Video: Spanish American War

1898: Finding America's Place in the World

National Association of Scholars

In the late 1880s, the United States supported revolts in Cuba against Spanish colonial rule. Reports of concentration camps in Cuba inflamed American public opinion in the wake of tense war scares. Tensions were at an all-time high when an explosion rocked the USS Maine in Havana's harbor. Shortly after, the U.S. demanded a Spanish withdrawal from Cuba. Spain severed diplomatic relations in response. A blockade of Cuba and declarations of war from both nations quickly followed.

Was the Spanish-American War necessary? Could it have been avoided? What were general attitudes towards the war in the United States? What was the national mood in response to the acquisition of territories abroad, such as the Philippines, at the conclusion of the war?

This webinar features Paul McCartney, Professor of Political Science at Towson University and author of Power and Progress: American National Identity, the War of 1898, and the Rise of American Imperialism; Bonnie M. Miller, Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Boston and author of From Liberation to Conquest: The Visual and Popular Cultures of the Spanish-American War of 1898; and Louis Pérez, J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History and director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You may find their books here.


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