In 1898 Spain lost the last colonial possessions of its old Empire: Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, the Marianas, Carolines and Palau Islands. Why did it happen? It could be argued that a mistaken colonial policy and questionable economic measures pushed the colonies away from the metropolis, though not vice versa. The importance of the nationalist movements in Cuba, in the Philippines and in ... [Show full abstract] Ponape could also be remarked upon. These interlinking problems would probably have ulimately led to the independence of the colonies, but this would have happened in another way and at another time, without outside intervention and with less traumatic results for Spanish society and for the islands’ population. If the loss of the colonies occurred precisely in 1898 it was because in that year the United States decided to intervene in the colonial problems of Spain for political, economic, strategic and international reasons.