Fitz W. Guerin, a former Union soldier and later a celebrated St. Louis–based photographer, took this “tableau” photograph in 1898 depicting a Union and Confederate soldier shaking hands while a young girl, identified as “Cuba,” stands behind them and shows her broken chain. Titled “Cuba Libre,” this photograph was one of many visual representations that celebrated the Spanish-American War as a conflict that not only reconciled former enemies but also continued the Civil War struggle of “emancipation” and even made Confederates contributors to that effort. Notably, the soldiers now helped liberate a young white girl, the personification of Cuba, instead of African American slaves.
“Troubles which May Follow an Imperialist Policy,” Anti-imperialist cartoon portraying Filipinos as savages that could undermine the United States if we took the islands as a colony, 1898
Cuban flag hosted over Morro Castle, marking official end of U.S. occupation, May 20, 1902.
American soldiers searching man during American occupation of Veracruz, Mexico, 1914.
Frederic Remington image for William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers of Spanish soldiers strip searching a female American tourist in Cuba, looking for secret messages to the Cuban rebels, 1898. These images showing savage Spaniards violating American women or doing terrible things to childlike Cubans were key parts of the propagandistic buildup to the Spanish-American War.
Pro-imperialism cartoon, 1898
Anti-imperialist cartoon showing President William McKinley thinking about American expansion while ignoring racial violence at home. Literary Digest, November 26, 1898