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The USS Maine explodes, no one truely knows the cause but americans are quick to blame the spaniards because of their stance with them at the time.
Joseph Pulitzier and William Randolph Hearst were concidered one of the major causes to us joining the war because they would use yellow journalism to gain money which put lies into the american citizens and caused an uproar.
William McKinley did not want a war at first but he completely changed his mind after a letter was intercepted by a cuban spy. this letter was from Spains minister and it entailed calling McKinley "weak" and an "admirer of the crowd"
At the start of Cuba's revolt Gen. Valeriano Weyler was put in charge in hopes to try and stop the rebellion and restore order before it got out of hand.
General Weyer had to come up with a way to protect the civillians.
To keep the civilians safe from harm he put them in safe havens to keep them away from the rebels.