Should The Us Annexed The Philippines Essay


The opposition to the anti-imperialist faction held a view much like the early stated ends- justifies-the-means perspective. Perhaps a very satisfactory summation of the view of the pro-annexation faction might be expressed in a speech from a candidate who ran for the U.S. Senate, AlbertJ. Beveridge, in the election in Indiana, delivered on September 16, 1898:

“The opposition tells us that we ought not to govern a people without their consent. I answer,the rule…that all just government derives its authority from the consent of the governe

d, applies only tothose who are capable of self-government. We govern the Indians without their consent, we govern our

territories without their consent, we govern our children without their consent…Would not he people of 

the Philippines prefer the just, human, civilizing government of this Republic to the savage, bloody

Spanish rule…from which we have rescued them?” (Document B).

While the senator was boundlessly and incredibly insultingly condescending and patronizing towards thepeople of the Philippines (comparing them to children?), the point is still well expressed. The Philippinesat the time was no non-violent, stable-

economy’d, democratic republic. They were dying of diseases

that any competent medical care could take care of, crimes such as slavery and headhunting wererampant, and there were many places that were separated from the advents of the technology of theera. Could one reasonably say they were capable of competent self-governance or a stable government?According to many, certainly not, including President McKinley (Document C).One of the advantages of making judgments on historical decisions based on their repercussionsis that, obviously, there is access to definite information concerning the repercussions. And with thatcomes also information to much more context of the time than may be afforded by simple opinionsexpressed in speech in a period where an event may just be in its incubation period. The annexation of the Philippines did come with a three year guerrilla war managed by the natives, this is certainly true,and acts of varying atrocity were committed by the occupying U.S. army, such is also true, to afrightening degree (the population of the Philippines decreased by over one million by the aftermath of the war); despite all that, however, by 1900, there was an observance of the original purpose of the

annexation. This wasn’t to permanently absorb the Philippines into the United States, there was never

any such intention. It was to


the Philippines, apparently forcibly if need be, for self-rule.In 1900 the Taft commission was sent to the Philippines, by 1901 William Taft was inauguratedas the Civil Governor of the Philippines, and by 1902 the military rule was removed, putting fullexecutive power to Taft, the then first Governor-General of the Philippines. It was over the next fewdecades that administrative power was slowly delegated more and more to the Philippines. In thebeginning, the American government was very reluctant to allocate any administrative strength to theFilipinos, but in 1907, the first elected Philippine Assembly was formed with an assigned PhilippineCommission as higher legislature. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson implemented legislature that would lead toPhilippine independence. In 1916, the Jones Act instituted a Philippine Senate and guaranteed eventualindependence.The Philippines increasing autonomy were not the only things that were changing inside thecountry. Foreign trade increased from sixty-two million pesos (with thirteen percent as trade with the

Should The United States Have Annexed the Philippines?

In 1898 the Americans landed in the Philippines. It was unclear if they were there to occupy or liberate the Filipinos. America chased out the Spanish who had dominated the Philippines with "reeking hands" for centuries. Filipino general Emilio Aguinaldo expected to march into Manila hand-in-hand with the U.S. troops. When the Americans would not allow this, Aguinaldo felt betrayed. So the question came to hand, what were the Americans going to do with the Philippines? Ultimately they decided to annex the Philippines, and many questioned if this was a fair decision. (Background Essay)

I believe that the Americans made the right decision by annexing the Philippines. The Filipinos were incapable of self-government. Many people argued, that "no man is good enough to govern another man without the other's consent. When the white man governs himself, that is self-government, but when he governs himself and also govern another man, that is more than self-government. That is despotism(rule by tyrant.) -Abraham Lincoln But the United States governed many other people who were incapable of self-government without their consent. For example, The Indians, their own territories, even their own children. Because it is for their own well being. (Documents B and C)

Other colonizing countries had their eyes on the Philippines. Just waiting for the opportunity to pounce on them. If it were not for the Americans annexing the Philippines after freeing them from the Spanish, they would have fell at the guns of Germany, England, or Japan. The Filipinos would have been in the same situation they were just removed from. In many ways the U.S. was only looking in the best interest of the Philippines.(Documents B and C)

The U.S. felt as if the situation was all God's plan. That God guided them to the Philippines. And it was now their duty to


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