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Progressive Era (1890-1913)

In the 1890s, the belief that Americans should avoid getting involved with other countries was slowly fading. Because of its rapid economic and social growth, the U.S. had become a major world power.  So when Cuban rebels began a violent revolution against Spanish rule in 1895, and a mysterious explosion sunk the U.S.S. Maine in the Havana harbor, the U.S. entered into what diplomat John Hay called "a splendid little war" with Spain. A depiction of the storming of San Juan Hill from the Spanish-American War - Credit: "William H. West's Great Achievement, The Storming of San Juan Hill." copyright 1899. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Although the Spanish-American War ended relatively soon, issues over ownership of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the Hawaiian islands also had to be resolved.

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