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Explain how the media contributed to an American declaration of war against Spain in 1898.

The American media played a major role in helping to build public opinion in favor of war with Spain. This was especially true for print media, which highlighted Spain’s oppressive rule of Cuba and helped to whip up anti-Spanish sentiment among the American people. Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal both ran stories portraying the violence and cruelty of Spanish rule in Cuba. These papers often sensationalized stories, playing up the victims’ suffering in order to mobilize support for war. The yellow journalism they employed incited national outrage at Spain’s actions and fueled the public outcry for war. Americans also reacted to news of the USS Maine exploding in Havana Harbor, which further increased their support for war. Thanks to the media, when President McKinley asked Congress for a declaration of war in 1898, the support of the people was behind him. Update (2023-11-15): The media played an important role in leading the United States to declare war against Spain in 1898. The Spanish-American War mainly erupted because of the media’s coverage of the Cuban struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule. Starting in November 1897, William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World ran stories about Cuba’s campaign for freedom. The sympathetic American public, who had a long history of interest in Cuban independence, wanted to help and took the stories as further evidence of the harsh conditions in Cuba. This helped to push the U.S. towards war. In addition, during this time, press correspondents such as Richard Harden of the New York Herald, and Stephen Crane of the New York Journal and World, went to Cuba to report from the front line. They sent back vivid reports of the brutality of the Spanish, and tales of Cuban heroism and sufferings. This galvanized public opinion further, and contributed to a call for war against Spain. Its eventual declaration came when the American ship the Maine blew up in Havana Harbour in February 1898. The war was seen as necessary for the U.S. to protect its interests and to bring freedom to Cuba.

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