Execution Essay: The Cuban War

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The war started out because native Cubans were revolting against Spain, which was holding on to Cuba for dear life as the remnant of a once-great empire. The Cubans’ fight for independence was brutal. 95,000 Cubans died from disease and malnutrition after Spanish general Valeriano Weyler herded Cubans into concentration camps. For this, Weyler was called “Butcher” in the American yellow press, which sold a lot of newspapers on the backs of stories about his atrocities. At last, we come to President William McKinley who responded cautiously, with a demand that Spain get out of Cuba or face war. Spain knew that it couldn’t win a war with the United States but, as George Herring put it, they “preferred the honor of war to the ignominy of surrender.” In President McKinley’s war message to Congress, he states that the United States officially went to war for American peace of mind and to end economic uncertainty: “With such a conflict waged for years in an island so near us and with which our people have such trade and business relations; when the lives and liberty of our citizens are in constant danger and their property…show more content…
history, especially if you measure success by brevity and relative paucity of deaths. Secretary of State John Hay called it a “splendid little war” and in many ways it was. Fighting lasted about 4 months and fewer than 400 Americans were killed in combat, although 5,000 died of disease. There weren’t a ton of battles, but those that happened got an inordinate amount of press coverage, like the July attack on San Juan Hill at the Cuban city of Santiago, led by future president Theodore Roosevelt. While it was a successful battle, the real significance is that it furthered Roosevelt’s career. He returned a hero promptly became Governor of New York and by 1900 was McKinley’s vice president. Which eventually led Roosevelt to become an “accidental” president following the assassination of

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