Sea Power and Maritime
Affairs
Lesson 5.7: The U.S. Navy and American
Imperialism, 1898-1914
Enabling Objectives
• Know the influence of mass media in U.S. relations
with Spain and the effect of the destruction of the
USS Maine on public opinion.
• Comprehend the impact of the Mahanian Doctrine
on the naval strategy and conduct during the
Spanish-American War.
• Comprehend some reasons for the acceleration of
the U.S. Navy expansion following the war with
Spain.
• Know the effect of the Progressive Era in domestic
politics on the Navy during the period 1900-1914.
“Remember the Maine!!”
• Cuban Revolution 1895-1898
• USS Maine Explosion February 1898:
– Destroyed by “underwater
mine” with 260 dead.
– 1975: Rickover proved it was
caused by an internal
explosion.
– President William McKinley:
– Congress declares war on
Spain in April 1898.
William McKinley
25th POTUS
“You May Fire When Ready,
Gridley”
– Battle of Manila Bay
– 1 May 1898.
– Admiral Dewey:
• 4 cruisers, 2 gunboats and a
revenue cutter.
• Gunnery and fire control drills on
the way to Manila.
– Admiral Montojo:
• 2 cruisers (1 modern & 1
immobile) & 5 other ships at
Manila.
• Spanish use shore guns to
augment anchored fleet.
Advancement to Cuba
Adm Sampson
Adm Schley
CDR North Atlantic
Squadron
CDR North
Atlantic Flying
Squadron
Adm Pascual
Cervera
Commander
Spanish Fleet
Battle of Santiago
• Spanish governor
orders fleet to flee
harbor on 1 July
1898
• Spanish losses
– 160 killed, 1800
captured
• American losses
– 1 killed, 1 wounded
Battle of San Juan Hill
U.S. “Empire” Established
Mahan Vindicated
• Spanish American War vindicated
Mahan’s theories.
– Guerre de course no longer a single viable
way of fighting a naval war.
• Battleships enshrined as principal warship.
Stick
Diplomacy
The Big
Great
White
Fleet - 1907
1901-1909
• “Speak softly but carry a big
stick”
– Steam, armor, and rifled
breech-loading guns
– 4 1st Class Battleships:
Indiana, Massachusetts,
Oregon, and Iowa
– 2 2nd Class Battleships:
Texas and Maine
– 12 Armored Cruisers
Naval Aviation
1903
1910
1911
Panama Canal
• Panama Canal Zone ceded to U.S. after
Panamanian Revolution against Colombia in 1903.
• Construction of the canal begins in 1904.
– Completed in 1914.
• U.S. undisputed control of Caribbean Sea.
Construction of locks on the Panama Canal, 1913
Battle History Video
1865-1890:
- Chapter 1 “Born Into
War”
- Time 25:40 - 44:34
Enabling Objectives
• DESCRIBE the influence of mass media in U.S.
relations with Spain and the effect of the
destruction of the USS Maine on public opinion.
• EXPLAIN the impact of the Mahanian Doctrine on
the naval strategy and conduct during the SpanishAmerican War.
• EXPLAIN some reasons for the acceleration of the
U.S. Navy expansion following the war with Spain.
• DESCRIBE the effect of the Progressive Era in
domestic politics on the Navy during the period
1900-1914.
Discussion
Next Time: The U.S. Navy and World War I, 19141918
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