brutally repressive measures to halt the revolution. American sympathy rose. 
After some anti-Spanish rioting in Havana, the United States sent the USS Maine was sent from Key West, Florida to the city in January 1898 to protect US citizens and property. Three weeks later, an explosion occurred on the ship, killing 260 of the 355 men on board. It was later determined that the powder charges for the vessel’s six- and ten-inch guns detonated, but at the time, it was assumed that the Spanish had destroyed the ship. 

Photo: WikiImages
The cry went up from the American public that US must intervene and seek revenge. The cause of the accident was debated for several days. Soon afterward, Congress issued a resolution that declared Cuba’s right to independence and demanded the withdrawal of Spain’s armed forces from the island. The resolution also authorized the use of force while renouncing any design for annexing Cuba. 

By all accounts, the war was one-sided. Spain had seemingly not readied its army or navy for a distant war with a formidable power such as the US. On May 1, 1898 a US naval squadron arrived in Manila Bay in the Philippines and destroyed the anchored Spanish fleet within two hours. The US then moved onto Cuba where troops (Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders among them) landed on the coast east of Santiago. The Spanish commander Admiral Pascual Cervera tried to escape with his squadron westward but they came under heavy fire from the US and all his ships were lost. 

Photo: WikiImages
On July 17, 1898, Spain surrendered, and five months later signed the Treaty of Paris renouncing all claims to Cuba, and ceded sovereignty over Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the US. As a result, America emerged as a world power with far-flung overseas possessions, and Spain turned its attention inward upon its domestic needs and away from colonial expansion. 


Gold Rush Bride Tegan

She’s out to prove herself. He’s only looking for adventure. Neither one realizes they’ll find more than gold “in them thar hills.” 
Tegan Llewellyn has always been different than her adopted family, except Grandmother Hannah, a prospector during the 1829 Georgia gold rush. Now, seventy years later there are reports of gold in Nome, and the opportunity is too good to pass up. But Tegan doesn’t count on the dangers that strike from the moment she steps off the steamer, including the threat of losing her heart. 
Elijah Hunter has prospected for gold all over the US and Canada and likes being on the move. The last thing he expects to find on his latest search is a lady miner who proves to be nothing but trouble. Can he convince her that leaving is for her own good before it’s too late...for both of them? 

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