This Treaty marked the end of the Spanish colonial rule in America and the start of the United States as a colonial power. This was a major event in American history. It decided the fate of several countries, as to which of the two parties ended up ruling them. The Treaty was signed on December 10, 1898, in Paris. Here is some information which I am sure you will find useful.
Summary and Definition
On October 1, 1898, commissioners from the United States and Spain met in Paris, and decided to come to an agreement that would end the long-drawn Spanish-American War. The commissioners who represented the USA were:
- William P. Frye - Senator from Maine
- George Gray - Senator from Delaware
- William R. Day - former Secretary of State, who had resigned from that position so that he could be a part of the United States Peace Commission. Day was the Chairman of this Commission
- Cushman Kellogg Davis - Senator from Minnesota
- Whitelaw Reid - Vice-Presidential nominee in the past, and a diplomat.
These were the representatives from United States. The delegation members from Spain were:
- Eugenio Montero Rios
- Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa - Urrutia
- Buenaventura de Abarzuza
- Rafael Cerero
- Jose de Garnica
- Jules Cambon (he was a French Diplomat)
Terms of the Treaty
- According to the Treaty, Cuba, which was under the control of Spain, was now declared to be an independent country. But the United States Congress made sure that the country came under their control.
- Puerto Rico and Guam were also ceded by Spain to the US.
- The major debate was about the islands of the Philippines. This was the largest overseas territory of Spain, and they did not want to give it up without a fight. Finally, the US offered Spain a compensation of 20 million USD for the Philippines.
- The other important terms mainly dealt with the release of the prisoners of war, allowing the entry of Spanish ships into Philippine ports, the property rights of Spaniards, as well as all the juridical proceedings that were pending in the countries under Spanish control.
- According to the Treaty of Paris 1898, Spaniards who had settled down in their overseas territories were allowed to remain there, and also retain their Spanish citizenship, provided they declared so in the court within 1 year after ratification of the treaty.
The Treaty formally let the US expand beyond its continental border, and people from various ethnic origins, such as Hispanic, Malay, etc., came under their political rule. Some consider this expansion as nothing but a territorial expansion of the US.