New-found Role as Protector
Defeat of Spain in 1898 left the United States with the responsibility of guiding the former Spanish colonies in the immediate aftermath. "Uncle Sam Watches Lady Liberty and the Spanish Colonies", "A Trifle Embarrassed" and "Uncle Sam Balances New Territories" all discuss the United States' government newfound roles as leader and protector of Cuba, Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.
Perhaps another role was that of provider, as "A Trifle Embarassed" implies some form of illegitimate fatherhood. This raises the question as to whether or not the United States' claim to the former Spanish colonies was legitimate or not. Violence ensued in the Philippines as the forces who had assisted the Americans there against the Spanish now fought against the United States, desiring complete independence for the Philippines. Now known as the Philippine-American War (1898-1902), the Philippines were not granted independence from the United States until July 4, 1946. Cuba was granted independence in 1902, and Puerto Rico would eventually be included as an American "Commonwealth", an action that fell short of incorporating the territory as American land, yet placed Puerto Rico under full American control.