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Theodore Roosevelt's involvement with the Spanish American War

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After the incident, the American public presumed that it had been sabotaged or attacked and therefore demanded war. The Congress was therefore forced to be dragged into the war even though it had not wished particularly to fight (Marolda 23).At the time of the explosion and sinking of Maine, Theodore Roosevelt was the Assistant Secretary of Navy. He took immediate action after the incident because the Secretary of the Navy was not in the office when the war started (Lansford and Robert 41). As a result, he immediately assumed the Acting Secretary of the Navy title and sent a message via telegram to Admiral Dewey who was the then commander of the United States fleet in the Asian Pacific. In the message, Roosevelt instructed that in an event that the war erupted between the United States, he was to take a rather offensive action against the Philippine Islands that was then under the Spanish Empire. These orders were followed strictly by Admiral Dewey who after the war was declared silently sailed towards Manila from Hong Kong (Hodge 719). Dewey launched a surprise attack on May 1, 1898 on the Spanish fleet that had been anchored in the bay. Dewey was also able to simultaneously capture the Philippines in a sheer demonstration of the United States navy power for the first time in the country’s history. On his part, Roosevelt established a military regiment to fight in Cuba against Spain. The military regiment was known as the “Rough Riders”. He went ahead and positioned himself as the natural leader of the regiment which constituted of miners, Confederate veterans sons, Native Americans, African Americans, cowboys, and the Ivy Leaguers (Cullinane 306).The then United States President, President McKinley requested for more than 100,000 volunteers to be involved in the Spanish American War in the Caribbean. General Russell Alger, the then Secretary of War, offered Roosevelt the command of one of the volunteer regiments (Marolda 50). Despite appeals from his friends begging him not to accept the offer, he resigned his Assistant Secretary of Navy position and volunteered to be engaged as a soldier. He was, as a result, given the Lieutenant Colonel rank. Roosevelt illustrated bravery at San Juan Hill battle where his Rough Riders regiment suffered fifteen casualties and seventy-three more injured. By the end of the war, Roosevelt had been promoted to
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preview essay on Theodore Roosevelt's involvement with the Spanish American War
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: History
  • Level: Masters
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