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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Tag: Spanish-American War

Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbIt might have been called Americas war of imperialism, but most Americans did not view themselves as imperialists. We are talking about the Spanish-American War (and its sister conflict, the Philippine-American War). It took place in 1897 through 1898 and involved Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam; these were all Spanish possessions. We associate this conflict with the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor and Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. This conflict was lopsided and the Spanish sued for peace in 1898 and was settled by the Treaty of Paris (1898).

It was a chance for our military to flex their muscles in battle. There had not been an armed conflict for the military to develop their tactics since the Civil War. The world was preparing to enter the 20th century. Our soldiers fought bravely, but were not prepared for the conflicts that would take place during the next fifty years.


When McKinley was elected President, with his Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt, the Republicans were prepared for an era of prosperity. However, with McKinley’s assassination, Roosevelt started his “Walk softly, but Carry a Big Stick” campaign. America was flexing its muscles and letting the world know that we were no longer the little kid on the block. Ironically, following Roosevelt’s two terms in office, the American Congress took a decidedly isolationist position with respect to world politics. We would be caught unprepared when conflict erupted in Europe in 1914.

It’s time to get into the meat of our exploration into the details of the Spanish-American War… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3018 Words ]


Quotations Related to Veterans Day:


“Remember the Maine!”
— Popular outcry in the U.S.

“The free man cannot be long an ignorant man.”
— William McKinley, President

“Once the United States is in Cuba who will drive it out?”
— José Martí, Cuban Revolutionary

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Edited by Gerald Boerner




JerryPhotoWhen most of us think about the Spanish–American War, we think about the Rough Riders carge up San Juan hill or our victories in the Philippines. Perhaps all we are even more limited in our understanding to the outcomes of that two-year conflict: the acquisition of the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico into our “possessions.” We don’t really think of it as a campaign against some of the last possessions of the once powerful Spanish empire around the world. We were, in fact, imperialists during that period of time — the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th.

Within this broad scope of battle we find a more long-lasting battle: the Battle of Guantánamo Bay. The U.S. Marines invaded an area at the mouth of the bay to occupy an area that was given to the United States by the Cuban–American Treaty of 1903. It has been prominent in recent years as the location of the infamous “Gitmo” prison where we detain high valued prisoners from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. It is also the site practicing questionable interrogation techniques on many prisoners!


“The Cuban–American Treaty was signed on February 17, 1903, by the first president of Cuba, Tomás Estrada Palma, and on February 23, 1903, by the president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. The treaty stipulates that Republic of Cuba will perpetually lease to the United States the Guantánamo Bay area (surrounding areas of land and water) for the purpose of coaling and naval stations. The United States will have absolute jurisdiction and control over the area and in return will recognize the Republic of Cuba’s ultimate sovereignty over the area. Cuban vessels involved in trade or war will have free passage through the waters.”  (Wikipedia)

So, let’s get on with this exploration of the Battle of Guantánamo Bay…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4172 Words ]


Quotations Related to GUANTANAMO BAY:


“…the facility at Guantanamo Bay is necessary to national security.”
— Jeff Miller

“I think the suffering, violence and cruelty and Guantanamo and the rest is going to go on and on in Iraq.”
— Clare Short

“A decision by the Supreme Court to subject Guantanamo to judicial review would eliminate these advantages.”
— John Yoo

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Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhotoWe will examine another treaty today, The Treaty of Paris of 1898, that ended the Spanish-American War between the U.S. and Spain. It was fought over several of Spains last colonial holdings in the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. In recent Days we dealt with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War in 1848. Both of the treaties resulted in territorial gains for the U.S. As such, both wars were fought with the goal of furthering the territorial expansion (colonization) of our country.

What made the Spanish-American War different was the emergence of a new style of journalism, “yellow Journalism”. The goal of this type of reporting is to create the need of news coverage through the creation of or speculation about events. In this case the event was the sinking of the American man-of-war, the USS Maine, in Havana harbor. The reporting was highly speculative, blaming the event on Spanish terrorists using either a bomb or torpedo, all without hard evidence as to its real cause. This served to sell more newspapers by both Hearst and Pulitzer.


We vcan see the roots of some our current foreign policy in this conflict. The battle over Cuba was supportive of rebel groups working to throw off the Spanish yoke. One we had a change in régimes, then we could negotiate for lands or other right. In Cuba, this resulted in the acquisition of Guantanamo Bay. In the Philippines, this would be the Subic Bay anchorage for our fleet, This is the same technique that we used to creat Panama when Columbia would not grant us the right of way to build a canal; the Panamanian government did grant us the rights!

But, now is time to jump into today’s exploration of the Spanish-American War…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4181 Words ]


Quotations Related to CUBA:


“Because he’ll take me to Cuba and I don’t want to go to Cuba.”
— Elian Gonzalez

“I am Fidel Castro and we have come to liberate Cuba.”
— Fidel Castro

“In Cuba we use our champions to promote the sport.”
— Alberto Juantorena

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Edited by Gerald Boerner



Due to injury, this commentary will be added later. Please check back. Thank you.  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3054 Words ]


Quotations Related to VETERANS

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
— Cynthia Ozick

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”
— Dick Cheney

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
— Elmer Davis

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