Before its death, slavery already laid the foundation for American capitalism. The United States expanded westward and finally reached the Pacific Ocean. It brought states like California into its fold and killed large swaths of Native Americans in the process. As a young empire, the United States was looking for opportunities to expand its global reach and control vital markets and resources. The Spanish-American War of 1898 brought such an opportunity, which is where the story of Guantánamo Bay prison begins.