The purpose of this essay is to allow you to further engage with our assigned readings about the Wars of Independence and/or the War of 1898. Choose and answer ONE of
the prompts below
The essay should be
3-4 pages long, in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced, and in Word.
For this essay you should use the textbook, the primary source, and any audiovisual
materials assigned in our class.
Do not use any outside sources without consulting me
Your essays must use proper in-text citation that demonstrates where your
information is drawn from. Remember that you need to use citation
even if you are not using a
For example, if you are paraphrasing a section of the textbook, you should still
include an in-text citation. When in doubt, provide citation.
You may use any style of citation you are most familiar with – such as MLA, APA or Chicago
style – as long as you use it consistently throughout the paper.
Plagiarism is defined as “[t]he adoption or reproduction of ideas or words or
statements of another person as one’s own without acknowledgment.” This would include, for
example, copying or substantially restating the published, unpublished, or on-line work of
another person without appropriate attribution. Plagiarism can include insufficient paraphrasing, even if the source is attributed. For the purpose of this class, I will use an “eight word rule,” meaning that if eight consecutive verbatim words are taken from a text without direct quotes, I will consider that to be insufficient paraphrasing.
PROMPT: Racial Ideas and The War of 1898
Most Americans learn about the War of 1898 (also known as the Spanish-American War) from
the US perspective. School curriculums usually focus on the role of the “yellow” press in
declaring war, the mysterious explosion of the battleship Maine, and the debates that occurred
in the US congress about whether or not the US should become an imperialist nation.
This essay assignment asks you to think about the War of 1898 from a different angle. How
did ideas about race figure in the war? As we have discussed, Cuban patriots like José Martí
wanted the new Cuban nation to embrace racial equality. Both white and Afro-Cuban patriots
fought for the patriot cause. In the United States, the idea of race also played a role, especially
in how the United States saw itself as uplifting non-white peoples through its intervention.
For this essay you should draw on our textbook, the film clips, the essay about Jose Marti, and
political cartoons we viewed in class (also available on Classes) to give specific examples of
how you see ideas of race influencing the War of 1898.
Sources (please note that this option requires one very short additional essay):
Thomas C. Wright, Latin America since Independence: Two Centuries of Continuity
and Change Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.
Dionisio Poey Baro, “Race’ and Anti-Racism in José Marti’s ‘Mi Raza,’” Contributions in Black Studies, vol 12, 1994 (available on Classes)
Documentary film “Empire of Dreams” (link available on Classes)
Documentary film “Black in Latin America: Cuba, the Next Revolution” (link
available on Classes)