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1898 Treaty of Paris

William McKinley

1898 Treaty of Paris: William McKinley was the 25th American President who served in office from March 4, 1897 to September 14, 1901. One of the important events during his presidency was the 1898 Treaty of Paris.

Definition and Summary of the 1898 Treaty of Paris
Summary and definition:
The 1898 Treaty of Paris was the peace treaty that was made between Spain and the United States following the Spanish-American War. The American delegation was headed by former Secretary of State William R. Day and the Spanish delegation was headed by Eugenio Montero.

The Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898, and came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the ratifications were exchanged. The provisions of the Treaty of Paris were that Spain agreed to remove all soldiers from Cuba, ceded Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States. The United States compensated Spain for its losses with a payment of $20 million dollars.

1898 Treaty of Paris for kids: Spanish-American War
The destruction of the Spanish Atlantic fleet by the U.S. fleet and the fall of Santiago convinced Spain that further resistance was worthless. So  In July, 1898 it was agreed that the fighting should be stopped. However, the 1898 Treaty of Paris was not made until the following December. The conditions were that Spain should abandon Cuba, should cede to the United States Porto Rico, the Philippines, and some smaller islands, and should receive from the United States $20 million dollars.

1898 Treaty of Paris: United States Dependencies
The Spanish-American War and the 1898 Treaty of Paris raised many debates in the United States, especially in relation to the Philippines:

  • Imperialists argued against Anti-imperialists

  • Expansionists argued against Anti-Expansionists

  • A revival of the old Manifest Destiny argument was also brought into the debate

1898 Treaty of Paris for kids: United States Dependencies
The Expansionists won the debate and the 1898 Treaty of Paris was ratified (approved) on April 11, 1899 with the following results:

  • Spain ceded Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States. These were small Spanish island colonies that the US had taken by surprise attack during the Spanish-American War

    • Puerto Rico was misspelled as "Porto Rico" due to the incorrect spelling of the name in the English version of the 1898 Treaty of Paris.

  • Cuba became independent from Spain and also gave up its possessions in the West Indies. The Teller Amendment had already been passed on April 20, 1898 which had placed a condition on the United States military's presence in Cuba whereby the U.S. could not annex Cuba but only leave the "control of the island to its people." The Platt Amendment of 1901 further outlined the role of the U.S. in Cuba and the Caribbean. (The long-term lease of Guantanamo Bay continues to this day).

  • The Philippines were the biggest sticking point in the debate to ratify the 1898 Treaty of Paris. The expansionists had argued that other powers (probably Germany) would move into the Philippines if the United States did not. The negotiators of the 1898 Treaty of Spain therefore made a deal with Spain and paid $20 million dollars for the Philippines

  • The Spanish-American War emphasized the importance of the Hawaiian islands to the United States as a military and naval base.  Hawaiian Islands became the United States Territory of Hawaii with a new government that was established on February 22, 1900.

Result of the 1898 Treaty of Paris
The United States emerged from the Spanish-American War and the 1898 Treaty of Paris with new international power. It established a foothold in both Latin America and East Asia which would tie the United States more closely to the future course of events and history in these areas.

US American History
1881-1913: Maturation Era

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