“To what extent was the Spanish-American War one of the most unnecessary wars ever fought?”
In the 1890’s the United States attitude turned much aggressive and expansionistic than it had ever been. There was, in fact, a lust for forming colonies. The basic reason for the invitation of conflict with Spain derived from the American desire to help the Cubans with their independence from Spain. U.S gave rise to war, which could well have been avoided.
The United States justified the war in Imperialism, where it was good for business. In the words of Senator Thurston of Nebraska: “War with Spain would increase the business and earnings of every American railroad, it would increase the output of every American factory, it would stimulate every branch of industry and domestic commerce.” (Congressional Record 1898)
It was also the start of a short-lived American Empire in which America would be forced to manage the affairs of several small colonies, much like the many Empires of Europe.
Congress had passed a resolution in favor of Cuban independence before the war initiated, and after the debate, the USA decided to allow this, although American forces occupied Cuba until January 28, 1909. The USA annexed the former Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico, The Philippines, and Guam. The idea of the United States as an imperial power with foreign colonies was hotly debated domestically, with President McKinley and the Pro-Imperialists winning their way over the vocal opposition.
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