Victory over Spain left the U.S. a world power

The Spanish American War, for all practical purposes, was over almost before it began. Badly beaten Spain realized this and agreed to an armistice on Aug. 12, although the treaty was not signed until Dec. 10.

The United States had become a world power, with colonies from Puerto Rico to the Philippine Islands, even though American troops had only occupied Manila. President William McKinley had not been sure about the Philippine. After an evening of prayer, he made up his mind: “There is nothing left for us to do, but to take all the islands and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift, civilize and Christianize them and, by God’s grace, do the very best we can for them as our fellow men.” That revelation must have amazed the Filipinos, who were one of the leading Catholic countries of Asia.

The Durango Evening Herald had kept its readers informed about developments, as it did in the Aug. 2, 1898 issue:

Peru and Pueblo (transports) arrive in Honolulu

They land and (crew, officers) enjoy luncheon at the Executive Mansion

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The Peru and Pueblo arrived Saturday.

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Indications of another larger expedition for the Philippines, it will consist of twenty-five thousand men. More rush orders received at San Francisco.

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The ships are now busy coaling and may proceed to Manila at once without waiting for the other three transports for the fourth expedition now on route loaded to the gunwales the American soldiers.

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The United States should retain Manila and allow Spain to take care of the rest of the island and the insurgents. Let the two later fight it out. We have no sympathy or patience with Aguinaldo and his followers.

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The Herald continues to furnish the latest telegraph news fresh from the wires of the Western Press detailing the proceedings of Congress, news of the Spanish-American war, European news and comment, and all important happenings in all parts of the world. 50 cents per month, by mail.

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The Wheel Club should infuse a little life by doing a run to Trimble Springs while the month shines its brightest.

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Last night was about as perfect as one could wish. The moon was at its brightest and almost as light as we have seen, while the atmosphere was as balmy as it could be.

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There is not local news of importance floating around today and the time of our printers is devoted to getting out job work which patrons are anxiously waiting for.

Duane Smith is a Fort Lewis College history professor. Reach him at 247-2589.

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