Answer to Question #174978 in History for Vi Nguyen

Question #174978

a) Contextualization: How might that have shaped President McKinley's message, including the tone and the words he chose to use in this speech to Congress? (President William McKinley's war message to Congress April 1898)

b) Contextualization: Thinking about the contextualization and the war powers listed in the US Constitution, why do you think he suggests that this is the most important reason? (the fourth reason in President William McKinley's war message to Congress April 1898)

Expert's answer

a) President William McKinley asks Congress to declare war on Spain on April 20, 1898. McKinley originally tried to avoid an armed conflict with Spain, but the American media, led by newspaper baron Randolph Hearst, lambasted McKinley as weak and whipped up popular sentiment for a war to give Cubans their independence. Also, he wanted to protect American economic interests in the Caribbean. The U.S. became a superpower around the turn of the twentieth century.

b)  American leaders wanted to protect the Spanish economy and destroy the Cuban economy in an effort to benefit their own. With such a conflict waged for years in an island so near us and with which our people have such trade and business relations; when the lives and liberty of our citizens are in constant danger and their property destroyed and themselves ruined; where our trading vessels are liable to seizure and are seized at our very door by warships of a foreign nation, all these and others are a constant menace to our peace. So he wanted to protect peace of the people of the United States.

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