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Spanish American War (1898)
Isolation vs. Expansion - Background of America's War with Spain



Isolation vs. Expansion - Background of America's War with Spain
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.44

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    expansionism, humiliation, land-hungry, ragtag, resource-rich, rethink, spanned, isolationism, Know-how, upstart, economic, military, self-defense, strategy, union, nation
     content words:    British Empire, United States, North American, President James Monroe, Monroe Doctrine, Civil War, Most War Department


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Isolation vs. Expansion - Background of America's War with Spain
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     It was 1898. The nation that had begun as a bunch of ragtag rebels throwing rocks at the world's most powerful army had grown up. Amazingly, it had won its independence. At the time, the British Empire spanned the world. The young nation had even withstood a second war against Britain. It had bounced back from the humiliation of seeing its capital reduced to ashes. It had even withstood the dreadful wounds of a war within itself.
 
2     The United States was no longer an upstart band of colonies. It was a union, over one hundred years old, solid and strong. Through all its struggles, its people had constantly pushed out its boundaries. A vast wilderness had been tamed. Now the country sprawled across the North American continent. It truly stretched "from sea to shining sea."
 
3     Ships carrying goods from U.S. fields and factories docked at all the world's ports. From all over the world, other ships brought people to the nation's wide shores. The newcomers looked to America for their future. Many thousands had hung their hopes on the "broad stripes and bright stars."
 
4     In the 1890s, the U.S. and the world were getting ready for the coming of a whole new century. For many Americans, times were good. They had made it through a nasty economic storm in the early part of the decade. Now, factories were humming and people were buying goods. In most sectors, money was flowing.

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