• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was the Spanish American War of 1898 a turning point in the emergence of the United States as a world power?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was the Spanish American War of 1898 a turning point in the emergence of the United States as a world power? Until the 1890s the USA had a foreign policy of non-involvement, but the Spanish-American War of 1898 was the turning point of America's inward-looking attitudes and marked its emergence as world power, that would come to control and influence an empire stretching from the Caribbean Sea to the Far East. Due to industrialization, America had sufficient raw materials available and did not need imports. The Pacific and the Atlantic oceans were also immense natural barriers and, if war occurred in Europe, the strength of the British navy provided a barrier for the USA against dangers. Also, the USA had secure boundaries as a result of two agreements: the 1818 British-American Convention (fixed the Canadian border) and the 1819 Transcontinental Treaty (confirmed Florida as American territory). In 1823, the Monroe Doctrine was announced and it stated that the US policy was to avoid becoming involved in European wars unless American interests were involved, that European powers were not to colonize or interfere with the American Continents and that any attempt by a European nation to interfere/colonize in the Western Hemisphere would be regarded as an act of aggression and the United States would take action. ...read more.


The war was fought on two fronts - in Cuba, where Spanish troops were blockaded in Havana, and in the Philippines, where Spain's fleet was defeated outside Manila. After seventeen days of fighting the Spanish forces surrendered. The formal peace negotiations took place in Paris, on October 1898 (Treaty of Paris). Here, Spain gave up all claims to Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam, and the USA was able to purchase the Philippine Islands for $20 million. Meanwhile, on the 4th July of 1898 Hawaii, which had been USA's interest for a long time because it had a strategic position for the path to China, was annexed through the Newlands Resolution. Following the peace agreement with Spain, the USA began to assert its authority over the Philippines. The US was determined to keep the islands, as they were rich in natural resources and offered a foot in the door to markets in China and Japan. In February 1899 hostilities broke out, when the Filipinos revolted against their new landowners. Meanwhile, Cuba had not only been military occupied by the US, but was also invaded by their commercial and business interests. ...read more.


The Panama Canal became an essential link in the communications of the US's empire and also saved many miles of ship journey. To conclude, with the acquisition of the Philippines, just off the coast of China, and of Hawaii and Guam, the USA had now stepping stones which gave it an advantageous position to access the Asian market. Also, the USA had control over Cuba which gave it control over the sugar and tobacco industries and most of the Cuban business. Also, having Cuba and Puerto Rico under control asserted some of the USA's influence and authority in the Caribbean. Also, the change in the US's view of world affairs lead to the construction of the Panama Canal which was essential for USA's trading because it joined the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and it avoided the long and adventurous route around Cape Horn. Many other conquests and takeovers took place following the Spanish-American War, which asserted the power the USA all over the world. So, the Spanish-American War of 1898 marked the change in America's non-involvement policy and interest in world affairs, and, consequently, marked its emergence as a major world power. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. How far do you agree the Tet Offensive was a turning point in the ...

    Evaluation of Sources The source Turning points in Vietnam by Vivienne Saunders it is an article published in the magazine "History Today" in 2008. Its purpose is to educate the reader on brief background information about the Tet Offensive and whether it was truly a turning point for the Americans in the Vietnam War.

  2. the causes and consequences of the spanish civil war

    and analysts of Franco consider the generalissimo to be a core fascist." All in all, Franco's regime showed a frontal rejection of Communism, Socialism and Anarchism, three ideologies that were widespread in Spain with generous support from abroad, especially from the Soviet Union.

  1. Investigation: The Cuban Missile Crisis as a Thaw in the Cold War

    Our aim has been and is to help Cuba, and no one can dispute the humanity of our motives, which are oriented toward enabling Cuba to live peacefully and develop in the way its people desire. You wish to ensure the security of your country, and this is understandable.

  2. Why were the central powers defeated in the First World War

    In spring 1918 Boron Von Richthofen a famous German pilot was shot down. The British had also built new and improved aircrafts such as the Sopwith pup Camel, SE 12. And in 1918 the Royal Flying Corps became the Royal Air Force and the RAF contained 23,000 fighters.

  1. Castro's Cuba

    Then as Castro's seize of power approached, major turning points in July and August 1958 occurred when Castro's men approached Camaguey. The rebels' victory was largely due to the population intelligence which informed them of a double, ambush by the Batista forces.

  2. Extended Essay - The Role of a UN-Secretary General to Achieve World Peace: The ...

    I agree with what the Americans say because according to many books and articles I have read about him, he is an impartial person and does not follow others? biased orders if he doesn?t see any benefit to the situation.

  1. Explain the USAs policy of containment. How successful was this in Korea, Vietnam and ...

    a âGreat Societyâ showing how the USA was struggling as they were putting huge amounts of money into funding the aid and equipment for the South Vietnamese. USAâs new strategy of Vietnamisation failed hugely, as although there was a cease fire agreed in 1973, the war restarted in 1974.

  2. Analyse the causes of the Spanish Civil War

    In this paragraph I am going to analyze the causes of the coup started in 17th July 1936 that involved Africa and was the last spark that gave an opportunity for the war to begin. The plan for the coup began as soon as the Popular front came to power in February 1936.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work