The Spanish-American War of 1898 ended Spain’s colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere and secured the position of the United States as a Pacific power. U.S. victory in the war produced a peace treaty that compelled the Spanish to relinquish claims on Cuba, and to cede sovereignty over Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the United States. The United States also annexed the independent state of Hawaii during the conflict. Thus, the war enabled the United States to establish its predominance in the Caribbean region and to pursue its strategic and economic interests in Asia.
Cuban revolutionaries push for Independence from Spain
The war that erupted in 1898 between the United States and Spain was preceded by three years of fighting by Cuban revolutionaries to gain independence from Spanish colonial rule. From 1895–1898, the violent conflict in Cuba captured the attention of Americans because of the economic and political instability that it produced in a region within such close geographical proximity to the United States.