A great READING resource with QUESTIONS and ANSWER KEY included! It focuses on the topic of Causes of Spanish-American War.
Included are 1 page reading, 1 page question sheet and 1 page answer key! Perfect for homework assignments, classwork or reading for test review! Can be used for both middle and high school level.
The reading first introduces the Cuban Revolution of the 1890s and explains how Cuban revolutionaries fought for ten years to overthrow Spanish power. This leads students to the question on why the United States was involved. Among the reasons include proximity to Cuba as concerns of national security, and sympathizing with the Cuban revolutionary cause to overthrow colonial power. The following section focuses on the media influence of yellow journalism. It provides students an understanding how rival newspapers William Randolph Hearst of the New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World were trying to outsell each other by publishing sensationalized news. This included drawings of emaciated people who suffered in reconcentration camps at the hands of the Spanish. The reading explains how yellow journalism tactic only served to fueled American outrage towards the Spanish by persuading the public to go to war. Another example mentioned was the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in which the media accused the Spanish for torpedoing and sinking the U.S.S. Maine without sufficient backup of evidence. Students will understand how the media was a powerful platform on influencing America’s decision to go to war. In the following section, the reading also explains how the De Lôme letter scandal further motivated Americans to declare war. This includes mentioning the content of the letter describing President McKinley as a weak leader, and how this angered Americans. Most importantly, the reading focuses on comparing the different motivating reasons why the United States declared war on Spain. This involves political interests from Republican War Hawks, economic interests from the media and humanitarian concerns from the American public. Lastly, the reading will challenge students to reflect on whether the United States intervened for humanitarian concerns or for imperialist reasons. It provides a definition of imperialism and explains how the United States was interested in developing investment opportunities in Cuba without the interference of Spain. On the other hand, the United States emphasized its commitment to democracy and to uphold its promise stated in the Monroe Doctrine to protect South America from European colonialism. This was reassured through the Teller Amendment as it stated the United States had no intention in taking political control but only helping Cuba achieve its independence. Ultimately, the reading provides students various reasons and causes as to why the United States declared war on Spain.
Some vocabulary words and key terms included are Spain, South America, Cuban Revolution, yellow journalism, William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer, New York Journal, New York World, reconcentration camps, U.S.S. Maine, De Lôme Letter, Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, President McKinley, War Hawks, imperialism, intervention, Monroe Doctrine and the Teller Amendment.
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