On February 15, 1898, the U.S.S. Maine blew up in Havana Harbor, Cuba. The Maine was in Havana to protect U.S. interests in Cuba, which included control of massive sugar plantations. Cuba was struggling for independence from Spain, and the Maine also showed U.S. support for the Cuban rebels.“Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain!” was the rallying cry of war “hawks”—those who supported armed conflict with Spain. They got their wish. The Spanish American War broke out months later, and resulted in a near-total U.S. victory. The U.S. expanded its influence to the former Spanish colonies of the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. (Although Cuba was nominally granted independence, the U.S. maintained the right to intervene in Cuban affairs.)
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry conflict Noun
a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.
part of a body of water deep enough for ships to dock.
Encyclopedic Entry: harbor hawk Noun
person who advocates war or other armed confict.
state or situation of being free.
to mediate or modify the outcome of an event.
very large or heavy.
naval mine Noun
explosive device placed in water, to destroy ships or submarines.
theoretical or true in name only (not in practice).
large estate or farm involving large landholdings and many workers.
rebel noun, adjective
person who resists the authority of government.
U.S.S. Maine Noun
American battleship that exploded and sunk in Havana, Cuba (1898).