By far, the most notable aspect of the battle was that, as a result of this battle, the United States became a recognized world power overnight. The U.S. Navy had been a subject of derision internationally for years. The United States had begun to change that with the advent of its new steel navy, but, in a time when a country's military was rated according to the strength of its navy, this was the first time that the ability of both the U.S. warships and their well-trained crews were shown to be an important world force.
OBJECTIVES OF THE COMBATANTS
The objective of the American forces was to attack, and hopefully destroy, the Spanish forces in the Pacific. This would protect the American Pacific coast, and keep the Spanish forces in Cuba from being reinforced.
The main objectives of the Spaniards were to defend the Philippine outpost of the Spanish Empire against the American forces, save the honor of the nation by fighting an honorable fight, and allow as many of its crewmen to survive as possible. The thought of actually defeating the American Asiatic Squadron with the Spanish forces available was not considered a realistic objective.