How The Spanish American War Helped Unify A Divided America

The first war to come after the Civil War

Grant Piper

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(Public domain)

The Spanish American War is largely remembered for being a one sided romp by the United States. The justification for the war was rooted in the explosion of the USS Maine, but many people saw it as a feeble excuse to launch a jingoist land grab. It was the United States’ first foray into colonialism and global empire. In the end, Teddy Roosevelt emerged as a folk hero. The United States gained Guan, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

But that was not all it did.

Underneath the 19th-century power politics was a sort of healing balm for the American military and the American public. The nation was decades removed from a devastating Civil War that had left hundreds of thousands dead and large swaths of the country in tatters, but many of the scars still felt fresh. In the lead up to the Spanish American War, there was still division, hatred, and distrust between Northerners and Southerners.

The Spanish American War did a lot to finally put the Civil War in the past and turned America towards a new and different future.

Confederates and Federals Fighting Together At Last

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Grant Piper

Professional writer. Amateur historian. Husband, father, Christian.