Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf
This thesis explores how partisan politics played a major role in leading the United States into the Spanish-American War. With the unprecedented economic depression that began in 1893, many American politicians exploited a rebellion in Cuba to distract Americans from their own financial problems. During the administration of Grover Cleveland politicians from all political parties supported American intervention in Cuba on behalf of the rebels. This show of support for the Cuban rebels by politicians was designed to rally the American public around a common cause and highlight the difference between them and the unpopular President Cleveland who opposed American involvement in Spanish-Cuban affairs. After the election of William McKinley the Cuban rebellion became a partisan issue. McKinley, who was also opposed to American intervention in Cuba, persuaded his fellow Republican leaders to abandon their hostile stance on Spain. Democrats and Populists, on the other hand, increased their support for the Cuban rebels and used this as a political issue against McKinley and the Republicans. Facing defeat in the upcoming election, Republicans gave in to the call for war with Spain.
Thompson, Donald E. Jr., "The partisan politics that led to the Spanish-American War" (2008). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 774.