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The Spanish-American War: A Historical Timeline

The Spanish-American War: A Historical Timeline

10 OctoberCarlos M. de Céspedes issues the Grito de Yara and initiates the Ten Years' War in Cuba (1868–1878), the independence movement that serves as the forerunner of the 1895 Insurrection and the Spanish-American War.
MarchPublication in Berlin, Germany, of Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) by José Rizal, the Philippines' most illustrious son, awakens Filipino national consciousness.
 U.S. foreign policy is influenced by Alfred T. Mahan, who wrote The Influence of Sea Power Upon History1600–1783. The book advocates the taking of the Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, and the Philippine Islands for bases to protect U.S. commerce, the building of a canal to enable fleet movement from ocean to ocean, and the building of the Great White fleet of steam-driven armor plated battleships.
January 5José Julián Martí y Pérez forms El Partido Revolucionario Cubano (Cuban Revolutionary party). This Cuban political party is organized first in New York City and Philadelphia and soon spreads to Tampa and Key West, Florida.
JuneLa Liga Filipina, a political action group seeking reforms in the Spanish administration of the Philippines by peaceful means, is launched formally at a meeting by José Rizal in Tondo, the Philippines upon his return to the country from Europe and Hong Kong in June 1892. 
July 3Rizal's arrest three days later for possessing anti-friar bills and eventual banishment to Dapitan directly leads to the demise of the Liga a year or so later.
July 7Andrés Bonifacio forms the Katipunan, a secret, nationalistic fraternal brotherhood founded to bring about Filipino independence through armed revolution, at Manila. Bonifacio, an illiterate warehouse worker, believes that the Liga is ineffective and too slow in bringing about the desired changes in government, and decides that only through force could the Philippines' problem be resolved. The Katipunan replaces the peaceful civic association that Rizal had founded.
February 24Cuban independence movement (Ejército Libertador de Cuba) issues in the Grito de Baire, declaring "Independencia o muerte" (Independence or death), as the revolutionary movement in Cuba begins. It is quelled by Spanish authorities that same day.
April 10José Martí and Máximo Gómez Baez return to Cuba to fight for independence; Gómez is to serve as military leader of the new revolution. The Cuban Revolutionary party (El Partido Revolucionario Cubano) in New York works tirelessly for revolution, inspired by José Martí and maintained by various voices for Revolution.
June 12U.S. President Cleveland issues a proclamation of neutrality in the Cuban Insurrection.
February 16Spain begins its reconcentration policy in Cuba.
28 FebruaryThe U.S. Senate recognizes Cuban belligerency with overwhelming passage of the joint John T. Morgan/Donald Cameron resolution calling for recognition of Cuban belligerency and Cuban independence. This resolution signals to President Cleveland and Secretary of State Richard Olney that the Cuban crisis needs attention.
March 2The U.S. House of Representatives passes decisively its own version of the Morgan-Cameron Resolution, which calls for the recognition of Cuban belligerency.
August 9Great Britain foils Spain's attempt to obtain European support for Spanish policies in Cuba.
August 26Grito de Balintawak begins the Philippine Revolution.
December 7President Cleveland says that the United States may take action in Cuba if Spain fails to resolve crisis there.
 William Warren Kimball, U.S. Naval Academy graduate and intelligence officer, completes a strategic study of the implications of war with Spain. His plan calls for an operation to free Cuba through naval action, which includes blockade, attacks on Manila, and attacks on the Spanish Mediterranean coast.
January 19Both William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer'sNew York World, through sensational reporting on the Cuban Insurrection, help strengthen anti-Spanish sentiment in the United States. On this date, the execution of Cuban rebel Adolfo Rodríguez by a Spanish firing squad was reported in the article "Death of Rodríguez" in the New York Journalby Richard Harding Davis.
4 MarchU.S. President William McKinley is inaugurated.
MarchTheodore Roosevelt is appointed assistant U.S. Secretary of the Navy. Emilio Aguinaldo is elected president of the new republic of the Philippines; Andrés Bonifacio is demoted to the director of the interior.
April 25General Fernando Primo de Rivera y Sobremonte becomes governor-general of the Philippines, replacing General Camilo García de Polavieja; his adjutant is Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, his nephew.
August 8Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas is assassinated, prompting change in government.
October 8Karl Decker of the New York Journal reports on the rescue of Cuban Evangelina Cisneros from a prison on the Isle of Pines.
1 NovemberThe Philippine revolutionary constitution is approved, creating the Biak-na-Bato Republic.
December 14–15Spain reacts quickly to the Biak-na-Bato Republic and seeks negotiations to end the war. With Pedro Paterno, a noted Filipino intellectual and lawyer, mediating, Aguinaldo representing the revolutionists, and Governor-General Fernando Primo de Rivera representing the Spanish colonial government, the Pact of Biak-na-Bato is concluded. The pact pays indemnities to the revolutionists in the sum of 800,000 pesos, provides amnesty, and allows voluntary exile to Hong Kong for Aguinaldo and his entourage.
January 1Spain grants limited autonomy to Cuba.
February 8Spain's ambassador to the U.S., Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, resigns.
9 FebruaryPulitzer-owned New York Journal publishes Spanish Minister Enrique Dupuy de Lôme's letter criticizing President McKinley.
February 14Luís Polo de Bernabé isnamed Minister of Spain in Washington.
February 15The USS Maine explodes in Havana Harbor.
March 3Governor-General of the Philippine Islands Fernando Primo de Rivera informs Spanish minister for the colonies Segismundo Moret y Prendergast that Commodore George Dewey has received orders to move on Manila.
March 9U.S. Congress passes the Fifty Million Bill to strengthen the military.
March 17U.S. Senator Redfield Proctor (R-Vt.) influences Congress and the U.S. business community in favor of war with Spain.
March 19The battleship USS Oregon leaves the port of San Francisco, California, on its famous voyage to the Caribbean Sea and Cuban waters.
March 28A report of the U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry finds the USS Maine explosion was caused by a mine.
March 29The United States government issues an ultimatum to the Spanish Government to terminate its presence in Cuba. Spain does not accept the ultimatum in its reply of April 1, 1898.
AprilGovernor-General of the Philippine Islands Fernando Primo de Rivera, in a surprise move, is replaced by Governor-General Basilo Augustín Dávila in early April. Upon his departure from the Philippines, the insurgent movement renews revolutionary activity due mainly to the Spanish government's failure to abide by the terms of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato.
April 4The New York Journal issues a million-copy press run dedicated to the war in Cuba. The newspaper calls for the immediate U.S. entry into war with Spain.
April 10Spanish Governor General Blanco in Cuba suspends hostilities in the war in Cuba.
April 11U.S. President William McKinley requests authorization from the U.S. Congress to intervene in Cuba, with the object of putting an end to the war between Cuban revolutionaries and Spain.
April 13Congress agrees to President McKinley's request for intervention in Cuba, but without recognition of the Cuban Government. The Spanish government declares that the sovereignity of Spain is jeopardized by U.S. policy and prepares a special budget for war expenses.
April 19By a vote of 311 to 6 in the House and 42 to 35 in the Senate, Congress adopts the Joint Resolution for war with Spain. Included in the resolution is the Teller Amendment, named after Senator Henry Moore Teller of Colorado, which disclaims any intention by the U.S. to exercise jurisdiction or control over Cuba except in a pacification role and promises to leave the island as soon as the war is over.
April 20U.S. President William McKinley signs the Joint Resolution for war with Spain and the ultimatum is forwarded to Spain. Spanish Minister to the United States Luís Polo de Bernabé demands his passport and, along with the personnel of the Legation, leaves Washington for Canada.
April 21
The Spanish Government considers the U.S. Joint Resolution of April 20 a declaration of war. U.S. Minister in Madrid General Steward L. Woodford receives his passport before presenting the ultimatum by the United States.
A state of war exists between Spain and the United States and all diplomatic relations are suspended. U.S. President William McKinley orders a blockade of Cuba. Spanish forces in Santiago de Cuba mine Guantánamo Bay.
April 22A U.S. fleet leaves Key West, Florida, for Havana to begin the Cuban blockade at the principal ports on the north coast and at Cienfuegos.
April 23President McKinley calls for 125,000 volunteers.
April 24
Spanish Minister of Defense Segismundo Bermejo sends instructions to Spanish Admiral Cervera to proceed with his fleet from Cape Verde to the Caribbean, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
President of the Cuban Republic in arms, General Bartolomé Masó, issues the Manifiesto de Sebastopol and reiterates the mambí motto "Independencia o Muerte."
April 25War is formally declared between Spain and the United States.
April 26William R. Day becomes U.S. Secretary of State.
April 29The Portuguese government declares itself neutral in the conflict between Spain and the United States.
April 30The Spanish Governor General Blanco orders hostilities resumed with the Cuban insurrectionists.
May 1
Opening with the famous quote, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," U.S. Commodore George Dewey in six hours defeats the Spanish squadron under Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón in Manila Bay, the Philippines. Dewey leads the Asiatic Squadron of the U.S. Navy, which had been based in Hong Kong, in the attack. With the cruisers USSOlympiaRaleighBoston, and Baltimore, the gunboats Concord andPetrel and the revenue cutter McCulloch and reinforcements from cruiser USS Charleston and the monitors USS Monadnock and Monterey the U.S. Asiatic Squadron forces the capitulation of Manila. In the battle, the entire Spanish squadron is sunk, including the cruisers María Cristina andCastilla, and the gunboats Don Antonio de UlloaDon Juan de AustriaIsla de LuzónIsla de CubaVelasco, and Argos.
U.S. Army Lieutenant Andrew S. Rowan, through the assistance of the U.S. government, the Cuban Delegation in New York, and the mambises in Cuba, makes contact with General Calixto García in Bayamo to seek his cooperation and to obtain military and political assessment of Cuba. This contact, known as "the message to García," benefits the Cuban Liberation Army and the Cuban Revolutionary Army and totally ignores the Government of the Republic in arms.
May 2
The U.S. Congress votes a war emergency credit increase of $34,625,725.
General Máximo Gómez opens communication with U.S. Admiral Sampson.
May 4With the support of President William McKinley, a joint resolution calling for the annexation of Hawaii is introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives.
May 10Secretary of the Navy John D. Long issues orders to Captain Henry Glass, commander of the cruiser USS Charleston to capture Guam on the way to Manila.
May 11
Charles H. Allen succeeds Theodore Roosevelt as assistant secretary of the navy.
President William McKinley and his cabinet approve a State Department memorandum calling for Spanish cession of a suitable "coaling station", presumably Manila. The Philippine Islands are to remain Spanish possessions.
May 18Prime Minister Sagasta forms the new Spanish cabinet. U.S. President McKinley orders a military expedition, headed by Major General Wesley Merritt, to complete the elimination of Spanish forces in the Philippines Islands, to occupy the islands, and to provide security and order to the inhabitants.
May 19Emilio Aguinaldo returns to Manila, the Philippine Islands, from exile in Hong Kong. The United States has invited him back from exile, hoping that Aguinaldo would rally the Filipinos against the Spanish colonial government.
May 24With himself as the dictator, Emilio Aguinaldo establishes a dictatorial government, replacing the revolutionary government, due to the chaotic conditions he finds in the Philippines upon his return.
May 25First U.S. troops are sent from San Francisco to the Philippine Islands. Thomas McArthur Anderson (1836–1917) commands the vanguard of the Philippine Expeditionary Force (Eighth Army Corps), which arrives at Cavite, Philippine Islands on June 1.
May 27The U.S. Navy, under Admiral William Thompson Sampson and Commodore Winfield Scott Schley, formally blockade the port of Santiago de Cuba.
May 28General William Rufus Shafter, U.S. Army, receives orders to mobilize his forces in Tampa, Florida, for the attack on Cuba.
June–OctoberU.S. business and government circles unite around a policy of retaining all or part of the Philippines.
June 3The first contact between the commanders of the U.S. Marines and leaders of the Cuban Liberation Army occurs aboard the armored cruiser USS New York. The revolutionary forces provide detailed information for the campaign.
June 9U.S. Admiral William Thompson Sampson sails to Guantánamo Bay.
June 10U.S. Marines land at Guantánamo, Cuba.
June 11The McKinley administration reactivates debate in Congress on Hawaiian annexation, using the argument that, "we must have Hawaii to help us get our share of China."
June 12The Philippines proclaim independence. A German squadron under Admiral Diederichs arrives at Manila.
June 13The Rough Riders sail from Tampa, Florida, bound for Santiago de Cuba.
June 14The McKinley administration decides not to return the Philippine Islands to Spain.
June 15
The anti-war American Anti-Imperialist League assembles. Admiral Cámara's squadron receives orders to relieve a Spanish garrison in the Philippines.
Congress passes the Hawaii annexation resolution, 209-91. On July 6, the U.S. Senate affirms the measure. The American Anti-Imperialist League was organized in opposition to the annexation of the Philippine Islands. Among its members are Andrew Carnegie, Mark Twain, William James, David Starr Jordan, and Samuel Gompers. George S. Boutwell, former secretary of the treasury and Massachusetts senator, serves as president of the League.
Admiral Dewey's defeat of the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, ignites impassioned nationalistic feelings in Spain. Spanish Admiral Manuel de la Cámara y Libermoore's squadron receives orders to relieve the Spanish garrison in the Philippine Islands. His fleet consists of the battleship Pelayo, the armored cruiser Carlos V, the cruisers Rápido andPatriota, the torpedo boats AudazOsado, and Proserpina, and the transports Isla de PanaySan FranciscoCristóbal ColónCovadonga, andBuenos Aires.
June 18U.S. Secretary of the Navy John D. Long orders Commodore William T. Sampson to create a new squadron, the Eastern Squadron, for possible raiding and bombardment missions along the coasts of Spain.
June 20
Spanish authorities surrender Guam to Captain Henry Glass and his forces on the cruiser USS Charleston.
The main U.S. force appears off Santiago de Cuba with more than 16,200 soldiers and various materials in 42 ships. A total of 153 ships of the U.S. forces assembles off of the harbor.
Lieutenant General Calixto García (Cuba) and Admiral Sampson and General Shafter (U.S.) meet in El Aserradero (south coast of Oriente Province, Cuba) to complete the general strategy of the campaign. Cuban forces occupy positions west, northwest, and east of Santiago de Cuba.
June 22U.S. General Shafter's troops land at Daiquirí, Cuba.
June 27Lieutenant General Calixto García requests that Tomás Estrada Palma and the Cuban Committee ask President McKinely to recognize the Cuban Council of Government.
July 1U.S. and Cuban troops take El Viso Fort, the town of El Caney, and San Juan Heights. Spanish General Vara del Rey dies in the fighting. San Juan Hill is taken at the same time, with the help of the Rough Riders under Teddy Roosevelt and Leonard Wood at the battle on Kettle Hill. These victories open the way to Santiago de Cuba. General Duffield, with 3,000 soldiers, takes the Aguadores Fort at Santiago de Cuba. Spanish General Linares and Navy Captain Joaquín Bustamante die in battle.
July 2Admiral Cervera and the Spanish fleet prepare to leave Santiago Bay.
July 3The Spanish fleet's attempt to leave the bay is halted as the U.S. squadron under Admiral Schley destroy the Spanish destroyer Furor, the torpedo boat Plutón, and the armored cruisers Infanta María Teresa,Almirante OquendoVizcaya, and Cristóbal Colón. The Spanish lose all their ships, 350 die, and 160 are wounded.
July 7U.S. President McKinley signs the Hawaii annexation resolution, following its passage in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
July 8U.S. acquires Hawaii.
July 15Spanish forces under General Toral capitulate to U.S. forces at Santiago de Cuba.
July 17Santiago surrenders to U.S. troops.
July 18
The Spanish government, through the French Ambassador to the United States, Jules Cambon, initiates a message to President McKinley to suspend the hostilities and to start the negotiations to end the war. Duque de Almodóvar del Río (Juan Manuel Sánchez y Gutiérrez de Castro), Spanish Minister of State, directs a telegram to the Spanish Ambassador in Paris charging him to solicit the offices of the French Government to negotiate a suspension of hostilities as a preliminary to final negotiations.
U.S. General Leonard Wood is named military governor of Santiago de Cuba.
Clara Barton of the American Red Cross cares for wounded soldiers at Santiago de Cuba.
July 25General Wesley Merritt, commander of Eighth Corps, U.S. Expeditionary Force, arrives in the Philippine Islands.
July 26The French government contacts the United States government regarding the call for suspension of hostilities at the request of the Spanish Government.
July 28Duque de Almodóvar del Río calls for the U.S. annexation of Cuba. U.S. officials instruct General Shafter to return troops immediately to the United States to prevent an outbreak of yellow fever.
July 30U.S. President McKinley and his Cabinet submit to Ambassador Cambon a counter-proposal to the Spanish request for ceasefire.
August 2Spain accepts the U.S. proposals for peace, with certain reservations regarding the Philippine Islands. McKinley calls for a preliminary protocol from Spain before suspension of hostilities. That document is used as the basis for discussion between Spain and the United States at the Treaty of Peace in Paris.
August 11U.S. Secretary of State Day and French Ambassador Cambon, representing Spain, negotiate the Protocol of Peace.
August 12Peace protocol that ended all hostilities between Spain and the United States in the war fronts of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines is signed in Washington, D.C.
August 13Manila falls to U.S. troops.
August 14
Capitulation is signed at Manila and U.S. General Wesley Merritt establishes a military government in the city, with himself serving as first military governor.
President of the Governing Council of the Republic of Cuba Bartolomé Masó calls for elections of Revolutionary Representatives to meet in Assembly.
August 15U.S. General Arthur MacArthur appoints the military commandant of Manila and its suburbs.
September 12The U.S (General Wade, General Butler, and Admiral Sampson) and Spanish Military Commission (Generals Segundo Cabo and González, Admiral Vicente Manterola, and Doctor Rafael Montoro) meet in Havana, Cuba, to discuss the evacuation of Spanish forces from the island.
September 13The Spanish Cortes (legislature) ratifies the Protocol of Peace.
September 15The inaugural session of the Congress of the First Philippine Republic, also known as the Malolos Congress, is held at Barasoain Church in Malolos, province of Bulacan, for the purpose of drafting the constitution of the new republic.
September 16
The Spanish and U.S. Commissioners for the Peace Treaty are appointed. U.S. Commissioners are William R. Day (U.S. Secretary of State), William P. Frye (President pro tempore of Senate, Republican-Maine), Whitelaw Reid, George Gray (Senator, Democrat-Delaware), and Cushman K. Davis (Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican-Minnesota). The Spanish Commissioners are Eugenio Montero Ríos (President, Spanish Senate), Buenaventura Abarzuza (Senator), José de Garnica y Diaz (Associate Justice of the Supreme Court), Wenceslao Ramírez de Villa Urrutia (Envoy Extraordinary), and Rafael Cerero y Saenz (General of the Army).
William R. Day resigns as U.S. Secretary of State and is succeeded by John Hay.
September 22When Major General Calixto García and his Cuban forces arrive in Santiago de Cuba, General Leonard Wood formally recognizes his efforts in the war since General Shafter have failed to recognize the Cuban leader's participation in the capitulation of Santiago.
September 26A commission under U.S. General Grenville Dodge is established to investigate mismanagement by U.S. War Department.
October 1The Spanish and United States Commissioners convene their first meeting in Paris to reach a final Treaty of Peace.
October 25McKinley instruct the U.S. peace delegation to insist on the annexation of the Philippines in the peace talks.
November 10In accord with the Assembly of Representatives of the Revolution, a commission of Major General Calixto García, Colonel Manuel Sanguily, Dr. Antonio González Lanuza, General José Miguel Gómez, and Colonel José R. Villalón meet to seek support for the needs of the Liberation Army and to establish a Cuban government. The U.S. does not recognize this commission. The U.S. instead states that the U.S. had declared war on Spain and all of its possessions because of the destruction of the battleship USS Maine and other acts against the United States.
November 26Captain General Ramón Blanco y Erenas resigned as Governor General of Cuba.
November 28The Spanish Commission for Peace accepts the United States' demands in the Peace Treaty.
November 29The Philippine revolutionary congress approves a constitution for the new Philippine Republic.
December 10Representatives of Spain and the United States sign the Treaty of Peace in Paris. Spain renounces all rights to Cuba and allows an independent Cuba, cedes Puerto Rico and the island of Guam to the United States, gives up its possessions in the West Indies, and sells the Philippine Islands, receiving in exchange $20 million.
December 21President McKinley issues his Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation, ceding the Philippines to the United States, and instructing the American occupying army to use force, as necessary, to impose American sovereignty over the Philippines even before he obtains Senate ratification of the peace treaty with Spain.
December 23Guam is placed under control of U.S. Department of the Navy.
January 1Emilio Aguinaldo is declared president of the new Philippine Republic, following the meeting of a constitutional convention. United States authorities refuse to recognize the new government. Spanish forces leave Cuba.
January 17The U.S. claims Wake Island for use in a cable link to Philippines. U.S. Commander Edward Taussig, USS Bennington, lands on the island and claims it for the United States.
January 21The constitution of the Philippine Republic, the Malolos Constitution, is promulgated by the followers of Emilio Aguinaldo.
February 4The Philippine Insurrection begins as the Philippine Republic declares war on the United States forces in the Philippine Islands, following the killing of three Filipino soldiers by U.S. forces in a suburb of Manila.
February 6The U.S. Senate ratifies the Treaty of Paris by a vote of 52 to 27.
March 19The Queen regent of Spain, María Cristina, signs the Treaty of Paris, breaking the deadlock in the Spanish Cortes.
April 11The Treaty of Paris is proclaimed.
June 2Spanish forces at Baler, Philippine Islands, surrender to U.S.
March 23Led by General Frederick Funston, U.S. forces capture Emilio Aguinaldo on Palanan, Isabela Province, the Philippines.
April 1Aguinaldo declares allegiance to the United States.
JulyWar ends in the Philippines, with more than 4,200 U.S. soldiers, 20,000 Filipino soldiers, and 200,000 Filipino civilians dead.

-World Trade Press

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