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The 1898 Spanish American war
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spanish-american war

The USS Maine anchored in Havana harbor and by bad fortune bring the casus belli the Americans waited for. To date, the hypothesis of an accidental explosion of forward ammunition magazine is accepted my mainstream historians (Wikimedia, public domain).
The Spanish Armada in 1898. Heir to a long and glorious history, giving the task of an old worldwide empire to defend. Although it was less than a threat in 1890 for the Royal Navy, it was still such, at least on the paper, for the young US navy.

As we know, this war begins with the blowing up of USS Maine in Havana harbor. An explosion resulting in the loss, although it is much later formally identified it as accidental. But the American public is "white hot" by recent events, such as the Cuban rebellion since 1869 against their Spanish occupation. He had seen his former South American colonial empire shattered and clung to his last possessions (including the Philippines). The accident is actually interpreted as a Spanish sabotage, and the United States declared war on Spain April 25, 1898, two months after the explosion of Maine. The latter was in fact sent in the harbor of Havana, in order to recover its citizens informally when general insurrection, the insurgents are supported covertly by the United States.

President McKinley, without formal proofs proven, but backed by the press and Congress, accused the Spaniards of sabotage, and decides to declare war on them. Begin operations soon, asking the Spanish withdrawal from Cuba, they naturally refused. Admiral Sampson began a blockade of the North coast of Cuba, preventing the arrival of reinforcements. On 1 May 1898, the U.S. Pacific Fleet attack the Spanish fleet quickly in the harbor of Manila, the Philippines, under the command of Admiral Montojo, and crushes it without a single loss, to prevent reinforcements from Spanish Pacific and threaten the Spanish colonial interests in the sector. The Atlantic Fleet is responsible for his side of the refugee ship Santiago de Cuba, Cervera's squadron came to Spain for reinforcements to break the blockade at a time or undertakes the famous battle of San Juan.

This is a disaster for the Spanish navy, which lose their main armored cruisers, and more than half of their fleet. Peace is signed in Paris December 10, 1898. The United States emerged as a protectorate over Cuba, the bases in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, and especially Hawaii, the future headquarters of the Pacific Fleet.