Treaty of Paris (1898)
Overview
 
The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed on December 10, 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

, and came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the ratification
Ratification
Ratification is a principal's approval of an act of its agent where the agent lacked authority to legally bind the principal. The term applies to private contract law, international treaties, and constitutionals in federations such as the United States and Canada.- Private law :In contract law, the...

s were exchanged.

The Treaty signaled the end of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 in America
Spanish West Indies
The Spanish West Indies was the contemporary name for the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean...

 and the Pacific Ocean
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

 (see also the German–Spanish Treaty (1899)), and marked the beginning of an age of United States colonial power.
Article IV of a peace protocol
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

 entered into between United States and Spain on August 2, 1898 read as follows:
The composition of the American commission was somewhat unusual in that three of its members were Senators (meaning, as many newspapers pointed out, that at a later date they would vote on the ratification of their own negotiations).
Encyclopedia
The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed on December 10, 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

, and came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the ratification
Ratification
Ratification is a principal's approval of an act of its agent where the agent lacked authority to legally bind the principal. The term applies to private contract law, international treaties, and constitutionals in federations such as the United States and Canada.- Private law :In contract law, the...

s were exchanged.

The Treaty signaled the end of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 in America
Spanish West Indies
The Spanish West Indies was the contemporary name for the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean...

 and the Pacific Ocean
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

 (see also the German–Spanish Treaty (1899)), and marked the beginning of an age of United States colonial power.

Background

Article IV of a peace protocol
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

 entered into between United States and Spain on August 2, 1898 read as follows:
The composition of the American commission was somewhat unusual in that three of its members were Senators (meaning, as many newspapers pointed out, that at a later date they would vote on the ratification of their own negotiations). The American delegation members were:
  • William R. Day
    William R. Day
    William Rufus Day was an American diplomat and jurist, who served for nineteen years as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.-Biography:...

    , chairman, a former Secretary of State
    United States Secretary of State
    The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

     who had vacated his Cabinet
    United States Cabinet
    The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

     position to helm the United States Peace Commission
  • William P. Frye
    William P. Frye
    William Pierce Frye was an American politician from the U.S. state of Maine. Frye spent most of his political career as a legislator, serving in the Maine House of Representatives and U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served for 30 years and died in...

    , Senator from Maine
  • Cushman Kellogg Davis, Senator from Minnesota
  • George Gray
    George Gray (senator)
    George Gray was an American lawyer, judge, and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served as Attorney General of Delaware, U.S. Senator from Delaware and Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.-Early life and...

    , Senator from Delaware
  • Whitelaw Reid
    Whitelaw Reid
    Whitelaw Reid was a U.S. politician and newspaper editor, as well as the author of a popular history of Ohio in the Civil War.-Early life:...

    , a former diplomat and past Vice Presidential
    Vice President of the United States
    The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

     nominee


On September 16, U.S. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

 issued secret written instructions to his emissaries:
The Spanish commission included the Spanish diplomats Eugenio Montero Ríos, Buenaventura de Abarzuza, José de Garnica, Wenceslao Ramírez de Villa-Urrutia, Rafael Cerero, as well as a French diplomat, Jules Cambon
Jules Cambon
Jules-Martin Cambon was a French diplomat.He began his career as a lawyer , served in the Franco-Prussian War and entered the civil service in 1871...

.

Negotiations

The American delegation, headed by former Secretary of State William R. Day
William R. Day
William Rufus Day was an American diplomat and jurist, who served for nineteen years as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.-Biography:...

 - who had vacated his position as United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 in order to head the commission - arrived in Paris on September 26, 1898. The negotiations were conducted in a suite of rooms at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the first session on October 1, the Spanish demanded that before the talks get underway the city of Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, which had been captured by the Americans a few hours after the signing of the peace protocol in Washington, be returned to Spanish authority. The Americans refused to consider this and for the moment it was pursued no further.

For almost a month, negotiations revolved around Cuba. The Teller Amendment
Teller Amendment
The Teller Amendment was an amendment to a joint resolution of the United States Congress, enacted on April 20, 1898, in reply to President William McKinley's War Message. It placed a condition of the United States military in Cuba. According to the clause, the U.S...

 to the U.S. Declaration of War
Declaration of war
A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more states.The legality of who is competent to declare war varies...

 with Spain made it impractical for the U.S. to annex the island as it did with Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. On first instance, Spain refused to accept the Cuban national debt of four hundred million dollars, but ultimately it had no choice. Eventually, it was agreed that Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 was to be delivered to the Cubans and the four hundred million dollar liability returned to Spain. It was also agreed that Spain would cede Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 and Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 to the United States.

The negotiators then turned to the question of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. Spanish negotiators were determined to hang onto all they could, hoping to cede only Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

 and perhaps the Sulu Islands. On the American side, Chairman Day had once recommended the acquisition of only naval base in Manila as a "hitching post". Others had recommended retaining just the island of Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

. In discussions with its advisers, though, the commission concluded that Spain, if it retained part of the Philippines, would be likely to sell that part to another European power and that this would likely be troublesome for America. On 25 November, the American Commission cabled President McKinley for explicit instructions. Their cable crossed one from McKinley saying that duty left him no choice but to demand the entire archipelago, the following morning, another cable from McKinley arrived, saying
On November 4, the Spanish delegation formally accepted the American demand, and Spain's Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Sagasta
Práxedes Mateo Sagasta
Práxedes Mariano Mateo Sagasta y Escolar was a Spanish politician who served as Prime Minister on eight occasions between 1870 and 1902—always in charge of the Liberal Party—as part of the turno pacifico, alternating with the Liberal-Conservative leader Antonio Cánovas...

 backed up the commission. As the specter of collapse of the negotiations grew, there were mutters about resumption of the war. U.S. election results on November 8, however, cut McKinley's Republican
American Republican Party
The American Republican Party was a minor nativist political organization that was launched in New York in June 1843, largely as a protest against immigrant voters and officeholders. In 1844, it carried municipal elections in New York City and Philadelphia and expanded so rapidly that by July,...

 majority in Congress less than had been anticipated. The American delegation took heart from this, and Frye unveiled a plan of offering Spain ten or twenty million dollars for the islands.

After some discussion the American delegation offered twenty million dollars on November 21, one tenth of a valuation which had been estimated in internal discussions in October, requesting an answer within two days. Rios said angrily that he could reply at once, but the American delegation had already departed from the conference table. When the two sides met again, Queen-Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 Maria Christina
Maria Christina of Austria
Maria Christina of Austria was Queen consort of Spain as the second wife of King Alfonso XII of Spain...

 had cabled her acceptance. Montero Rios recited the formal reply:
Work on the final draft of the treaty began on November 30. It was signed on December 18, 1898. The next step was legislative ratification. In Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, the Cortes
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

 rejected it, but the Queen Regent signed it, empowered to do so by a clause in the Spanish constitution.

U.S. Senate debate on ratification of the treaty

During the Senate debate to ratify the treaty, Senators George Frisbie Hoar
George Frisbie Hoar
George Frisbie Hoar was a prominent United States politician and United States Senator from Massachusetts. Hoar was born in Concord, Massachusetts...

 and George Graham Vest
George Graham Vest
George Graham Vest was a U.S. politician. Born in Frankfort, Kentucky, he was known for his skills in oration and debate. Vest, a lawyer as well as a politician, served as a Missouri Congressman, a Confederate Congressman during the Civil War, and finally a US Senator...

 were outspoken opponents of the treaty.
Some anti-expansionists stated that the treaty committed the United States to a course of empire and violated the most basic tenets of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. They argued that neither the Congress nor the President had the right to pass laws governing colonial peoples who were not represented by law-makers.

Senate Expansionists who supported the treaty said:
Expansionists said that the Constitution applied only to the citizens of the United States. This idea was later supported by the Supreme Court in the Insular Cases
Insular Cases
The Insular Cases are several U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning the status of territories acquired by the U.S. in the Spanish-American War . The name "insular" derives from the fact that these territories are islands and were administered by the War Department's Bureau of Insular Affairs...

.

As the Senate debate continued, Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century...

 and former President Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland
Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents...

 petitioned the Senate to reject the treaty.

U.S. ratification

The controversial treaty was approved on February 6, 1899 by a vote 57 to 27, only one vote more than the two-thirds majority required. Only two Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 voted against ratification, George Frisbie Hoar
George Frisbie Hoar
George Frisbie Hoar was a prominent United States politician and United States Senator from Massachusetts. Hoar was born in Concord, Massachusetts...

 of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 and Eugene Pryor Hale of Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

.

Treaty provisions

The Treaty of Paris provided that Cuba would become independent from Spain but the U.S. Congress made sure it would be under U.S. control through the Platt Amendment
Platt Amendment
The Platt Amendment of 1901 was a rider appended to the Army Appropriations Act presented to the U.S. Senate by Connecticut Republican Senator Orville H. Platt replacing the earlier Teller Amendment. Approved on May 22, 1903, it stipulated the conditions for the withdrawal of United States troops...

. Specifically, Spain relinquished all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba. Upon Cuba's evacuation by Spain, it was to be occupied by the United States, and the United States would assume and discharge any obligations that under international law could result from the fact of its occupation.

The Treaty also assured that Spain would cede to the United States the island of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 and other islands then under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, as well as the island of Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 in the Marianas or Ladrones.

The Treaty specified that Spain would cede to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within a specified line.

In accordance with the treaty, Spain:
  • Gave up all rights to Cuba (see Teller Amendment
    Teller Amendment
    The Teller Amendment was an amendment to a joint resolution of the United States Congress, enacted on April 20, 1898, in reply to President William McKinley's War Message. It placed a condition of the United States military in Cuba. According to the clause, the U.S...

     and Platt Amendment
    Platt Amendment
    The Platt Amendment of 1901 was a rider appended to the Army Appropriations Act presented to the U.S. Senate by Connecticut Republican Senator Orville H. Platt replacing the earlier Teller Amendment. Approved on May 22, 1903, it stipulated the conditions for the withdrawal of United States troops...

    )
  • Surrendered Puerto Rico and gave up its possessions in the West Indies
  • Surrendered the island of Guam to the United States
  • Surrendered the Philippines to the United States for a payment of twenty million dollars

See also

  • Spanish-American War
    Spanish-American War
    The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

  • Puerto Rican Campaign
    Puerto Rican Campaign
    The Puerto Rican Campaign was an American military sea and land operation on the island of Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War. The offensive began on May 12, 1898, when the United States Navy attacked the archipelago’s capital, San Juan. Though the damage inflicted on the city was minimal,...

  • German-Spanish Treaty (1899)
    German-Spanish Treaty (1899)
    The German–Spanish Treaty of 1899 was a treaty between the German Empire and Kingdom of Spain, with the latter selling the remainder of its Pacific Ocean islands to Germany for 25 million pesetas or respectively 17 million Marks.-History:...


External links

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