Cuba was ruled under Spain and started to rebel. Spain sent Valeriano Weyler and he issued a reconcentration policy that sent several Cubans into guarded camps. Cubans used yellow journalism, exaggerated news stories, burned sugar cane plantations to get the American's attention
McKinley sent the U.S.S Maine to protect American land from teh riots happening in Havana. An explosion on Feburay 15, 1898 sunk the ship. Americans started to blame Spain for the explosion.
Treaty of Paris
McKinley wanted peace instead of war even when the American citizens urged for war. In an attempt not to start war he gave Spain 4 demands .
The 4 demands were compensation for the U.S.S Maine, ending reconcentration camps, a truce with Cuba, and Cuban independence. Spain agreed with all the demands except for the last one. McKinley sent a war message to Congress declaring war.
The U.S signed the Treaty of Paris in December of 1898. In the Treaty Spain recognized Cuba's independence. The Treaty was ratified in February of 1899.
When the treaty was signed, the U.S gained the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico.