Compromise proved impossible, resulting in an ultimatum
sent to Madrid demanding it surrender control of Cuba
immediately, which was not accepted.
First Madrid, then Washington, formally declared war.
Although the main issue was Cuban Independence, the
ten-week war was fought both in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
A series of one-sided American naval and military victories
followed on all fronts, owing to their numerical superiority in
most of the battles and despite the good performance of some of
the Spanish infantry units. The result was the 1898 Treaty
of Paris - which was favorable to the U.S. - followed by
temporary American control of Cuba and indefinite colonial
authority over Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. The
defeat and the collapse of the Spanish Empire was a profound
shock to Spain's national psyche. The victor gained
several island possessions spanning the globe and a rancorous
new debate over the wisdom of imperialism.