A Brief Summary:
Another of the wars that are seldom referenced! It is generally agreed that the cause of this war was what is described as the atrocities of the Spaniards against the Cuban population. Some would say that these atrocities were "exaggerated" by the press, driving American sentiment to become involved in their plight.
The U.S. was finally drawn into this conflict after the sinking of the American battleship, the USS Maine, in February of 1898, while sitting in Havana's harbor with the loss of 266 men. Although there is no clear defined evidence of what really caused the explosion on the ship, an accident or a Spanish mine, most blamed the Spaniards and/or their lack of control of the harbor.
Vermont's Senator Redfield Proctor made a speech in March of 1898 to the U.S. Senate describing the deplorable conditions the Cubans were living in. Senator Proctor had served as the "Secretary of War" under President Benjamin Harrison and was considered to be very influential in military matters.
This conflict was declared a war by congress on 20 April, 1898 and fought through 1898 until the official signing of the peace treaty, the "Treaty of Peace", also known as "The Treaty of Paris", on 10 December 1898 in Paris, France. The treaty was ratified by the United States Congress on 02 February, 1899.
As a result of this war the United States gained control of the Spanish colonies of The Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico.