In 1895, the small island of Cuba was not its own country, but a colony of Spain. Cuban rebels were sick and tired of Spain's harsh rule from across the Atlantic Ocean and decided to take action. By 1895, the island was caught in a bloody conflict.
Part 1 De Lome Letter
President Grover Cleveland stuck to neutrality and did his best to keep the U.S. out of Spain's and Cuba's affairs. In 1897, William McKinley was president. Just like Cleveland, McKinley was also reluctant to get involved in Cuba. While McKinley still wanted to stay neutral, he decided to send U.S. warships down into Cuban waters, including the country's newest ship, the U.S.S. Maine.