The end of the 19th century brought us war with Spain and a new empire overseas. Evan Thomas tells the story in his book, “The War
Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge and W.R. Hearst are the principal pro-war leaders Thomas describes, along with those opposing them, House Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed and philosopher Henry James.
They did indeed rush to empire, especially after the warship Maine blew up in Havana Harbor. The Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers had a hand in fomenting action against Spain, quite a triumph for the “yellow press.”
The pressure finally got President William McKinley to declare war, and Teddy’s experiences as a Rough Rider in Cuba put him into the public eye. Along with Cuba and Puerto Rico came the Philippines, where we ignored the local leaders and ended up fighting a guerrilla war for years.
Our attitude toward non-whites at the time made relations with these new territories difficult. Thomas has brought to life an interesting time in our history.