The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War (Hispanic Division, Library of Congress)
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Teller and Platt Amendments

In April 1898 Senator Henry M. Teller (Colorado) proposed an amendment to the U.S. declaration of war against Spain which proclaimed that the United States would not establish permanent control over Cuba. It stated that the United States "hereby disclaims any disposition of intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said island except for pacification thereof, and asserts its determination, when that is accomplished, to leave the government and control of the island to its people." The Senate passed the amendment on April 19. True to the letter of the Teller Amendment, after Spanish troops left the island in 1898, the United States occupied Cuba until 1902.

The Teller Amendment was succeeded by the Platt Amendment introduced by Senator Orville Platt (R-Connecticut) in February 1901. It allowed the United States "the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty..." The Platt Amendment was finally abrogated on May 29, 1934.

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