The Spanish-American War in Spanish and U.S. History School Books

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy

Table of Contents

First Try , Dec. 21st 2008
Working Table of Contents , Dec. 21st 2008
Working Table of Contents , Nov. 13th 2008

First Try (as of December 21st 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Differing viewpoints on the Spanish-American War in Spain and United States of America

I. Introduction
            Whether written history can be objective has been frequently disputed over many years. Because he or she is part of a country, a society, a race, and so on, the author of any historical document cannot be completely uninfluenced by the perspectives of such groups. Wars especially are commonly viewed in at least three perspectives, the triumphant, the defeated, and the adjacent or affected. As a student of American history I took special interest in the Spanish-American War because I noticed how the American history textbook, the perspective of the victorious, depicts the incident as a turning point of the region and wondered whether the Spanish think the same.
            This paper will compare and contrast the chapters dealing with the Spanish-American War in both Spanish and American history textbooks, each written correspondingly in Spanish and English. It will furthermore identify the cause of the difference between the two sources, and sketch a wider view on the war outside the textbook. The Spanish textbook used in this paper is recognized by the Spanish government as the official high school; the American textbook is one used in my own school.

III. The Spanish Account

III.1 Antebellum
            ¡°Iberica¡±, the Spanish textbook, gives a full description of the situation of Europe and Spain before the war, in the late 19th century. Towards the end of the primary stage of the European Restoration, most nations in Europe faced an upcoming storm of economic, social, and international crisis. Spain, on the other hand, entered a period of economic splendor, especially in Catalonia where the economic development was christened ¡°The Rage of Gold.¡± These years coincided with a much brighter period, apparently the second stage of Restoration, but when Europe recovered and Spain had to realize an adjustment of its commercial system, crisis was initiated, characterized by inflation, depression of money and decrease of foreign trade.
            The economic crisis resounded on social grounds (unemployment, demonstrations, and anarchistic terrorisms). The anarchistic terrorism became a serious problem; in 1893, the Lyceum of Barcelona was bombed and a bloody riot arose in Jerez; in 1897, the Canovas of Castillo were assassinated by an Italian anarchist.
            The crisis of international relations was markedly caused by the political isolation which had been advocated by the Canovas, in order to prevent Spain from becoming entangled in international conflicts. While Europe fully pitched itself into the politics of imperial colonialism, Spain was unable to maintain its dominance over its terrain in the Pacific (Caroline Islands, Mariana Islands and the Palaos, sold to Germany in 1899) and especially it was isolated from Cuba. (1)

III.1.1 Independence movement in Cuba
            The Spanish textbook names the Spanish-American war as the ¡°Cuba War¡±, which clearly shows the nation¡¯s view on the incident. Almost at the same time in Cuba (1895: the cry of Baire) and in the Philippines (1896) were also found an emancipation movement which, through a military process, led to a loss of the last of Spanish colonies. Despite of the small of these islands, their products (sugar, coffee, tobacco) had been of much interest to trade in Spain. Cuba, especially, was a favorable market for the products of Spain.

Working Table of Contents (as of December 21st 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

I. Introduction
     I.1 Overview of the Two Textbooks
II. The Neutral Viewpoint
     II.1 Antebellum
     II.2 Effects of the War
     II.3 Sources (why are they 'neutral')
     III. The Spanish Account
     III.1 Antebellum
          III.1.1 Independence Movement in Cuba
     III.2 Progress of the War
     III.3 Peace Treaty and Aftermath
IV. The American Account
     IV.1 Antebellum
     IV.2 Progress of the War
     IV.3 Peace Treaty and Aftermath
V. Conclusion

Working Table of Contents (as of November 13th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

I. Introduction
II. Cause of the Spanish-American War
     II.1 Independence Movement of Cuba
     II.2 Destruction of the USS Maine
III. Progress of the War
     III.1 War in the Philippines
     III.2 American Victory in Guam
     III.3 Clashes in Cuba's Interior
     III.4 Clash in Santiago de Cuba
     III.5 Battle in Puerto Rico
IV. Peace Treaty
     IV.1 Outcomes of the Protocol of Peace
V. Aftermath of the War
VI. Conclusion