In what was called the Spanish American War, the United States defeated Spain in about four months of fighting, from April to August 1898.
Among the Americans who fought in the war was future president Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919). He led his cavalry brigade of Rough Riders in a successful attack on Kettle Hill, not, as it is sometimes called, San Juan Hill.
As a result of the war, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines became U.S. territories, and Spain renounced its claim to Cuba. The United States had stated earlier that it would not annex Cuba, and it did not. But Cuba did not exactly become independent.
American secretary of state John Hay called the Spanish American War “that splendid little war.”