Philippine–American War

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
The war in the Philippines was an outgrowth of the Spanish-American War. Spain lost its colonies much more quickly than anyone had foreseen, and the Philippines was one of the colonies.

While the McKinley and Roosevelt Administrations did see the value of a port and coaling station in the Pacific, the main reasons, IMO, were to deny same to Germany, and then to end a civil war between Philippine factions.

There's a bio named In the Age of McKinley that I can't find the author of right now that discusses the Philippines in some detail and is a good source.
 

Lucius

Forum Staff
Jan 2007
16,363
Nebraska
The Phillipines were the gateway to the China market; that was the pertinent point.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,324
The US didn't care much about denying it the Germany. That might have been an issue for Britain in tacitly supporting the US. It was just imperialism. Spain was an easy target, and it possessions in the Caribbean and Pacific meshed well with US interests and strategic objectives. It wasn't common for not European countries to win independence at that time, and the US didn't go to war to free the Philippines.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,674
Philipines were definitely an Imperial asset for the U.S. to acquire from Spain during the Spanish American War. Being at war and knowing Spain could not defend Philipines was enough to get U.S. to take it.

The U.S. staying on to fight a very bloody civil war/war of anti-dependence was mostly the white man's burden and geopolitical considerations where if the U.S. left some other western power would move in and the Philippines were not considered civilized enough to govern themselves (without threatening U.S. interests either directly or by picking sides against U.S. interests if representing themselves.
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Betgo and Ichon, I'm going to need to see more than your opinions to concur with you, although I agree with Ichon's second paragraph.


By the way the book is Leech In the Days of McKinley
 
Feb 2018
227
Manila
I found this in an article online:

When next I realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps, I confess I did not know what to do with them. I sought
counsel from all sides-Democrats as well as Republicans-but got little help. I thought first we would take only Manila; then Luzon;
then other islands, perhaps, also.

I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on
my knees and prayed to Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way-I don't know how
it was, but it came:

(1) That we could not give them back to Spain-that would be cowardly and dishonorable;


(2) That we could not turn them over to France or Germany, our commercial rivals in the Orient-that would be bad business and discreditable;


(3) That we could not leave them to themselves-they were unfit for self-government, and they would soon have anarchy and misrule worse
then Spain's was; and


(4) That there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize
them and by God's grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow men for whom Christ also died.


And then I went to bed and went to sleep, and slept soundly, and the next morning I sent for the chief engineer of the War Department
(our map-maker), and I told him to put the Philippines on the map of the United States (pointing to a large map on the wall of his office),
and there they are and there they will stay while I am President!
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,324
(4) That there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize
them and by God's grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow men for whom Christ also died.
There you have your answer. We needed to Christianize the Philippines.
 
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