The Spanish American War (1898-1901)

Key People

key-people Key People
Emilio Aguinaldo  -  Partially of Chinese descent, Aguinaldo was the Philippines' revolutionary leader, first against the Spanish and then, after the end of the Spanish- American War, against the Americans.
William Jennings Bryan  -  Democratic presidential candidate of 1896 and 1900, against McKinley. Bryan, a gifted orator, was famous for his "Cross of Gold" speech advocating Free Silver. Over the course of his career he ran for President, and lost, four times. He also argued the Scopes Monkey Trial against Clarence Darrow, as immortalized in the play Inherit the Wind.
George Dewey  -  Navy Commodore who commanded the US surprise attack on the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Manila.
William R. Hearst  -  Newspaper publisher and leading example of yellow journalism. His New York Journal started a public hysteria for war with Spain by publishing incendiary articles and illustrations by Remington. Hearst once said to Remington, "You provide the pictures and I'll provide the war."
Dupuy du Lome  -  Spanish minister in Washington, whose letter insulting President McKinley was intercepted and published in Hearst's papers. He resigned after the incident.
John D. Long  -  Secretary of the Navy under McKinley's administration, beginning in 1896.
Alfred T. Mahan  -  American naval officer who published The Influence of Sea Power Upon History in 1890. His views, advocating the importance of a strong Navy and a worldwide network of coaling stations to protect trading routes, held great influence on military thought in both the US and Europe around the time of the Spanish-American War (1898).
William McKinley  -  US President from 1896 to his assassination in 1901. Backed by Mark Hanna and American business interests, McKinley championed high, business-protecting tariffs and opposed Free Silver. Under McKinley, the US engaged in a period of imperialism, epitomized by the Spanish-American War.
Joseph Pulitzer  -  Competitor against Hearst in circulation war, and practitioner of yellow journalism.
Walter Reed  -  US Army bacteriologist and pathologist sent to Cuba. He was the first to link yellow fever to mosquito bites, helping to eliminate the disease.
Frederic Remington  -  Painter and illustrator working for Hearst who went to Cuba during the Spanish-American War. One of Remington's famous works is a painting of the Rough Riders charging up San Juan Hill. His paintings and illustrations are known for their immediate, reporter-like quality.
Theodore Roosevelt  -  26th President of the United States, elected in 1901 and re-elected in 1905. During the Spanish-American War, he first served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and then quit to join the Rough Riders. Born a weakling, the near- sighted Roosevelt built himself into robust shape by a lifelong program of exercise and vigorous activities. Always seeking to expand American power in international affairs, Roosevelt was a prominent hawk who gave Dewey the order to attack at the Battle of Manila.
William R. Shafter  -  General who led the US Army ground invasion of Cuba. Survivor of the Civil War, Shafter was so fat and his gout was so bad that he was carried around by his men on a door.
General "Butcher" Weyler  -  Spanish General sent to Cuba in 1896 to put down the insurrectos' rebellion. Called the "Butcher", Weyler put much of the Cuban population into unsanitary concentration camps. He was recalled to Spain in 1897.
Leonard Wood  -  Colonel, and commander of the volunteer Rough Riders. Wood remained in Cuba as the governor during the brief US occupation following the war. As governor, Wood oversaw the improvement of sanitation, the building of schools and roads, and the deepening of Havana harbor.

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