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In the years leading up to the Spanish American War the United States experienced a growth in ethnocentrism a belief in manifest destiny and Anglo-Saxonism It was this combination of views that provided the incentive for the US public to advocate the nations engagement in an overseas dispute On April 25 1898 the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of the Battleship Maine in Havana harbor on February 15 1898 The Teller Amendment was then added asserting that the US would not attempt to exercise hegemony over the newly emancipated Cuba Two days later Commodore George Dewey sailed from Hong Kong with Emilio Aguinaldo on board Fighting began in the Phillipine islands at the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1 where Commodore George Dewey exclaimed You may fire when ready Gridley and destroyed the Spanish fleet under Rear Admiral Patricio Montojo However he did not have enough manpower to capture Manila and so Aguinaldos guerrillas maintained their operations until 15000 US troops arrived at the end of July On the way the cruiser Charleston stopped at Guam and accepted its surrender from its Spanish governor who was unaware his nation was at war Although a peace protocol was signed by the two belligerents on August 12 Commodore Dewey and Maj Gen Wesley Merritt leader of the army troops assaulted Manila the very next day unaware that peace had broken out In late April Andrew Summers Rowan made contact with Cuban General Calixto Garca who supplied him with maps intelligence and a core of rebel officers to coordinate US efforts on the island The US North Atlantic Squadron left Key West for Cuba on April 22 following the frightening news that the Spanish home fleet commanded by Admiral Pascual Cervera had left Cadiz and entered Santiago having slipped by US ships commanded by William T Sampson and Winfield Scott Schley They arrived in Cuba in late May War actually began for the
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