Why did the United States invade Cuba? (Read each source below, then answer the questions in the notebook. Ask your teacher for an inquiry organizer worksheet to help you think about the ways that the sources support and contradict each other.)


READ: "Prepared to Move"

Head Note: Lee was appointed the U.S. Consul-General in Havana, Cuba in 1896 by President Grover Cleveland. He wrote this letter to the Assistant Secretary of State in the U.S almost three months before the Maine explosion.

SIR: ...

I still think that two war ships at least should be at Key West, prepared to move here at short notice, and that more of them should be sent to Dry Tortugas, and a coal station be established there. Such proceedings would seem to be in line with that prudence and foresight necessary to afford safety to the Americans residing on the island, and to their properties, both of which, I have every reason to know, are objects of the greatest concern to our Government.

I am, etc.,



Source: Excerpt from telegram sent by Fitzhugh Lee, U.S. Consul-General in Cuba, December 3, 1897. Havana, Cuba.

USE THE NOTEBOOK (instructions):


These definitions should help with reading comprehension.

  • prudence: good sense

Coaling Stations

Listen to Historian Mike O'Malley discuss the importance of coaling stations.

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