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McKinley’s Agreements and Treaties

As agreed in Washington, the Peace Commission met in Paris on October 1, 1898, and on December 10 signed a new Treaty of Paris. By this treaty, Spain gave up all her rights in Cuba, and ceded Puerto Rico and the Philippines to the United States, which in turn was to pay Spain $20,000,000.

It is said that the Spanish–American War cost us about two hundred million dollars and three thousand lives, while it cost Spain nearly five times as much. Besides adding to our territory, the war put an end to all jealousy between the North and the South, for old Union and Confederate soldiers, and their sons, now fought side by side under the same flag.

Many of the inhabitants of the islands won from Spain are supposed to be in favor of annexation to the United States. But whether they will adapt themselves to our rule, and become good American citizens, time alone can tell.

Since August 12, 1898, the Hawaiian Islands have belonged to the United States of America.

They are a group of eight large and a few small islands in the Pacific Ocean, about two thousand miles from San Francisco.

We know very little about the early history of these islands, which were already inhabited by the gentle Kanakas when the Spaniards visited them in the sixteenth century. About two hundred years later, in 1778, Captain Cook, an English navigator, landed there, naming the whole group Sandwich Islands in honor of the Earl of Sandwich. The natives, however, went on calling them the Hawaiian Islands, after Hawaii, the largest of the group, and it is by this name that they are best known.

The natives worshiped Captain Cook as a god, and treated him so well that he went back there the following winter. But this time the Hawaiians were not so glad to see him, for his men had behaved very badly during their first sojourn. While repairing his ships, Captain Cook missed some tools, and knowing they had been stolen by the natives, he tried to seize one of their chiefs and hold him a prisoner until his property was returned. In the midst of the fight which this attempt stirred up, Captain Cook was separated from his men, who escaped when they saw he had been killed. He was buried on the island, where a monument has been erected over his remains.