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Eng Course- THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR OF 1898- Download Free PDF





When Spain declared war against the United States in April of 1898, Prime
Minister Sagasta justified his decisión by saying: "The government has done no more than
foUow the imperious current of opinión." Similarly Senator Lodge affirmed: "It was this
public sentiment that drove Congress forward to meet the popular will, which members
and Senators very well knew could be fulfiUed by war and in no other way." '
These statements immediately pose problems of grave and permanent historical
importance concerning the relationship between public opinión and political decisions,
the ways and means by which public opinión is formed and makes itself heard, the role
of poUtical leadership in democratic regimes, and the ways in which the ¡dea of popular
pressure is used by politicians and historians alike to explain or justify government
actions.

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