The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War (Hispanic Division, Library of Congress)
1898 HOME > Spain > Chronology of Spain in the Spanish-American War

Chronology of Spain in the Spanish-American War


10 October
Carlos M. Céspedes issued the Grito de Yara and initiated the Ten Years' War in Cuba (1868-1878), the independence movement that served as the forerunner of the 1895 Insurrection and the Spanish American War.


24 November
Conservative president Antonio Cánovas del Castillo and liberal opposition leader Práxedes Mateo Sagasta, concluded the "Pact of Madrid" by which they agreed that the liberals would assume power, but protect the political status quo.

25 November
King Alfonso XII died.

27 November
Sagasta became president.

30 December
Doña María Cristina, widow of Alfonso XII, swore allegiance to the Constitution and became regent.


10-11 January
Republican uprising in Cartagena.

17 May
Alfonso XIII was born.

19 September
Republican uprisings in Cartagena and Madrid.


Publication in Berlin, Germany, of Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) by José Rizal, the Philippines' most illustrious son, awakened Filipino national consciousness.


1 May
First May-Day demonstrations in Madrid and Barcelona.

13-18 May
General strike in Vizcaya.

3 July
Sagasta's liberal government fell.

5 July
Cánovas became president.


The government was reaffirmed in power after general elections. Cánovas appointed as Romero de Robledo, a politician well known for his corrupt practices, to be Minister of the Colonies. Soon thereafter, the Captain-general of Cuba, Gen. Camilo Polavieja, resigned in protest.


8 January
Peasant uprising in Jérez de la Frontera.

25 March
Congress of Catalonian autonomists met in Manresa.

Celebrations of the fourth centenary of the discovery of America.

11 December
Cánovas conservative government fell. Sagasta formed new liberal cabinet and named Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete as Minister of the Navy and Antonio Maura, who favored a degree of autonomy for Cuba, as Minister of the Colonies.


20 June
A group of anarchists attacked the home of Cánovas del Castillo.

23 September
Anarchists attempted to assassinate Gen. Arsenio Martínez Campos in Barcelona, while presiding over a military parade. Great turmoil resulted in the city.

29-30 September
The Melilla war started. Melilla is a Spanish military enclave on Morocco's Mediterranean coast.

5 October
Paulino Pallás, the attempted assassin of Martínez Campos, was executed by a firing squad in the castle of Montjuich, Barcelona.

7 November
Anarchists exploded bombs at the Liceo theater in Barcelona, killing 18 and wounding many. In the following days, explosives were found in several points around the city.


5 March
Melilla war ended.

21 March
The rest of those implicated in the attempted assassination of Martínez Campos, are executed by firing-squad in the castle of Montjuich.

21 September
The person accused of throwing the bombs in the Liceo is executed in prison.

5 November
Cabinet crisis, resolved by the appointment of Buenaventura de Abárzuza as Minister of Colonies. Formulated changes in the Cuban policy.


13 February
Cortes approved new measures for Cuba, which were well received in Havana, but did not stop agitation for independence.

24 February
Cubans seeking independence rose with the "Grito de Baire". Sagasta considered the uprising to be of little importance.

10 March
Spain sent an expeditionary force of 6,000 men to Cuba.

11 March
The cruiser "Reina Regente", Spain's best fighting warship, sank off the Strait of Gibraltar due to bad weather. Almost 400 lives were lost.

23 March
Sagasta's government fell.

18 April
Gen. Martínez Campos arrived in Santiago de Cuba, sent by the new Cánovas government.

12 July
Martínez Campos' column of 300 men stumbled on Cuban insurgent forces of 7,000 men led by Antonio Maceo. Another column of 1,000 Spanish soldiers arrived just in time and routed the Cubans, amid heavy loses.


10 February
General Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau arrived in Cuba to assume command of the Spanish army there.

16 February
Weyler ordered Spanish troops to isolate the rural population would be isolated from each other and from the insurgents and "concentrated" in their villages. This was the first time this strategy was used in modern warfare.

17 February
Weyler defeated Maceo at Las Vegas.

21 February
Weyler defeated Maceo at Ojo del Agua, Camagüey.

4-5 December
Spanish troops defeated Maceo at Punta Brava, Pinar del Río. Maceo was killed and his assistant, a son of Máximo Gómez, committed suicide near Maceo's body, rather than to be taken prisoner by the Spanish.


5 February
Amid total political chaos and disorientation, the Cánovas government issued the decree of autonomy for Cuba.

26 June
U.S. Department of State sent a note to Spanish ambassador Enrique Dupuy de Lôme criticizing Spanish war methods in Cuba.

8 August
Cánovas was murdered in Guipúzcua by an Italian who claimed to be avenging the execution of Catalonian anarchists on May 4. General Marcelo Azcárraga took over the government temporarily.

2 October
Sagasta became president.

9 October
Following vigorous attacks against General Weyler in the Spanish press, Sagasta removed him as commander of the army in Cuba. He was replaced by General Ramón Blanco, Marquis of Peñaplata.

6 November
Spanish government declared a general amnesty for Cuban political prisoners.

22 November
A royal decree granted universal suffrage for Cuba and Puerto Rico.

26 November
Spain granted autonomy to Cuba.


1 January
The Cuban autonomous government assumed its duties. The war continued.

25 January
The cruiser U.S.S. Maine sailed into Havana harbor.

15 February
The U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana harbor.

21 April
Spain expelled the United States' ambassador and recalled its diplomats from Washington.

23 April
U.S. declared war on Spain. Spanish naval high command met in Madrid and issued a report declaring that neither its ships nor materiel could match that of the U.S. The fleet's commander to Cuba, Admiral Pascual Cervera, predicted its destruction.

1 May
The U.S. fleet under Admiral Dewey destroyed Spain's Pacific fleet at Cavite, in the Philippines. Losses for Spain were 75 dead and 281 wounded. The Americans suffered only 7 wounded.

19 May
Spanish fleet entered the harbor at Santiago de Cuba despite the tight U.S. blockade and numerical superiority.

20 June
U.S. expeditionary forces landed at Daiquirí and Siboney, in Oriente province.

24 June
General Joaquín Vara de Rey heroically defended Caney for ten hours with only 419 men and no artillery, against an U.S. force 15 times larger and better armed. Vara de Rey died fighting; only 84 Spanish soldiers survived.

3 July
Cervera's fleet left Santiago harbor to engage the U.S. fleet, waiting outside the bay. The Spanish fleet was destroyed, with 350 dead, 160 wounded and 1600 men and 70 officers taken prisoner by U.S. troops, who only suffered 1 dead and 6 wounded.

4 July
Truce between Spain and the U.S. to allow foreigners to leave Santiago.

10 July
U.S. forces began bombardment of Santiago.

16 July
Santiago fell and Spain capitulated.

26 July
Spain asked France to mediate.

11 August
The Council of Ministers accepted the conditions for peace, outlined by the United States: Spain must renounce its sovereignty over Cuba, Puerto Rico and other islands of the West Indies, and cede Puerto Rico to the U.S., the U.S. would hold Manila until a peace treaty was signed and a government was formed, Spain was to evacuate Cuba and Puerto Rico immediately.

10 October
Peace conference convened in Paris.

10 December Peace treaty was signed in Paris.


1 January
General Adolfo Jiménez Castellanos, officially handed Cuba over to the United States.

3 March
Sagasta's government fell. Francisco Silvela, the new conservative leader, became president.

18 October
After Spanish forces evacuated Puerto Rico, the U.S. annexed the island.


7 March
Sagasta became president again.


17 May
King Alfonso XIII assumed the throne at age 16.

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