Unit 5 Class Notes- imperialism and wwi american Expansionism


American Interest in Cuba-



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American Interest in Cuba- Americans had kept their eye on Cuba for over 50 years.

  • In the 1850s, diplomats recommended to President Pierce that the U.S. should buy Cuba from Spain. Even president Buchannan attempted to strong-arm the Spanish into selling Cuba. He ultimately had to rescind his Ostend Manifesto.

  • 1868-1878: Americans sympathized with Cubans who rebelled, unsuccessfully, against Cuba in their first war for independence

  • 1886: Though the Cubans failed to gain independence, they did force Spain to abolish slavery.

    • American capitalists then invested millions of dollars in sugar plantations on the Caribbean island.

  • 1895: A second war for Cuban independence erupted, largely due to the influence of Cuban poet Jose Marti

    • Marti organized resistance against Spain, in part by using guerilla warfare and deliberately destroying American-owned sugar plantations in hopes of provoking U.S. intervention to help Cuban rebels gain independence

    • Marti, however, feared that U.S. imperialists would replace the Spanish as imperial possessors of Cuba

    • Many Americans, not just businessmen who had invested in Cuba, sympathized with the Cuban rebels, taking on the cry of “Cuba Libre!” which was similar to Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!”





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