Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spanish American War

This is a picture of an American soldier in Cuba during the Spanish American War. Have you ever noticed that we never talk much about the Spanish American War? To me, it seems like the most popular war to study was the Civil War. World War II would come in second, as far as interest goes. Probably the Revolutionary War would be third, followed by World War I in forth place. Then you end up with the ones like the Mexican War, Spanish American War, and the War of 1812.


  1. Well, since black Americans participated in the war perhaps we could use part of black history month to study it? You know, take some time off from slavery, jim crow, and the development of the stop light and study something else?


  2. XC - Black history month is over, sorry. Bring it up next February.

  3. The wars we cherish and that never cease to interest were necessary wars. The rest, you mention Spanish-American and the Mexican War and the War of 1812 (and you might have thrown some of our more recent long-running "little" wars),were wars where the moral imperative was lacking and our motives not altogether laudable. They're not as enjoyable to contemplate. The War of 1812 (we were damn lucky to come out of that one whole)is a special case where slow communications is a real villain. It was declared after an agreement had been reached between the US and Britain unbeknownst to the Congress. And it ended before it's major battle was fought. Something unsatisfying about all that. Jim

  4. Pretty much like the Seminole War, the Span-Am war was short and not a lot of Americans got to participate. For example, all of the veterans who died in that war from Arkansas died of disease, none ever made it into combat. When you don't have a lot of veterans to tell the stories to their kids, you generally don't have a lot of interest later on.

    How many first person accounts have you ever seen about the Span-am War? That's what I'm talking about!

    Actually, I tend to think that there's more interest these days in WWII than the Civil War because there's still so many people alive that were touched by it.

    Viet Nam is truly up and coming in the interest arena as attested by the spate of movies about it. Seems for a long while it was kind of off limits for movie makers...

  5. Yes, it's true that we really don't pay too much attention to the Spanish-American war.

    All I remember from school is that it took place at the end of the 19th century and had to do with the liberation of Cuba and some of spain's other territories.

    But, re Cuba, I DO remember that it was the number one vacation spot in the Caribbean when I was a kid. My uncles used to go there all the time, until Castro took over. My father says it was great.

    It's supposed to be absolutely beautiful; and people from all over the world, especially Canada and England vacation there.

    We are the only ones who don't go, because of the trade embargo. Actually, it's legal for you to travel there, but it's against the law to spend any money.

    You can get permission from the government for certain reasons - students, religious retreats, and humanitarian work, but you can't vacation. They have gotten really strict about it.

    And yet, approximately 25,000 Americans vacation illegally in Cuba each year and don't get caught, by traveling through a third country. A lot of US citizens go through Canada and/or Mexico.

    Cuba welcomes US visitors and doesn't stamp your passport.

    For a long time, US Customs used to look the other way about people vacationing in Cuba, but under Bush they really began to enforce it. Now they watch for people coming into Mexico, Canada, and the Bahamas who get off flights from Havana and who connect with flights to the US.

    A lot of people go from Europe.

    I've always wanted to go, and I plan to do so before I die, one way or another.

    I'm hoping Castrol will kick off, or Obama will get rid of the embargo, it's ridiculous and not accomplishing anything.

    If we pump money into that country, it will empower the people to rise up on their own.

    I've read that most members of Congress want to open up trade with Cuba, too.

  6. I like this photo, good looking soldier.

    By the way, I want to go to the convention too. Really! I think you should do this. And I like the idea of hopping a train to get there...sounds like loads of fun! But instead of a hobo, I'm going to show up as an Eskimo, so make sure to have it before the weather gets too hot!

  7. Probably not remembered since it was a very short war. It did, however, propel Teddy Roosevelt to the national spotlight, leading to his election as Governor of NY and the McKinley's Veep and the Presidency. For that alone, the war was worth it!!
    I always found it amusing that black Americans were discriminated against in every walk of life except when it came to the military draft. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmm.....??? Anyway, it's not black history month so I apologize and will comment next year. Damned stoplights, messing up my day!!

  8. ireally didnt learn about it I remeber in grade school it was like a sentance in out books about Teddy the rough riders. It had like 3 Chapters on the Civil War and 5 on WWII but it jumped from WWII to Harlem Reniassance to Civil Rights Movement. there was NOTHING about the Korean War (I am a M*A*S*H fan and my G-pa fought in it) but there was half a chapter about vietnam which my father was in (didnt see any combat luckily) but the book was more about what happened here from 1948 to 199? when it was written. It had very little about the Cold War and red scare. It had very little about the fall of Communisim in the USSR. Thank God for PBS or i wouldn't know any of my history.

  9. Another war of significance is the French and Indian War. It set the stage for the Revolutionary War that ended British rule of the American Colonies.

    George Washington became a strong military General during the French and Indian War. The War That Made America [2006] is a 2-disc documentary on the subject that I found to be very interesting.

  10. I am frightened by this sentence:

    "Thank God for PBS or i wouldn't know any of my history"

    If PBS is our source for "history" these days, God help us.

  11. SmartGirl

    I'm right there withyou onthe Cuba issues. I would love to visit there. It does seems that times are close for new Cuba to emerge.


  12. I would love a Cuban cigar. Nothing else like them. Too bad about the embargo.

  13. Heather:

    I agree with you, the soldier in the photo is quite cute.

    Maybe PJM will really have a convention for us someday. I think it's a great idea - I'm so glad we thought of it!!

    And . . we can apply to the Treasury Department to make a humanitarian or educational trip to Cuba, and then we all can go!!!

    Wouldn't that be fun!!

  14. Susan Catt:

    I'm glad you agree with me, a lot of people feel the same way, too.

    I've wanted to visit Cuba for a long time, and I'm determined to go at some point. We are waiting to see what happens and if it opens up. But if not, then I'm eventually going to go anyway.

    Actually, when my daughter was much younger, we were on vacation in the Caymans, and the Marriott we were staying at had some 3-day excursions to Havana. We were going to go, but they were all booked.

    That was during Clinton's presidency, when they weren't really enforcing the embargo, so no-one would have cared if there were two consecutive entry stamps into the Caymans in our passports.

    I'm sorry I missed it now.

  15. Anonymous:

    My husband loves Cuban cigars.

    You can get them all over the Caribbean and in Mexico, but you "can't" bring them home.

    Every once in a while they seem to get mixed up in the dirty laundry in our luggage.

  16. Don't forget the ever popular and well known King Philip's War, very likely the most bloody war on North American continent (proportionately speaking in death/population ratio).


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