After slavery ended in the U.S., President Grant spoke to Congress, December 1, 1873, of “. . . several thousand persons illegally held as slaves in Cuba . . . by the slaveholders of Havana, who are vainly striving to stay the march of ideas which has terminated slavery in Christendom, Cuba only excepted.”
Spain crushed a rebellion, called the Ten Years War (1868-1878), in which about 200,000 died. In February 1898, the U.S.S. Maine blew up in Havana’s Harbor, killing 266 sailors. In April, Congress wrote:
“The abhorrent conditions which have existed for more than three years in the Island of Cuba, so near our own borders, have shocked the moral sense of the people of the United States, have been a disgrace to Christian civilization . . . Resolved . . . the people of the Island of Cuba are, and of right ought to be, free.”
In May, Commodore Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. In July, the United States, aided by Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, captured Santiago, Cuba, and a the war was quickly over. On July 6, 1898, President William McKinley stated:
“With the nation’s thanks let there be mingled the nation’s prayers that our gallant sons may be shielded from harm alike on the battlefield and in the clash of fleets . . . while they are striving to uphold their country’s honor.”
The Treaty ending the Spanish-American War was signed DECEMBER 10, 1898.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.
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