Warfare History Network
An amazing story.
This U.S. Navy Battleship Traveled 12,000 Miles And Helped Win a War
Following the Civil War, the United States saw enormous industrial progress. A sense of nationalism also developed, and public opinion was continually enlisted behind an aggressive foreign policy.
Media Fans The Flames Of Nationalism During Cuban Revolution
During the 1880s the American news media exploited the Cuban revolution to the hilt. Spain was depicted as a decadent nation, and the policies of the Spanish monarchy were pictured as cruel, oppressive, and “too close to American shores.” All the elements of “good copy” were at hand and the rag sheets of Hearst and Pulitzer made the most of it.
The sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898 was the catalyst that brought it all together. Sylvester Scovel of the New York World wrote: “Whether Spanish treachery devised, or Spanish willingness permitted this colossal crime, Spain is responsible for it. No number of millions of mere money could compensate for the cowardly slaughter of these brave men and the treacherous destruction of a noble ship. The only atonement at all adequate for such a deed would be the liberation of Cuba.”
Spain Downplays American Naval Influence
On February 26, Spanish Admiral Pascual Cervera was aboard his flagship at Cartagena, Spain. He wrote a letter to the Spanish marine minister, Segismundo Bermejo, reporting the seriousness of the Cuban situation, and the dim prospects of defending an island three thousand miles from Spain.