The Spanish-American War revisited: rise of an American empire?

Historian article

By Anthony Ruggiero, published 3rd February 2023

Anthony Ruggiero reveals how United States foreign policy evolved from its effective adherence to the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 into securing its own overseas ‘empire’.

The Spanish-American War of 1898 was pivotal in launching the United States into recognition as an empire.  Following the war, the United Sates accepted its role in the world as an agent, promoting stability in areas the United States felt were riddled with chaos and in need of assistance and where U.S. had strategic worth. The Spanish-American War was the first significant international military conflict for the United States since its war against Mexico in 1846. Fueled by intense media coverage, the war sought to secure the rights of Cuban rebels in their fight for liberation from Spain. For the United States, however, it had far greater importance in that country’s growing desire to expand its global reach. This proved to be successful because, by the end of the war, the United States had acquired the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines... 

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