The Spanish-American War Aftermath

Spanish American War Victory Medal

The Spanish-American War Aftermath

Yes, once again the Spanish-American War is a topic for this site. One of the reasons we touch upon it so much is that it falls in that odd period of American history after the Civil War and before WWI that a lot of people seem to think nothing happened during. The causes of the war are denoted elsewhere, the big names are listed elsewhere, this is a conflict that has a deep bench of personalities that bring their own stories.

Treaty of Paris

On December 10, 1898 the Treaty of Paris (yes there were a lot of treaties with that name) was signed between the US and Spain. In the treaty Spain renounced all claims to Cuba and outright ceded to the US Guam and Puerto Rico and for the tidy sum of $20 million ownership of the Philippines was transferred.  In effect the war ended the Spanish empire and gave birth to an American Empire that brought the US to the center of the world stage.

To this day Guam and Puerto Rico are still US territories with the issue of statehood for Puerto Rico under constant consideration. Guam is an important US military base that proves incredibly valuable today.

The last two on that list, well it gets complicated.


Cuba was granted full independence in 1902 and for the first time stood on its own. Mostly, the US still reserved the right to basically interfere and help guide the Cuban people as it saw fit. The island  was always ripe for revolution. For its part the US stepped in many times to ensure its interests during periods of unrest.  Revolutions in the 50’s and 60’s saw the communists brought to power and the USSR favored over the US. The US reacted a little childishly with a boycott that lasted until just recently. Stay tuned, this is a continuing story…

The Philippines did not go as well. The US fought an ongoing war to “subdue” the islands until interrupted by the Japanese and WWII. Yep close to thirty years fighting the Philippine Insurrection and that was only put on hold for a bigger war. After WWII, on July 4th 1946 the US finally recognized the Philippines as a sovereign state. The two countries have been close since with a number of treaties binding them together.  Glad to see there were no hard feelings.