"In the space of just a few years, from 1898 to 1901, the United States went from being a former outpost of the British Empire to an imperial power in its own right, claiming territory or influence over no fewer than five islands outside its territorial boundaries (Cuba, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines)." U.S. intervention in Puerto Rico and Cuba during the Spanish-American War established the United States as the dominant power in those countries, altering the paths of their respective independence movements. Critics accused the United States of acting in its own interests while ignoring the wishes of Cuban and Puerto Rican people.
This cartoon, published in a Boston newspaper, depicts Uncle Sam as a smug diner contemplating which
country to consume first, as United States president William McKinley waits on him.