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Spanish–American War facts for kids

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Spanish–American War
Part of the Philippine Revolution
and the Cuban War of Independence
Infobox collage for Spanish-American War

(clockwise from top left)
  • Signal Corps extending telegraph lines from trenches
  • USS Iowa
  • Filipino soldiers wearing Spanish pith helmets outside Manila
  • The defeated side signing the Treaty of Paris
  • Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the captured San Juan Hill
  • Replacing of the Spanish flag at Fort Malate
Date April 21, 1898 – August 13, 1898
(3 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
Result American victory
Spain relinquishes sovereignty over Cuba; cedes Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands to the United States. $20 million paid to Spain by the United States for infrastructure owned by Spain.
United States United States
Cuban revolutionaries
Philippine revolutionaries


Commanders and leaders
  • 72,339 troops (total)
  • 53,000 rebels
  • 40,000 rebels
  • 206,000 troops (Caribbean)
  • 55,000 troops (Philippines)
Casualties and losses


  • 385 killed
  • 1,662 wounded
  • 11 prisoners
  • 2,061 dead from disease
  • 1 cargo ship sunk
  • 1 cruiser damaged


  • 700–800 killed
  • 700–800 wounded
  • 40,000+ prisoners
  • 15,000 dead from disease
  • 6 small ships sunk
  • 11 cruisers sunk
  • 2 destroyers sunk
The higher naval losses may be attributed to the disastrous naval defeats inflicted on the Spanish at Manila Bay and Santiago de Cuba.
USS Olympia art NH 91881-KN cropped
The Spanish–American War

The Spanish–American War was a war fought between Spain and the United States of America in the year 1898. This war was fought in part because a lot of people wanted Cuba to become independent and also because many Americans wanted their country to get a colonial empire. Spain lost the sea war and had to give up its colonies of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and part of Guam. All of these colonies, except for Cuba, would become U.S. colonies at the end of the war.


Following reports of Spanish abuse and killing of Cubans, the United States sent warships to Cuba. Spain was losing control of Cuba and had been putting Cubans into concentration camps. The United States sent ships to Cuba to try to force Spain to give up Cuba. The U.S. battleship Maine exploded in Cuban waters, killing about 260 people on board. "Remember the Maine" became a common wartime saying. U.S. newspapers blamed Spain for the explosion. Spain tried to avoid going to war, but pressure from U.S. newspapers, called "yellow journalism," and ordinary people, persuaded U.S. government to go to war. Some of these people just wanted Cuba to become independent, but others hoped that the United States could build a colonial empire overseas, like many European countries had done.


Volunteers throughout the country signed up for the war. Future president Theodore Roosevelt raised troops and became famous in leading the Rough Riders during the Battle of San Juan Hill.

A major attack occurred in the Philippines. An American fleet commanded by George Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet. Ground battles took place in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

The war was won by the United States and they soon began to occupy and take control of these colonies after Spain surrendered. Almost 400 American soldiers died during fighting, but more than 4,000 Americans died from diseases such as yellow fever, typhoid, and malaria.

End of war

The war stopped when the Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898 by the United States and Spain. The United States became the owners of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Guerra hispano-estadounidense para niños

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