28Reading 34-1Some of the Spanish peninsulareswanted to join with the criollosto demand independence from Spain. Others wanted to unite with Mexico, yet others to enjoy a semicolonial status with America, and others to become an American state. Before the Cuban War of Independence of 1895–1900 there was never a major-ity of whites, let alone mulattoes and blacks, for any single policy.The situation erupted and even involved the young Winston Churchill, who as a war correspondent saw some incompetent military action on the Spanish side. The U.S. battleship Maineblew up, with great loss of life, in Havana harbor in February 1898. The explosion was in fact caused by stale, unstable cordite, though everyone thought at the time that the explosion had been caused by an external Spanish mine. War was declared by the United States in April 1898, and was over within months. The Americans brought an end to the endemic yellow fever as well as to 300 years of Spanish rule. American intervention guaranteed independence from Spain. It also guaranteed that American capital would remain in some kind of dominant role throughout the 1st half of the 20th century; this was succeeded by the Good Neighbor Policy of the 1940s.
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