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The Sinking of the Maine

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The Sinking of the Maine
1. In 25 words or less, identify the event – date, place, and importance.
On February 15, 1898, the U.S. Battleship Maine sank in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. This event kindled the war between Spain and America.
2. What long-range causes led to the event?
Signed by President Monroe in 1823, the Monroe Doctrine “held that the New World would no longer be a target for colonization” (Dent 12). Spain would not acknowledge the signed Doctrine and comply with its writings. Years later in 1873, a freighter flying the American flag and captained by an American, Joseph Fry, was caught by a Spanish gunboat for smuggling arms to the Cuban rebels. Fry, along with the other two hundred and seven men, were found guilty of piracy. Five days later, he and fifty two of the crew were executed by a firing squad. In addition, some of the now deceased men were decapitated and put on pikes for public display. American citizens were outraged by the brutality of the Spanish people and wanted revenge but the country was still recovering from the losses incurred during the American Civil War and at the time did not have the Navy ships required for war. Furthermore, Presidents Cleveland and McKinley shied away from any major conflict with Spain.
3. What immediate causes led to the event?
Prior to the sinking of the battleship Maine, the island of Cuba was in a revolution against their highly oppressive rulers from Spain, which at that time claimed Cuba as a province, for their independence. A majority of the rebels were detained in prison camps without adequate nourishment or water, causing approximately 200,000 of the 400,000 captured to perish. The United States kept a sharp eye on the status because of its close proximity to the mainland of America in addition to ensuring the safety of the large number of people working in Havana. Additionally, America was…...

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