America's Foreign Relations - Vol. 2

By Willis Fletcher Johnson | Go to book overview

XXXI
THE WAR WITH SPAIN

ONE of the most difficult things in history is to write impartially of a war to which the historian's own country was a party, and particularly at a time when memories of it are still fresh and the passions which it excited are not yet altogether subsided. Most of all is this difficult in the case of a war which was in its origin and conduct characterized more by mad passion than by ordered reason; as was the Spanish-American War of 1898.

That conflict was logically the culmination of the long train of incidents and international dealings of which an outline has hitherto been given, and which began in the opening years of the last century. Since 1803 the United States had been politically interested in Cuba; since 1823 it had been committed to the policy of insisting that Cuba and Porto Rico should remain in the possession of Spain until they became independent or were transferred to this country; and since 1840 it had maintained a protectorate over those islands in behalf of Spain, proclaiming loudly its readiness to fight all the world, if necessary, to protect Spain in her possession of them or to restore them to her. That record gave this country a certain historic title to a voice in Cuban affairs. The logical corollary of our proclamation of a protectorate was, that we were invested with great responsibility and with a high degree of authority.

We were responsible to the world, morally if not legally, for the government and for the condition of Cuba. We were defending and maintaining Spain in her policy in that island. We were forbidding any other nation to intervene there for the abatement of evils. We were the self-constituted champion of Spanish rule in Cuba, and there was no avoiding the conclusion that we were responsible for the character of that rule. Many times other nations would have intervened if we had not for-

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America's Foreign Relations - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents of Volume II iii
  • Portraits in Volume II ix
  • Xxi the Civil War--Neutrality 3
  • Xxii the Civil War--Intervention 28
  • Xxiii Some North American Complications 51
  • Xxiv British Relations 75
  • Xxv Dealings with British America 95
  • Xxvi Some Diplomatic Miscellany 116
  • Xxvii Embroilment at Samoa 136
  • Xxviii the Annexation of Hawaii 161
  • Xxix Latin-American Neighbors 185
  • Xxx Dealings with the Far East 211
  • Xxxi the War with Spain 237
  • Xxxii Results of the War 259
  • Xxxiii Later Relations with the Far East 281
  • Xxxiv the Isthmian Canal 306
  • Chapter XXXV Settlements and Unsettlements 327
  • Xxxvi War and Peace 353
  • Appendices 381
  • Index 453
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