Keep in mind the Maine! In the Havana port on February 15, 1898, an explosion of unknown origin sunk the battleship U.S.S. Maine, killing 266 of the ship’s crew of 354 people. The sinking of the Maine stoked anti-Spanish feelings in the United States, which eventually resulted in a naval blockade of Cuba and the declaration of war against Spain.
Following the inexplicable explosion of the USS Maine off the coast of Havana, Cuba, the United States has chosen to declare war on the Spanish Republic. President William McKinley and his advisors must now determine how to act against Spanish colonial control in Cuba, as well as what the United States’ military objectives in the country should be.
The battleship Maine of the United States of America sank in Havana Harbor on August 15, 1898, killing 260 crew men. It heightened tensions between the United States and Spain, which contributed to the commencement of the Spanish-American War two months later, as a result of the incident.
In 1976, a team of American navy investigators decided that the Maine explosion was most likely caused by a fire that ignited the ship’s munitions stockpiles, rather than by a Spanish mine or an act of sabotage as had been previously believed.
When an explosion rocked the Havana port on the night of February 15, 1898, it was just three weeks after the battleship USS Maine had docked for a cordial visit with the Cuban government. Both came at the same fundamental conclusion: that the ship had been destroyed by a magazine explosion that had been caused by an external blast, which they both agreed on.
The Maine was sunk by a submerged mine, according to the findings of the United States Naval Court of Inquiry, which was held on March 28, 1898. However, although the Spanish were never officially blamed, the connotation was unmistakable.
On April 21, 1898, the United States of America declared war on the Spanish Empire. However, there were only two urgent grounds for going to war: America’s backing for the continuous fight by Cuban and Filipino people against Spanish control and the mystery explosion that occurred in Havana Harbor aboard the battleship USS Maine, which sparked the conflict.
Following rioting in Havana in January 1898 in protest of Spain’s more conciliatory policies, President McKinley dispatched the U.S. battleship Maine to Havana harbor, both to protect American citizens and property and to demonstrate to Spain that the United States still valued its friendship with it.
United States battleship USS Maine, constructed between 1888 and 1895 as a second-class battleship, was dispatched to Havana in January 1898 to safeguard American interests during the Cuban revolution against the Spanish government, which had been going on for years.
As part of an official mission of friendly politeness, the USS Maine was in Cuba to safeguard American lives and property in the event that Cuba’s battle for independence from Spain escalated into full-fledged combat.
Many individuals in the United States held Spain responsible (Today, however, many historians believe a malfunction in the ship caused the explosion). The relationship between Spain and the United States had deteriorated to the point that they were unable to address the matter. The Spanish-American War had officially begun by the end of April.
For what reason did so many Americans attribute the explosion of the USS Maine to Spain? Many people saw Spain’s conflict with the United States as an opportunity to gain control of Cuba, and they backed anything that made Spain appear to be the bad guy or wicked.