An Unwanted War: The Diplomacy of the United States and Spain over Cuba, 1895-1898

By John L. Offner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
CUBA, CLEVELAND,
AND CÁNOVAS

Shortly after the Cuban war for independence began, Congress and the Cleveland administration clashed over it. Differing in their responsibilities and perspectives, these branches of government wrangled over foreign policy and competed for leadership of domestic political forces. Their division shaped America's response to the Cuban war. At the heart of the Cuban issue was partisan politics and the approaching election. The American people wanted to see the Cuban revolution succeed, and most politicians were eager to take a stand favoring it; there was no better pulpit than the floor of Congress. Only a small congressional minority attempted to restrain the majority. Within this political context, President Grover Cleveland and Secretary of State Richard Olney conducted their diplomacy with Spain.

From the outset, congressional interest was partisan. A Democratic and unpopular administration held the White House; Cleveland was concluding his second term in office, and crucial national elections were imminent. It was tempting for the Republican-controlled Congress to raise the popular Cuban issue to show that the Cleveland administration was failing to represent the true feelings of the American people. And many Democrats willingly joined the critics rather than defend the president.

-17-

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An Unwanted War: The Diplomacy of the United States and Spain over Cuba, 1895-1898
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1 the Cuban Revolution Three Perspectives 1
  • Chapter 2 Cuba, Cleveland, and Cánovas 17
  • Chapter 3 Mckinley and Cánovas 37
  • Chapter 4 the Woodford Mission 54
  • Chapter 5 Sagasta's Cuban Reforms 68
  • Chapter 6 Failure of Cuban Reforms 86
  • Chapter 7 Two Shocks the De Lôme Letter and the Maine Disaster 111
  • Chapter 8 Backdrop for Diplomacy 127
  • Chapter 9 Failure to Solve the Crisis 143
  • Chapter 10 Spanish Suspension of Hostilities 159
  • Chapter 11 Descent into War 177
  • Chapter 12 Preliminaries to Peace 194
  • Chapter 13 the Peace Protocol 209
  • Chapter 14 Conclusion 225
  • Appendix 237
  • Notes 239
  • Bibliography 279
  • Index 297
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