Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Wilson Warren

Second Advisor

Kenneth Steuer

Third Advisor

Laura Hastings


The Spanish-American War was a significant event in the history of the United States that initiated America’s imperialistic goals by spreading its economic and political influence in the Caribbean, the Pacific, and other overseas markets. In 1898, the U.S. saw its foreign and economic interests collide with Spain and its foreign policy in Cuba. This was an opportunity for the United States to expand and colonize areas of the world by challenging Spain and declaring itself as an emerging super power at the time.

The growth of journalism in the 1890s developed alongside America’s outward expansion by being the primary source of domestic and foreign news source during the war. Like many politicians at that time, newspapers sought to sway public opinion to win support for war and imperialism. However, many newspapers at times hurt the war effort by revealing too much information that contradicted America’s dominant ideology that it claimed to be. The negative effects of the newspaper coverage on the war hampered how the United States saw itself as a dominant world power because journalistic activity revealed the disorganization of the United States military, compromised military planning in the Cuban campaign that threatened national security, and exposed a military cover-up of casualties caused by yellow fever.

This paper will compare the official United States War Records and the newspapers from the United States and Spain and how these sources contradict each other, coming to the conclusion that the War Records altered history to sell America’s military dominance over the Spanish in the war of 1898 and compare itself to the great European powers of the day when in fact the newspapers told a different story.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access