Spanish American War: Birth of a Superpower Name______________mod____

Discussion Questions

  1. The Spanish American War changed American and world perceptions of the United States. Discuss how and why this happened.

  1. The United States gained the territories of Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Spanish American War. Why did the U.S. want to obtain these islands?



  1. Public support fueled the Spanish American War. Why was the United States public so gung-ho for this war?


  1. What did the Spanish American War do for the career of Teddy Roosevelt?


  1. Discuss how fighting methods and military equipment in the Spanish American War reflected the technological advances of the day.



  1. There is speculation amongst historians whether Spain really blew up the Maine. What do you think? Why?


  1. What is spontaneous combustion? How is this theory applied to the sinking of the Maine?



  1. What is yellow journalism? What was its role in the Spanish American War? What are some examples of yellow journalism today?


  1. Why did the United States so easily defeat Spain?


  1. What did the United States gain from the Spanish American War?


  1. John Hay, the Ambassador to Great Britain during the Spanish American War, called the war a _________________.


  1. Why were Americans so supportive of the war?



  1. Discuss the role of imperialism and colonialism in the build-up to the war.


  1. European countries had compulsory service at the time of the war. The United States did not. What is compulsory service? How does it work?



  1. Stokers supplied the energy necessary for the naval ships. Discuss the role of the stokers in the US naval victory.


  1. Warfare is in large part determined by the terrain of the battlefield. How did the swamps and jungles of Cuba influence and determine strategies and tactics?


Pick one activity

Create a newspaper front page headline for the sinking of the Maine.

Draw a political cartoon that either takes a pro-war stance or anti-war stance for the Spanish American War.

Debates the question of whether Spain was responsible for the explosion of the Maine.