... the atrocities he was reported to have committed against Cuban rebels. The Journal called Weyler a "human hyena" and a "mad dog". Its description of the general was extreme: Weyler, the brute, the devastator of haciendas, the destroyer of families and the outrage r of women... pitiless Second Paper Most may think that the Spanish-American War was a war between the Americans and the Spanish. Most are right, but only to a point, because the Spanish-American War also included wars between the Americans and the Filipinos, as well as between the Americans and Puerto-Ricans. Reasons for these wars occurring are obvious to the history connoisseur, but to the normal individual, they may not be so distinct. America has been a country of great power for years, and that power has come not only from years of hard work and fighting, but also from years of audacity.

About one hundred fifty years ago, the United States began sending armed forces to foreign countries in an effort to attain each individual country's opulent resources. This commanding attitude taken by the United States government spread into the American people as well, with corporate giants such as Rockefeller and Morgan, who controlled large parts of American business with monopolies over the railroads and oil industry. Events such as the Spanish American War and interference in the Philippines marked the indisputable beginning of American imperialism. Invasions such as these propelled United States capitalist expansion and produced the ideas of economic expansion in government as well as in homes. The Philippines played a larger part in the Spanish-American War than most may like to believe. The Philippine-American War as it could be called is forgotten to most everyone in all of United States Military history.

The events that occurred in the Philippines could be mildly compared to the events that occurred nearly seventy years later in Vietnam. The reasons for the war occurring at all are directly related to the Filipino's attempts to gain independence from Spain. Lead by Emilio Aguinaldo, the Filipino people fought for one year for independence from Spain with a shortage of weapons, ammunition and food. A treaty with the Spanish Authorities was forced in 1897, and Aguinaldo and his government were forced into exile with payment of four hundred thousand pesos. American Consuls residing in many Asian countries, as well as Hong Kong, where Aguinaldo was exiled to, agreed with Aguinaldo to give the Philippines independence, as long as they helped the United States defeat the Spanish. Commodore George Dewey of the United States Navy was to lead Aguinaldo back to the Philippines.

He only brought Aguinaldo back to Luzon, the northern-most island of the Philippines. Dewey continued to refuse to support Aguinaldo now though, and Aguinaldo once again controlled the Philippines, which was still under attack by Spanish forces. Dewey blockaded Manila, a completely different island from the Philippines, from seaside, but land was blockaded by Spanish troops. Though Dewey had the Bay of Manila in his hands, no other Filipino land was in the hands of Americans. Finally American volunteer soldiers arrived, and a mock battle was fought to preserve Spanish honor, and it was ended in the surrender of Manila by the governor of Manila. Note that the governor of Manila, not the Spanish governor of the Philippines, sanctioned the surrender.

The Americans attempted to keep this fact from the Filipino governor, who did not want Manila out of his control, even though Manila was not part of the Philippines. Aguinaldo's men were furious that the United States had occupied Manila, but Aguinaldo implored his men to be patient. Now the United States administration would not have any communications with Aguinaldo and worried the Filipinos because the United States administration would not mention independence. Two days before a peace treaty was to be voted on, an American Private killed a Filipino soldier who was evidently ridiculing him. Not even a day passed and fighting broke out along the demarcation line between United States and Filipino forces. Over the next couple years of fighting, the number of Americans dead equaled fifteen for every dead man in Cuba.

It cost the American government six hundred million dollars to fight Filipino forces, and two hundred thousand Filipinos died, but only twenty thousand were in the Filipino Army. The Philippine American War lasted until mid-1901, and the United States won it at the cost of its own innocence. Another part of the Spanish-American War was fought in Puerto Rico. Due to the Cuban crisis with the Americans at the time, where American forces lost many men, the invasion on Puerto Rico was withheld. General Miles lead the invasion on Puerto Rico once President McKinley released the ships on July 21, 1898 to land in Santiago de Cuba. Miles did not yet have satisfactory armed force support to lead an attack, but he was directed to go anyway.

He had only thirty-five hundred troops with him, but he did have more than sufficient naval backup to invade. Over twenty-five thousand troops were to invade San Juan, along with the assistance of the United States Navy. Overall command of the United States naval force was under Captain Francis J. Higginson. All twenty-five thousand plus troops were now supposed to land at Fajardo, Puerto Rico. General Miles did something he was well known for, and that was he changed his mind about the drop point. Without informing President McKinley or the Secretary of War, he ordered Captain Higginson to sail for Gu " anita on the southwest side of the island.

Captain Higginson did not like the idea of going into Gu " anita harbor because the water was not deep enough, and the course was changed to take the fleet through the Mona Channel. Higginson decided that two other battleships, the Dixie and the New Orleans were to block off San Juan (Fajardo) on the night of July 24th. Everything went as planned, and the Secretary of War and the President found out about the change of landing on the 26th of July. On August 3rd, Spanish authorities found out that the Americans had claimed the Fajardo Lighthouse, and the Spanish Military Headquarters had the Spanish forces evacuated from Fajardo. The Americans quickly conquered Fajardo and the Spanish forces were both evacuated and some were killed. Spanish forces were able to take two American flags with them to San Juan before they evacuated though.

Spanish forces were now spread over an area of thirty-seven hundred square miles, and the Americans had to find and get rid of them all. In it's first invasion outside of Fajardo, American forces occupied the town of Gu " anita within six hours. Another famous battle was fought at Yauco, which was north of Gu " anita. Initially, other soldiers were sent into Yauco to battle Spanish forces.

Colonel Puig was directed to join in on the attack. He called for reserves when his 6th Massachusetts infantry suffered four wounded soldiers, but no one came because they had all retreated. The battle ended when the Spanish had retreated, leaving two Spanish officers and three Spanish soldiers wounded, and two soldiers dead within a matter of nine hours. On December 10, 1898 the treaty to end the war was signed in Versailles, France. Casualties for Spanish forces totaled between fifty-five and sixty thousand men.

Ninety percent of these casualties resulted from disease, while the remaining ten percent resulted from battle. The United States suffered very few losses for any war, and the total casualties for the American forces was 3,289, very small comparatively speaking. The Spanish-American War is considered one of the largest disasters for the Spanish military. Casualties and other problems ended up in no victory whatsoever for Spaniards, and America once again conquered a world force and acquired its land.


Barnes, Mark R. Puerto Rican Land Campaign, Part 1. Online. Available: http// web 11/29/99. Barnes, Mark R. Puerto Rican Land Campaign, Part 2. Online. Barnes, Mark R. Puerto Rican Land Campaign, Part 4. Online. Conway, Christopher. Imperialism. Online. Available: web 11/29/99. Couthie, Robert. Philippines. Online. Available: web 11/29/99. Mc Sherry, Patrick. Casualties. Online.