North America 1898: Spanish-American War
By 1898, the long-running Cuban war for independence was aggravating US-Spanish relations. In February, the USS Maine sunk in an unexplained explosion in Havana Harbor, leading to war. American forces swiftly defeated the Spanish at sea and in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, putting an end to Spain's 400 year old colonial empire.
4 Jan 1896 Utah becomes US state▲
The Utah Territory was admitted to the US as the state of Utah.
15 Sep 1896–30 Nov 1898 Greater Central America▲
After signing the Treaty of the Union in July 1895, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador united as the Greater Republic of Central America. Provisional federal authority was constituted at a meeting in San Salvador and the republic was renamed the United States of Central America on 1 November 1898. However, on 14 November, General Tomás Regalado seized power in El Salvador and the Federation was dissolved at the end of the month.
13 Dec 1897 Isla de la Pasión▲
Mexico reasserted its claim to Clipperton Island (Isla Clipperton or Isla de la Pasión), sending the gunboat La Democrata to occupy and annex the uninhabited territory from France. The United States took control of the island during the Spanish-American War of 1898 and it was only in 1906 that Mexico was able to establish a guano mining colony with the support of the British Pacific Islands Company.
15 Feb 1898 Sinking of USS Maine▲
The USS Maine, a US Navy armored cruiser, exploded and sank in Havana Harbor, Cuba. The United States blamed the explosion on Spanish sabotage, but was most likely the result of mechanical failure.
21 Apr 1898 US blockades Cuba▲
The United States began a blockade of Cuba while Spain severed relations with the US, effectively beginning Spanish-American War.
1 May 1898 Battle of Manila Bay▲
The United States Asiatic Squadron, under Commodore George Dewey and sailing from Hong Kong with orders to eliminate the Spanish Pacific Squadron, entered Manila Bay in the Spanish Philippines under cover of darkness on the night of 30 April 1898. At dawn, it located the unprepared Spanish fleet anchored off the Cavite naval station, opening fire at 5:40am. The Americans sunk all seven enemy cruisers, suffering only one damaged cruiser in return, ending Spanish naval power in the Pacific.
10 Jun 1898 Battle of Guantanamo Bay▲
United States forces landed at Guantanamo Bay, starting the US invasion of Cuba.
24 Jul 1898 US lands in Puerto Rico▲
United States forces landed at Guanica, beginning the Puerto Rican campaign.