One year before the historic Cry of Pugad Lawin,
a revolution broke out in Cuba -another Spanish Colony that rose against the rampant abuses of the Spaniards. It became
independent in 1898 after three years of revolt, with the help of United States. The Americans were supportive of the
Cubans for various reasons:
▪ First- the US is a free country and Advocated democracy and freedom.
▪ 2nd- the US wants to protect its huge economic interest in Cuba, in the amount of $50,000,000.
▪ 3rd- a lot of stories reached the United States about Spanish
maltreatment of Americans living in Cuba and this greatly angered the US citizens.
▪ Finally, since Cuba was located very
near the US it was deemed covered by the protective mantle of the Monroe Doctrine.
The US interest in the Philippines
At that time, Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Theodore Roosevelt, wanted a war to erupt between the
US and Spain so he could strengthen and expand the US Navy, he immediately put his plan into place. On February 25, 1896,
he ordered Commodore George Dewey to make Hong Kong the
headquarters of the American Asiatic Squadron. He also directed Dewey to attack Manila Bay and destroy the Spanish fleet,
the moment hostilities between Spain and US break out.
The Spanish-American War
Spain did not relish American intervention in its affairs. However, with the Philippine and Cuban revolutions going on,
it could not afford to add the Americans to its enemy list, especially since the United States had more advanced
technology and weaponry. In the face of Spainís declining power, it tried to repair
its rift with the US in order to avoid a disastrous war. On February 15, 1898, how ever a fateful event accrued in Cuba.
The American warship Maine was blown up in Havana harbor, resulting in the death of its 260 officers and crewmembers.
Although it was not proven that the Spaniards had sunk the Maine, the Americans called for war against Spain. Roosevelt
was one of many US officials who considered the destruction of the Maine as act of treason and supported the declaration of war.
declared war on the United States on April
23, 1898. The United Sates declared war against Spain on April 25, 1898. On May 1, 1898, the United States Navy lead by
Commodore George Dewey crushed the Spanish squadron in Manila Bay and the Spanish naval base at Sangley Point in Cavite.
By June, 1898, the American had control of portions of the Philippine islands. The Spanish-American War ended with the
Treaty of Paris signed on December 10, 1898. The treaty conferred ownership of the Spanish colonies of Guam, Puerto Rico
and the Philippines to the United States.
In turn, the U.S. paid Spain US$ 20 million.
Continue to Battle of Manila Bay.