Military Veterans Project

Spanish American War

April 21, 1898 to August 13, 1898

Philippine - American War

February 2, 1899 July 4, 1902


During the Cuban Rebellion against Spain that began in 1895, the United States sided with the Cuban Rebel forces. Initially the United States intent was to protect US citizens and businesses in Cuba. The US public was against a war as there was a fear that the depression the US had just come out of would worsen. Then President McKinley was against a war. However, after the sinking of the Battleship Maine in Havana Harbor February 15, 1898 President McKinley was pressured by the Democratic Party to declare war.

The demand by the US for Spanish withdrawal from Cuba resulted in Spain breaking diplomatic relations with the US on April 21, 1898. The US Navy began the blockade of Havana Harbor the same day. The war was fought in the Pacific and the Caribbean over a ten week period. While battles such as San Juan Hill are well know the battles also occurred on the seas. The US Navy was more modern than most of the Spanish Navy. After Spain lost two Spanish squadrons in Santiago de Cuba and in Manila Bay Spain recalled a third more modern fleet back to Spain to guard the Spanish Coast.

The war and the loss of their fleets caused the Spanish government to reconsider their global empire. As a result of the Treaty of Paris which ended the Spanish American War gave the US temporary control of Cuba and ownership of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands.

February 4, 1899 found the US in conflict with the First Philippine Republic who did not agree with the terms of the Treaty of Paris. The First Philippine Republic had been battling Spain since 1896 for independence and looked at the fight with the US as just a continuation of this fight. The US viewed the battle as an Insurrection. The Second Battle of Manila began on February 9, 1899. On June 2, 1899 the First Philippine Republic declared war against the US. The war was considered over with a victory by the US on July 2, 1902. However, fighting continued for several more years. The Tagalong Republic which was formed in 1902, as well as, Moro and Pulahan people continued to fight until they were defeated on June 15, 1913 at the Battle of Bud Bagsak.

The Philippine Independence Act of 1916 began the process of the eventual independence of the Philippine Islands. The 1914 Philippine Independence Act created the Commonwealth of the Philippines and established a process for the full independence by 1944. World War II and the occupation of the Philippines by Japan caused this date to be delayed. In1946 the US granted full independence to the Philippines.

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Orange County California Genealogical Society
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