The 1898 Treaty of Paris

"Raising the American flag over Fort Santiago, Manila, on the evening of August 13, 1898." drawing from Harper's Pictorial History of the War with Spain.

The 1898 famed treaty ended the war between America and Spain and would indirectly cause another war.

On August 12, 1898, aggressive fighting between the Spain and the United States of America was halted with the signing of a Protocol of Peace which was a lead up to additional talks. Signed on December 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was successful with the ending of the Spanish-American War lasting half a year. During the 1898-99 winter, the litigious treaty was heavily deliberated in the United States Senate before finally being approved on February 6, 1899. The vote was 57-27 and supplemented the war victory for the United States.

Gains and Losses from the 1898 Paris Treaty

The United States of America gained much from the Treaty of Paris of 1898. All portions of territory owned by Spain were ceded to the United States. The Philippine Islands was the largest piece of territory from the nation of Spain. The Paris treaty also specified that Cuba would become independent of Spain while being under the conditions and terms of the United States Platt Amendment. All of these things were concurrent with the creation of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in the southeastern section of the Cuban nation.

The Platt Amendment was a United States federal law passed on March 12, 1901 which laid down the conditions of the United States soldier withdrawal from out of Cuba. It also defined the Cuban-American relationship and totally ceded the Guantanamo Bay area over to the United States.

Delegates from the Nations Talk

During the peace talks, a commission of delegates was sent by the United States to Paris, France. These delegates were Delaware Senator George Gray, Minnesota Congressman Cushman K. Davis, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid, Maine Senator William Frye and United States Secretary of State William R. Day. Spain sent the delegates Don Eugenio Montero Rios, Don Buenaventura de Abarzuza, Don Jose de Garnica and Don Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa-Urrutia. France sent the delegate Jules Cambon.

Two Republican Senators Eugene Pryor of Maine and George Graham Vestand of Massachusetts did not vote for the Paris Treaty. There were other voices of concern addressing the Paris Treaty on grounds of imperialism and how that would violate United States Constitution tenets.

Other Voices of Dissent

On June 12, 1898, Philippines future President General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the Philippines a sovereign nation independent of Spain just after the United States victory over Spain in the Battle of Manila. The proclamation became known as the Philippine Declaration of Independence and was not recognized by Spain, the United States or France. It was because of that gesture seen as disrespectful to the Filipino people that another war would loom on the horizon with the West.


  1. Bradforf,James C. ed. Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War & Its Aftermath. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1993.