Pinguel (spanish american war)

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  • 1. Reframing the t Spanish-American War in the History " Curriculum Overview Baltazar Pinguel Lessons Deborah Wei Stephen R. Shalom
  • 2. RESISTANCE I 7.; _LEADlNG time conshaints, or the need -. to teach about issues that will resonate I ' for students, teachers have often . ,_ dropped the Spanish-American War from the history curriculum. The mere mention of this war causes eyes to glaze over, heads to nod. For most people in the United States, all that remains of that time are perhaps a few fragmen- tary images: the battle cry Remember the Maine! or Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders charging up San Juan Hill. For students, these events seem dry as dust and impossibly remote. In reality, the Spanish-American War, which spanned a mere ten months during 1898, repre- sents a dening moment in U. S. and world history, one that has affected hundreds of mil- lions of lives in large parts of the globe. The war and its aftermath marked the emergence of the United States as a global power, pursuing inter- ests and prerogatives far beyond its own territo- ry. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Spanish-American War set the stage for U. S. foreign and military policy during the twentieth century. Likewise, images and attitudes forged in that period continue to shape the stance of the United States toward the rest of the world today. What are the barriers that cut us off from this period in history? What lies beneath the frozen, stereotypical images of century-old military campaigns? More to the point, what do we lose when we allow this era to sink beneath the weight of historical amnesia? The curriculum materials presented in this guide explore the legacy of that war from a distinct point of view: that of the island nations in the Caribbean and the Pacic, nations whose destiny has been framed for centuries by the tension between foreign domination and the quest for independence. For these peoples, the war lives on, underlying profound questions of culture, society, and language, as well as political and economic issues. Among the vanquished, history is not forgotten. IN PARADISE This opening chapter summarizes the events of the Spanish-American War and places them in the context of the social, economic, and political forces shaping U. S. policy at the time. The remaining chapters examine the history and present-day realities of the countries that came under U. S. inuence as a result of the Spanish- American War: Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean and Guam and the Philippines in the Pacic. The annexation of Hawaii and Ameri- can Samoa by the United States was closely related to the war and also occurred in the same period, and so chapters on these areas are also included. Using this guide can help students and teachers alike deepen their appreciation for the importance of history and the terrible costs of forgetting the past. This centennial year of the SpanishAmerican War offers a signal opportu- nity to remind ourselves that we cannot know who we are, or where we are going, until we know where we have been. The Spanish Empire and the Drive for Independence As the original sponsor of Columbuss voyages of discovery and conquest, Spain was the rst European power to begin the era of overseas colonial domination. At its height, the Spanish empire included most of Latin America, much of the Caribbean, the Philippines, and various Pacic islands. By the 1800s, however, the desire for independence was growing throughout the colonies of the European pow- ers, and the much-weakened Spanish empire was a key target. Most Latin nations achieved their independence from Spain in the earlier years of the nineteenth century. In the Pacific and Caribbean islands, however, independence was postponed. In 1868, the Puerto Rican people launched the famous Grito de Lares (the Cry of Lares, a Puerto Rican mountain town) and declared a l H .1 ii
  • 3. AMI lllt AN MI I1 Ml IIINIIIIIV l'Ill)| l( I RESISTANCE / T IN PARADISE ' Convinced the Explosion of $50,000 HEWARDI the War Ship Was Not "" ", ;'_, ,., "'. ,,, ;' ' an Accident. the lube mutant 2 Journal Ollers ssomo Rzwmt furl Conviction bl the Criminals Who Sent :55 American Sailors laTh: ir Dam. Nu-1| onicus Ul'lllIIll'D. lSTI. l the Ship Was Destroyed $50,000 REWARDI _ for an nu-uinn of un- Aphsl mz Anman Aim! -xvwotvmg ol Sluucmt Sal at Esphuu R-Swll emu: Pnr x-. . .a. u.. ... n.. s.4-. um. uuh- n-nu-um! -'1 mnmunuun - . .. .. . ... .._. .. ... . : .:. ... ::. .. -. .. . . . ... .. mm-. ' . ..: ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... . . .n. .m-u. -an-up . .. ... .n. -u. ...4.. .unu. s-nun. .. : i.a. ... u.. -.. .-1-4 n. 24.. . rs. .4.. .u. ... . -rs. ;.. ..n. .. .~. .aua, ..u-. ..a. .. our The explosion of the LI. S.S. Maine, as announced in te New York Journal of 1 7 February 1898. short-lived democratic republic. Twenty years later in the South Pacic, in 1888, the Spanish governor in Pohnpei and 200 of his soldiers were killed by the Micronesians in a surprise attack} On February 24, 1895, the so-called Grito de Bayre took place, marking the commencement of the Cuban war of independence against Spain. On August 23, 1896, drawing inspiration from their Cuban counterparts, Filipinos, led by the revolutionary organization Katipunan, staged the Cry of Pugadlawin, which marked the beginning of the Philippine revolution against Spain? All of these resistance movements were met with the utmost violence by the Spanish authori- ties. In the Philippines, members of the Katipunan were executed, tortured, or banished to Guam; in December 1896, eighty of these Filipino exiles were massacred by Spanish soldiers as they were attempting to escape from Guams Agaa pris0n.3 In Cuba, villagers were forced into heavily garrisoned zones, to cut off V the rebels from their civilian base of support. The inhuman enforcement of this policy of rec0ncen- tracin eamed for the Spanish governor of Cuba, Valeriano Weyler, the nickname the Butcher of Cuba. Spanish atrocities sparked widespread sympathy for the rebels in the United States, and support for Cuban independence was one of the principal rationales offered to the public for the U. S. war with Spain. Ten Months in 1898 On February 15, 1898, the U. S. battleship Maine exploded while docked in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, which at that time was a Span- ish colony. The yellow press and U. S. policy makers found it convenient to blame the Span- ish, and the United States quickly declared war on Spain? Questions were raised from the beginning, however, about whether an act of sabotage had really taken place. Finally, in 1976, This 1898 photograph shows the wreckage of the l. I.S. S. Maine in Havana Harbor. COR ETTMANN
  • 4. FREE LIBRARY OF PHILADELPHIA --3 RESISTANCE When a 11.5. warship shelled Fort Santa Cruz in Guam, the Spanish governor of the island mistook the firing for a salute. an underwater exploration of the wreck of the Maine showed that the explosion was actually caused by a re in the coal bunker, not by sabotage. By 1898, Spain had become one of the Europe's weakest powers, politically and militar- ily. Independence movements in both Cuba and the Philippines were on the verge of success. The SpanishAmerican War was a notably one-sided exercise. The Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, the rst major engagement of the war, resulted in the total destruction of the Spanish eet, with U. S. casualties placed at eight wounded? The conquest of Puerto Rico met with minimal resistance, while Guam was captured without a ght on June 21. (The Spanish commander of Guam, who did not know about the outbreak of the war, even apologized for not having re- turned what he assumed to be a salute red by the U. S. Navy the previous day, explaining that his forces had run out of ammunition. )7 A July 3 engagement near the coast of Havana ended in another rout of the Spanish eet, with 323 dead and 151 wounded, while the United States suffered only a single casualty. On December 10, 1898, the United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Spanish-American War. Through this treaty, the United States gained control of the Philippines and Guam in the Pacic and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. Since support for Cuban indepen- IN PARADISE dence had been so prominently featured in the discussion of the war in the United States, Cuba maintained formal independent status. The Cuban government was obliged, however, to incorporate the highly concessionary terms of the Platt Amendment of 1901 (see Lesson 2.2) into its new constution. The U. S. military occupation of Cuba officially ended in 1902, when the island became a de facto U. S. protec- toratef The Philippine- American War While the United States nominally recog- nized Cubas independence, the Filipinos, who had already declared their independence from Spain on June 12, 1898, did not achieve even such token recognition. By the me the Spanish- American war came to the Philippines, the rebels already controlled nearly the entire Filipino insurgents, believing that they had achieved their independence, marched through the streets of Manila in 1898 to celebrate Spain's defeat. By ea