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This Day In History: Spain Agrees To Peace Protocol To End Spanish-American War

August 12, 2016

On this day in history, in 1898, the ten week Spanish-American war came to an end when Spain agreed to a peace protocol on the United States’ terms.

The origins of the Spanish-AmericanWar began in 1895 when Cubans rebelled against Spanish rule. Spain took repressive measures to cover up the guerrilla war taking place but were still portrayed in United States newspapers causing the American people to take notice.

The USS Maine was deployed in January 1898 to Havana to protect American citizens. On February 15, the USS Maine sank after a massive unknown explosion occurred, killing 260 on board.

Congress and the American public placed the blame on Spain and called for a declaration of war. Congress demanded Spain to withdraw from Cuba and President McKinley was authorized to use force. Spain issued a declaration of war on April 24 and the day after the United States declared war on Spain.

On May 1, the U.S. Asiatic Squadron destroyed the Spanish Pacific fleet in Manila Bay, which led to the U.S. control of the Philippines in August.

In June, the U.S. Army Fifth Corps landed in Cuba along with Theodore Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders.”

In the beginning of July, the Americans won the Battle of San Juan Hill and marched to Santiago. The Spanish fleet was destroyed off Santiago on July 3rd and on the 17th Spain surrendered the city and Cuba.

Puerto Rico also fell to U.S. forces because of their superiority.

On August 12, Spain and the United States signed the Protocol of Peace in Washington to end the war. With a few months of negotiations, the formal peace treaty, the Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10.

Puerto Rico and Guam were ceded to the United States, the Philippines were bought from the Spanish for $20 million, and Cuba became a U.S. protectorate.