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Strategic Map of Our War with Spain, map by F. H. Taylor for The War Map Publishing Company, 1898

A map of the Spanish-American War showed the principal theaters of conflict—Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands—and compared U.S. and Spanish military power. Under the Treaty of Paris that ended the war, Spain ceded Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam to the United States. Both sides agreed that Cuba would be independent.

Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress

Strategic Map of Our War with Spain, map by F. H. Taylor for The War Map Publishing Company, 1898

Cuba and the Platt Amendment

Congress declared war against Spain in 1898 to support Cuba’s independence, vowing to respect Cuban sovereignty. After the war, however, the United States maintained military control of Cuba. Secretary of War Elihu Root set conditions for ending the occupation, and Senator Orville Platt of Connecticut introduced them in Congress as a legislative amendment. Among other stipulations, the Platt Amendment permitted U.S. intervention in Cuban affairs. Under pressure from the United States, Cuba incorporated the Platt Amendment into its new constitution until the terms were repealed in 1934.