Chapter 23

Chapter 23: An American Empire

Research Topics

The Spanish-American War


Why did the United States declare war against Spain in 1898?

The United States had long avoided conflicts with European powers. However, in 1898 the U.S. Congress declared war against Spain, a colonial power in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. The easy victory against Spanish forces raised concerns about the direction of American foreign policy at the turn of the 20th century, and led to anti-imperialist protests. Fears of becoming an imperial power were borne out as the United States found itself fighting insurgents in its new colony, the Philippines.


Choose from the following titles:

  1. The War Must Be Ended (1897), The New York World
  2. Declaration of War (1898), President William McKinley
  3. Platform of the American Anti-Imperialist League (1899)
  4. Photograph: The battleship Maine entering Havana Harbor.
  5. Cartoon depicting the sinking of the Maine in Havana harbor
  6. Theodore Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders"
  7. Cartoon: "Well, I Hardly Know Which to Take First"
  8. Emilio Aguinaldo and other leaders of the Filipino insurgents
  9. Map: Spanish-American War: The Pacific, 1898
  10. Map: Spanish-American War, The Caribbean, 1898
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