Spanish-American War

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff


  • U.S. troops engaged: 306,760
  • American battle deaths: 385
  • Spain declared war on the U.S. because the U.S. supported Cuba's wish to be independent of Spanish rule.
  • The Spanish military forced Cubans into slave communities and thousands died from disease and starvation.
  • American newspapers slanted and distorted the news in a practice later called “yellow journalism” to create more public support for the Cubans.
  • A submarine mine exploded in Havana Harbor in Cuba, sinking the U.S. battleship Maine and killing 260 servicemen. Although it was never proven, America placed responsibility on Spain. “Remember the Maine!” became the war’s most famous slogan.
  • War with Spain was declared in April 1898.
  • American ships destroy the Spanish fleet off Santiago, Cuba, forcing that city to surrender and signaling the end of the Spanish resistance.
  • The Treaty of Paris was signed in 1898. Cuba was freed, the U.S. obtained the Philippines for $20 million, and Puerto Rico and Guam were ceded to the U.S.

See Spanish-American War for more details about the dates and events of this war.

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