The Spanish-American War was the conflict that ended Spain's ruling over the colonies in the Americas. The end of this war also allowed the United States to acquire territories in Latin America and the western Pacific Ocean.
The Spanish-American War began in February of 1895 with the struggle for independence for Cuba from Spain. The United States entered the war effort after the sinking of the battleship USS Maine in 1898.
The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. With this treaty, Spain receded its claim over Cuba, allowed Guam and Puerto Rico to become territories of the United States, and allowed the U.S. to purchase sovereignty over the Philippines.