~The Rough Riders~
What comes to mind when someone mentions the name “Rough Riders”? Most people think of
dirt covered cowboys that ride horses, shoot guns, and drink plenty of whiskey. Some of this is
true, but for the most part these men overcame impossible obstacles and changed the course of
history. They were tough but what made them smart was their leader, Theodore Roosevelt. In the
following essay, I’m going to describe the events that led to the creation of the Rough Riders, and
the hard-won-battles they fought.
Cuba, 1895: After dealing with many years of unfair representation (In the Spanish Parliament)
and high taxes, Cuba decided to become independent. So on February 24th, the Cubans declared
war on Spain. For many years, the Cubans fought the Spaniards and eventually won. At that time
the idea of Imperialism was born, and it quickly spread in the United States. The U.S. felt that it
was their “God-given right” to take over other countries and people. Their eyes were set on Cuba;
they wanted to buy it because of its huge sugar production. Trading between Cuba and the U.S.
proved to be helpful for both sides. America had invested over $50 million dollars in trading with
Cuba, mostly sugar, but Cuba was worth double that amount. Spain still had influence in Cuba at
the time. America did not like that and wanted to go to war. However, President Grover Cleveland
made a proclamation of neutrality on June 12th, 1895. Just eight months later, Spain made a
move that would start a war. The Spanish began to move the population (of Cubans) into central
locations guarded by troops and placed the entire country under martial law. Basically, the
Spanish were isolating them, so they take control of the country. Cleveland responded by saying,
the United States might intervene if Spain failed to end the crisis in Cuba. Later that year
Cleveland would be replace...