The United States has had a poor history of sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong, and frankly the Spanish were right to fight back, even though they ultimately lost. The United States has for too long taken advantage of what power it has. From the beginning the United States was selling black people and kicking Indians off their native land. America is a bully that starts wars because it believes it can’t lose, and if you can’t lose then there’s no harm in trying. The Spanish-American war was another attempt at taking advantage by use of power. The United States was under the impression that because the battleship the USS Maine was mysteriously blown up, it had to be a result of the Spanish trying to cause us harm, and so we had a justifiable reason for trying to commandeer Cuba. We infuriated a powerful nation for an island that we didn’t truly need because we thought, key word there being thought, they had attacked a United States ship.
Because a navy ship mysteriously blew up is an extremely juvenile reason for engaging in war. The Spanish must have known attacking the United States would not go unpunished, therefore it seems unlikely that they would do just that. They had Cuba, the United States wanted Cuba, I think the Spanish were probably intelligent enough to see that provoking the United States would simply create a war that they did not want to fight, thus there is no reason to assume the Spanish blew up a United States vessel. It was a war ship after all, lots of explosives, more than 5 long tons to be specific (history.navy.mil), it’s not unheard of for explosives to explode, sometimes even when they are not supposed to.
A war is a serious thing. The United States should not have declared a war without proper justification, which they did not have. The Spanish-American War was merely the United States being petty because they though the Spanish sabotaged a United States war vessel. The United States had no reason, nor necessity to take Cuba from the Spanish. All in all the Spanish-American War is one of the biggest mistakes the United States ever made.