Chapter

The Colonial Wars and the Disaster of 1898

Sebastian Balfour

in The End of the Spanish Empire, 1898–1923

Published in print February 1997 | ISBN: 9780198205074
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676482 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205074.003.0002
The Colonial Wars and the Disaster of 1898

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There are several reasons why the Spanish war effort failed so dismally to match that of the American. The Spanish army was widely dispersed in each of the arenas of war. The American High Command, in contrast, was able to direct large numbers of troops at very specific points, chosen for their strategic value from information supplied by the local insurgents. In Cuba in particular, the Americans depended greatly on the rebel army, which had virtually won the war in the east and kept Spanish garrisons there pinned down while the American forces advanced towards Santiago. The international dimension of the Spanish–American conflict can clearly be seen in the way in which the Spanish colonies were redistributed after the war. In principle, the negotiations leading to a peace settlement involved only the two parties involved in the dispute. Outside the official negotiations, however, some of the Great Powers were staking claims on Spanish possessions.

Keywords: Spain; colonies; United States; Spanish–American War; Cuba

Chapter.  16602 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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