*Party division totals are based on election day results.
The sinking of the battleship Maine in Cuba precipitated the Spanish–American War in 1898, which monopolized Congress’s attention during the 55th Congress (1897–1899). The Republican-controlled Congress quickly passed military preparedness legislation and declared support for Cuban independence. U.S. forces swiftly dispatched the Spanish navy and army. With the Senate’s approval, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and ceded a far-flung colonial empire to the U.S.—including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines—which Congress was now in charge of administering. Congress also annexed Hawaii and passed the highly protective Dingley Tariff.