The Spanish American War (1898-1901)

US Goes to War: 1898

In passing the Teller Amendment, the US was trying to prove itself different from the European imperialist powers by not annexing territory as everyone expected it to, but actually opposing imperialist oppression in the world. Of course, pushing Spain out of Cuba would serve American interests even if the US did not formally own Cuba. US business would still have a dominant trade with an independent Cuba and pushing the Spanish out would create more a more stable and safe shipping zone in the Caribbean. As events would show, US behavior in the war did not exactly accord to the spirit of the Teller Amendment, though Cuba was allowed its independence.