A History of the American Control over the Philippines

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After the Spanish-American War the United States got a hold of many new territories and took over much of Spain's overseas holdings. Due to the hunger to expand their empire and the desire to tap over sea markets, the United States exerted control over Cuba, Germany, Austria, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. Ultimately meaning that the United States got its hands on a port located in the Pacific Ocean, granting the United States its first oversea empire. The Philippines turned their guns that were once pointed at the Spanish to the United States troops now taking control of their land.

Once a believer in the ideals of what Americans stood for with the Declaration of Independence, Emilio Aguinaldo was disappointed when we abandoned our morals and what we stood for and didn't recognize Filipinos' right to self-govern. As a nation that once rebelled against the English nation and formed our own nation, why couldn't we grant them the same chance? The United States is fighting to give them freedom, but the Filipinos are fighting for their freedom against us. (VOF, "Emilio Aguinaldo on American Imperialism in the Philippines")

It took 3 years and 63,000 soldiers for the United States to conquer full control of the island. Because of the way of life at the time in the United States, much of what was happening in the Philippines were atrocities and were racially motivated, including putting Filipinos in concentration camps, torturing prisoners, raping, and executing civilians. Many Soldiers didn't believe or even know what they were fighting for anymore and felt as if this war was revising history, the patriotism was wearing thin. (B.B., "U.S. Soldiers in the Philippines")

During this time in America, President McKinley recently gave his speech addressing what was happening in the Philippines and how we were granted the opportunity to have liberty and show them how they should be governed. Lewis H. Douglass, an African American citizen at the time, wrote about how he finds it hard to believe that a president who is aware of all the hate and prejudice that goes on in his own country cares at all any other people of dark skin that aren't even his people. African Americans are being lynched and discriminated against every day; meanwhile, Native Americans are being pushed out of their own homes. If the United States doesn't care about its own people, how about another country's people? He believes the United States expansion is just an extension of race hate, cruelty, barbarous lynching, and gross injustice of dark people. (BB, Douglass, "Black Opposition to McKinley")

Chief Joseph gave a speech at D.C. he talked about how he, his people, and other Native Americans were being forced to move to the reservations and how white men just came in and disrupted their way of life, but still, they saw the Native Americans as the ones that were animals. The Native Americans thought if they gave in and lived how they wanted to, they could live in people, but they were mistaken. All he wants is to be a free man and be able to do what he wants to be punished by the law, the same as if he was a white man. He wants all men to be equal and be treated the same. (B.B., Chief Joseph, "An Indian's View")

The United States took over the oversea holdings of the once proud Spanish empire, and the taste for a more powerful empire intensified, and our hunger for expansion grew. As some American citizens felt that American Imperialism was just an extension of the never-ending westward expansion and it was just our duty to spread our way of life around the world, others felt that we were just going against what we believed in and this expansion meant an expansion of racial, and some felt as if the United States is just being hypocritical because the U.S. isn't even trying to protect the rights of his own people.

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A History of the American Control Over the Philippines. (2023, Mar 08). Retrieved April 13, 2024 , from

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