The loss of the last Spanish colonies in America and Asia was a consequence of the Spanish American War, a conflict which meant the end of an empire (Spain) and the rise of another one (the USA). This war had an important reflection on newspapers. Experts consider the Spanish-American War to be the first "media war". This conflict was widely covered by the USA newspapers. The press barons Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, had an important role in the development of the conflict. The way they presented the news contributed to inflame the public opinion in the USA and created the propitious conditions for war. Their newspapers, The New York World and The New York Journal, competed in sensationalism and are considered to be some of the first examples of yellow journalism.
Here you have some examples:
Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst dressed as the Yellow Kid, preparing war:
Cuba as a suffering mother
President McKinley as a coward
President McKinley trying to contain war pressure:
Remember the Maine
The Spanish brute:
Uncle Sam versus the Spanish matador:
Uncle Sam taking the Spanish bull by the horns
Alphonse of Bourbon, future Alphonse XIII, offering the peace cigarette to Uncle Sam
President McKinley offering Uncle Sam different "dishes"
Uncle Sam Fishing
Uncle Sam balancing his new possessions
The bald eagle extending its wings over the new empire:
Anti-Imperialist cartoon, criticizing the new responsibilities acquired after the war:
Before and after
In Spain the war and its consequences caused a strong impact on the population. The cartoons of that period offer the possibility of knowing the different opinions about the conflict in the country and the evolution of the public opinion: the initial nationalist exaltation of the official dynastic newspapers, the criticism of the opposition parties (the republicans considered the war to be an imperialist conflict and a slaughter for the popular classes), the resignation after the defeat and the search for responsibilities.
General Weyler, in charge of repressing the Cuban insurrection. The republican Catalan magazine
La Campana de Gràcia criticized his incompetence
General Weyler riding a snail. The campaign in Cuba advancing slowly.
The USA sugarcane union feeding the pig of the Cuban insurrection:
Cuba represented as a pig, feeding the rebels:
Cuba is going to get lost, La Campana de Gràcia:
Uncle Sam-Herod asking the Cuban rebels what to do with Spain-Jesuschrist. This cartoon was published on Madrid Cómico
Uncle Sam´s ambition:
Christopher Columbus complaining about what the Spaniards did with his legacy:
The signature of Peace of Paris, where Spain lost its colonial empire
The cartoon above reflects the missionaries coming back to Spain after the loss of the Philippines. The cartoon shows the contrast between the need for regeneration of the country and the origin of the repatriated (members of the Church and representatives of tradition and backwardness).
Banquet at the County Tennis Court, Cu-cut:
This last cartoon created a strong controversy. It was published on November 1905 in the Catalan satirical magazine Cu-cut! It criticized the role of the Spanish Army in the loss of the colonies. The military considered the cartoon very offensive and a group of them attacked the offices of the Cu-Cut and La Veu de Catalunya, another Catalan newspaper. King Alphonse XIII refused to punish the military men who had attacked the newspapers. As a result of this, Eugenio Montero Ríos, the prime minister, resigned. The new prime minister, Segismundo Moret, promoted the approval of the Law of Jurisdiction, which gave to the Army the power of judging crimes related with the flag, the nation and the honour of the military. This law limited the freedom of the press.