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America's First Forgotten War: The Philippine-American War

Discussion in 'World History' started by El Justo, May 31, 2006.

  1. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    The purpose of this thread is to bring to light America's first true venture onto the world stage to other like-minded history buffs who like to explore lesser-known instances in history and also to shed some light on this topic as it is indeed never quite explained well enough in our history texts ;)

    i hope to post excerpts from this large document that i actually wrote as an undergrad thesis. i spent a little more than 13 months researching it. i flicked through the old school microfiesh at the Natl Archives in DC, searched through numerous first-hand military records, translated captured Filipino administrative papers from Spanish to English, and even received loner books directly from the Philippines. iow, lots and lots of primary resources. my profs were giddy when they read my bibliography ;)

    i have ommited the footnote sections from this portion but i will post them in the future when it is non-redundant.

    anyway, below is the introduction from a prospectus i had drafted early on...(w/ pics linked in)

    The American-Philippine War is a misunderstood entity. The history books have recorded the conflict as a sustained insurrection between an emerging international power and a fractured group of peoples seeking independence. There is, however, a larger picture that needs to be examined and that is to attempt to determine the causes of the breakdown that occurred between the Filipinos and the Americans.


    this was a famous image in late 1898 b/c it is reported that President McKinley could not even locate the Philippine Islands on a map :eek:

    The American-Philippine War was a war between the armed forces of the United States and the Philippines from 1899-1913. The majority of the fighting occurred during the years 1899-1902. The conflict is also known as The Philippine Insurrection though in recent years, it has become more commonly referred to as the American-Philippine War. Escalations between the two began in February of 1898 after the U.S. had purchased the Philippines from Spain at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War. The Filipinos, under Emilio Aguinaldo, had declared their formal independence from Spain in June of 1898. By August of that year, 11,000 additional American troops arrived to occupy the archipelago . This sets the stage for what most historians believe to be the first shots of the conflict when on February 4, 1899, an American soldier fired upon a Filipino soldier who was attempting to cross the bridge leading into the American occupied section of San Juan del Monte. The McKinley Administration declared that the incident was a product of a local insurgency and vowed to crush the opposition; an opposition that led by Emilio Aguinaldo.


    Emilio Aguinaldo as a young man. he came from a wealthy land owning family in the town of Kawit which is south east of Manila. the Spanish feared him and he proved to be quite elusive to the Americans.

    The raw data suggests that the United States lost 4,234 men and that another 2,818 were wounded in action during the American-Philippine War . Filipino casualty figures vary some but one source indicated that 20,000 military casualties occurred while an estimated 1,000,000 civilians lost their lives during the conflict . Zimmermann notes that at the highpoint of the conflict, three quarters of the entire American military was deployed in the Philippines . The numbers are staggering indeed yet one must ask them self: why had it come to this? Where did it all go wrong?



    painting by F. Reeves titled "I Would Rather Die at the Front" - it is a colourful depiction of Colonel J Franklin Bell's 36th Volunteer Infantry. it is interesting to note that the Volunteer army of the US at this time was nearly on par w/ the regular army. this was the case in the Philippines as well as in Cuba during the Spanish American War.

    ---TO BE CONT'D---
     
  2. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    The American-Philippine War is an excellent case study in the history of American nation building. The history books have recorded the conflict as a sustained insurrection between an emerging international power and a fractured group of peoples seeking independence. There is, however, a larger picture that needs to be examined, it requires us to recognize the primary actors both militarily and politically and examine how the application of their methodology and ideologies had an effect on the fight for the Philippines, the subsequent American occupation, the ensuing insurrection and finally, the restoration of civic infrastructure. Thus the objective of this thesis is to determine what can be learned from the successes and failures of the American occupation of the Philippines.

    The American-Philippine War was a war between the armed forces of the United States and the Philippines from 1899-1913. The majority of the fighting occurred during the years 1899-1902. I will confine the scope of my research to the first four years. The conflict is also known as The Philippine Insurrection though in recent years, it has become more commonly referred to as the American-Philippine War. Hostilities between the two began in February of 1899 after the U.S. had purchased the Philippines from Spain at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War. The Filipinos, under Emilio Aguinaldo, had declared their formal independence from Spain in June of 1898. By August of that year, 11,000 additional American troops arrived to occupy the archipelago. This sets the stage for what most historians believe to be the first shots of the conflict when on February 4, 1899, an American sentry fired upon a Filipino soldier who was attempting to cross a bridge leading into the section of San Juan del Monte in the American-occupied city of Manila. The McKinley Administration declared that the incident was a product of a local insurgency and vowed to crush the opposition, an opposition that was led by Emilio Aguinaldo.

    The raw data suggests that the United States lost 4,234 men and that another 2,818 were wounded in action during the American-Philippine War. Filipino casualty figures vary some but one source indicated that 20,000 military casualties occurred while an estimated 1,000,000 civilians lost their lives during the conflict. Zimmermann notes that at the highpoint of the conflict, three quarters of the entire American military was deployed in the Philippines. The numbers are staggering indeed yet one must ask him or herself: are there lessons to be learned from the American colonial experience in the Philippine Islands? What type of political issues did the McKinley and Roosevelt administrations deal with and more importantly, what was their response? Furthermore, what type of impact did the U.S. military have on the Islands and the overall pacification effort? Lastly, what was the identity of the enemy? What type of motives did they possess and finally, what does it mean to be unfit for self-government?

    The foundation of my research will be extracted from a wide selection of secondary and primary sources. Most of these books, journal articles and other works are a general assessment of the American – Philippine War; that is the authors take a broad approach to their research. Most include a timeline of events as to the lead-up to the Spanish American War, the Cuban expedition, the Battle of Manila Bay and the subsequent Filipino insurrection against the American occupation. All of these general works, however, are able to raise a variety of important issues that deviate from the standard era analysis such as American imperialism, manifest destiny, Social Darwinism and TR’s charge up San Juan Hill. Another group of sources I’ve found particularly attractive is the political surveys of such figures as William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Root and William Taft among others. Furthermore, I shall analyze President McKinley’s Peace Commission, Jacob Gould Schurman’s investigative commission, William Taft’s Second Philippine Commission, and the three prominent Supreme Court decisions of 1901. The bulk of my analysis will be an examination of U.S. military efforts of pacification in combination with their civic construction responsibilities. I have chosen to take a regionalized approach to examination for the reason that the results varied from one barrio or ciudad to the next. The final portion of the thesis consists primarily of Filipino scholarship which highlights issues such as the revolution against Spain, Philippine nationalism and most importantly, the motives and identity of Emilio Aguinaldo.

    footnotes for the above paragraph (not numbered though)
    ~ McKinley appointed five commissioners to broker the Treaty of Paris which effectively ended the Spanish-American War and subsequently ceded the Philippines to the U.S.
    ~ Warren Zimmermann, First Great Triumph How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002) 387. Schurman, of Cornell, is recommended by Admiral Dewey to undertake a non-partisan investigative committee regarding the civil and administrative progress of the American rebuilding effort on the archipelago. President McKinley obliged and this is generally regarded as the “First Philippines Commission”.
    ~ Zimmermann , 394. The author refers to these decisions as the “Insular Cases”. In them the Court found that the U.S. Constitution does not apply to any annexed territories and that these peoples weren’t afforded the rights of American citizens. Furthermore, it was officially established that it is the United States Congress’s authority to make such decisions.
    ~ The American military experiences throughout the Islands varied greatly in both pacification and civic construction. This will be followed up on further along in the essay. The words “barrio” and “ciudad” are Spanish for “town” or “neighborhood” and “city” respectively. This terminology is commonly used within the primary accounts of the American military.
    ~ See Richard Hofstadter, “Manifest Destiny and the Philippines.” In Daniel Aaron, ed., America in Crisis: Fourteen Crucial Episodes in American History, Brian McAllister Linn, The U.S. Army and the Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902, and Stanley Karnow, In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines.


    Lt Colonel Theodore Roosevelt on 1 July 1898. he is pictured along w/ his fellow 'Rough Riders'. note that this volunteer army Roosevelt was in charge of was composed of a wide swath of Americana. soldiers were drawn from states such as Arizona, New Mexico, Texas as well as Yale grads, New York and Philadelphia socialites, doctors, lawyers, farmers, and ranch hands. hence the name 'Rogh Riders'. Roosevelt actually resigned his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy just to lead this unit. :eek: i read several accounts where those close to him thought TR had gone batty. however, one source in particular (written by none other than TR's sister, Corrine), attributed Teddy's apparent thirst for war with a gargantuan sense of guilt from his father's paying off the draft board in NYC during the US Civil War. it was said that TR was never able to reconcile this fact.


    William McKinley, 25th President of the United States


    Statesman & Lawyer Elihu Root. he was the Secretary of War from 1899 until 1904. in 1905, he was Secretary of State. he also served 3 terms in Congress as a senator from NY (1909-1915).


    William Howard Taft, Head of the Philippine Commission, 27th President of the United States, and US Supreme Court Justice. a neat bit of trivia: Taft is the only US President to ever have served on the Supreme Court. according to many sources, a Supreme Court nomination was always Taft's career goal and it was said that he despised the Presidency.

    Warren Zimmermann’s First Great Triumph is the first of the secondary sources that I have immersed myself in. He takes a wide approach to the ascent of American power at the turn of the twentieth century. He analyzes the rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, Elihu Root, Alfred M. Thayer and John Hay and how each contributed to the aggressive American foreign policy during the McKinley Administration. Zimmermann is also able to glean out the imperial impulses and initiatives of the aforementioned as well as the military and antagonistic influences of the era. He devotes an entire chapter to the Filipino Insurrection and seems to rely on the works of Hofstadter, Karnow and Linn for the foundation of his arguments which indicate that a breakdown existed between the politicians, civic administrators, military officers and the soldiers who were responsible for carrying out the civic reconstruction. As a result of this, a massive regionalized struggle ensued against the American efforts to rebuild the Filipino infrastructure.

    America in Crisis is a compilation of essays in which Richard Hofstadter has contributed a discourse on the American expansionist impulses of the late nineteenth century. It is one of the first scholarly examinations of the influences of “public temper” and how it helped to play a critical role in McKinley’s presidential mandate. Moreover, Hofstadter surveys the unique unanimity that exists within McKinley’s administration and beyond; particularly, Roosevelt and Root and Senator Lodge. His sources range from letters and correspondence between Roosevelt, Root and Taft to magazine and newspaper articles and similar literature. He concludes in Manifest Destiny that the “jingoism” that existed among many Americans at the time was a bi-product of the “humanitarian and imperialistic sentiments” produced by the fluid political leadership and the “social reform idealism” generated out of the economic depression of the 1890s. However, the most significant message that Hofstadter sets forth is that this instance, the Americans in the Philippines, represented a colossal shift in American foreign policy.

    The third secondary source of major importance is Stanley Karnow’s In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines. It is a concise and specialized work in that in focuses entirely on the archipelago from the time of the Spanish discovery of the islands, through the governance and subsequent revolts in the 1890s and onto the American experiences on the Islands, through eventual independence in 1946 and even onto the electoral shenanigans of the late 1980s. Particular attention is paid to the regional differences among the Filipinos and the difficulties that Emilio Aguinaldo encountered in his attempts to sway the local favor. Karnow utilizes a variety of sources that include military papers, Schurman Commission and Second Philippines Commission papers as well as Filipino records. He also gives a scathing assessment of McKinley in that he was “weak” and “indecisive” with regard to the Philippines. His evidence suggests that the United States essentially failed in the Philippines; mainly because of the undercutting effects that the Insurrection had upon the reconstruction efforts by both Americans and Filipinos.

    The analysis I wish to undertake would not be complete without a political survey of its primary actors. In the Days of McKinley by Margaret Leech is as good a place to start as any other. Her thesis is that behind the “warm, benign, but impersonal façade” of President McKinley, there is a bigger picture; specifically, his sensitive and humane approach to foreign policy as well as his desire to secure the mandate of the citizens. She uses a multitude of primary sources in support of her hypothesis. The works of C.S. Olcott are used extensively as are the speeches and state papers of McKinley. Leech also makes several references to a few different Library of Congress manuscripts. She is able to deduce from this evidence that McKinley was a “good, dull man” that relied entirely too much upon his cabinet members and more critically, that he lacked a “backbone”. Despite this scathing assessment, the author is able to extract McKinley’s ideology regarding America’s first venture into the arena of nation building.
    The next American political figure I shall examine is Elihu Root. It will be shown how this man influenced and directed the U.S. military’s dual task of pacification and reconstruction in the Philippine Islands. As McKinley and Roosevelt’s Secretary of War, Root was faced with the monumental endeavor of planting democracy in an area of the world where, up until that point, had never been planted. There are two particular resources I have chosen for this examination. The first is Zimmermann’s First Great Triumph and the second is a fascinating and definitive book written by Philip C. Jessup entitled Elihu Root 1845-1909. The latter author wrote the book in a style which incorporated Root’s exact quotes and remembrances and there are large sections of the text that are exclusively Root’s remarks in response to the author’s questions. There is no doubt that the information obtained from this piece will offer a great deal of knowledge regarding Root’s political ideologies and it shall also offer a true glimpse into the political thought processes of a true American political pioneer.

    A review of Theodore Roosevelt’s political career is a necessity for a research project such as the one I plan to undertake. There is little doubt that the best place to start is with Edmund Morris’s Theodore Rex. It is a broad biographical essay that details Roosevelt’s rise into national politics. Morris devotes a significant portion of latter stages of the book to American imperialism and Roosevelt’s contributions to it. The author manages to use a huge range of sources to compile this extensive biography. Personal letters, articles and books penned by TR himself are all excruciatingly assessed. Edmund Morris is successful in depicting TR’s “fierce hunger for power”. Morris does not necessarily arrive at a particular conclusion in this biography but he does manage to portray Roosevelt’s commanding political presence. For that reason, I would venture to say that this piece is an indispensable resource for my research.

    One feature of my research will most certainly deal with the military aspects of the American-Philippine War. The American mobilization for war, specific battles, tactics, firearms, psychological warfare and the morale among the troops and officers should be taken into account. The American military also had a significant impact on the reconstruction processes in the Philippines in that they were directly responsible for restoring the civic infrastructure of the occupied areas. Graham A. Cosmas declares in From Order to Chaos that the American mobilization for war in the Philippines was characterized by “mismanagement and confusion” and that the inefficiencies of the War Department played a crucial role on the archipelago. His sources are solid: official War Department papers and New York Times articles are sprinkled throughout the footnotes. However, despite these perceived shortcomings, the United States managed to safely transport their armed forces a half a world away. While there were internal struggles that may have had somewhat of a detrimental effect , the end result was that the United States military was clearly in un-chartered waters. I will attempt to flesh out both the successes and failures of the U.S. military’s role in the Philippines during 1899-1901.

    footnotes for the above paragraph (not numbered though)
    ~ The U.S. Army was wholly responsible for installing and maintaining the state of the municipal and in some cases provincial infrastructures. Root’s directive to his generals and subordinates was to branch out to the provincial levels only after the municipalities were completely pacified and civil governance was firmly in place. This remained the Army’s directive until the Second Philippine Commission, under William H. Taft, was transferred the civic responsibilities on July 4, 1901. These points are elaborated on further along in the essay.
    ~ It is noted in several relative sources that friction between the Army and Navy existed from the beginning in the Philippines. Disputes over who was to land troops first, indiscriminate naval bombardments and officers refusing to acknowledge superior orders were among the litany of accusations. This will also be discussed in further detail in a later chapter.

    Brian McAllister Linn takes sharp focus in Provincial Pacification in the Philippines, 1900-1901. It is a localized study of the regions of the northern island of Luzon and how the American military personnel dealt with the shift from the conventional to guerilla military tactics employed by the resistance. His authorities are stunning. Official dispatches from generals MacArthur and Young and even Emilio Aguinaldo are cited. Linn is able to conclude from his evidence that the American military’s transition from traditional to counter-insurgency measures was both innovative and experimental. Above all else, this analysis will certainly deliver a good portion of the evidence for this thesis.
    The Philippine War 1899-1902 is a fantastic secondary source also written by Brian McAllister Linn. It is what the author describes as “a history of the military operations in the Philippine archipelago between 4 February 1899 and 4 July 1902.” Professor Linn takes an approach that suggests that the American military experiences in the Philippines during the prescribed time frame was a “far more complex and challenging phenomenon” than what had been earlier believed and discussed among historians. He does not, however, take a revisionist stance. Instead, he highlights the varying degrees of obstacles that the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy faced during the conflict. A regional approach is taken and the author uses an impressive array of primary sources to support his hypothesis. I will rely heavily on these accounts to formulate the examination of the Army’s efforts to pacify and reconstruct.

    The second source I chose for my survey of the American military efforts in the Philippines is a wonderful primary source written by Brig. Gen. James Parker titled The Old Army Memories, 1872-1918. James “Galloping Jim” Parker was a Captain in Troop B of the 4th Cavalry of the United States Army at the time of the conflict. The book encompasses Parker’s entire military career that ranged from the Plains Wars with the Native Americans, the hunt for Geronimo, the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, his service as Adjutant Gen., and the outbreak of the Great War. It was in the Philippines that Parker distinguished himself as a master organizer and leader. Particular emphasis is paid to his own efforts of pacification and subsequent civil reconstruction. I consider this an invaluable resource because of this fact.

    The final chapter of this essay will examine the composition of the Philippine resistance, most notably Emilio Aguinldo and the fledgling Philippine Republic. The goal is to explore the political, social and revolutionary identities of the Philippine peoples in their struggles versus Spanish colonial governance. The theme will be a brief study of Philippine nationalism in the late nineteenth century with a particular emphasis on Emilio Aguinaldo. The true goal will be to examine the identity of the Philippine insurrectos, resistors and those who demanded complete independence in order to better understand both sides of this story.

    The first source in use is Karnow’s In Our Image. He devotes an entire chapter to the revolutionary movements in the Islands with specific emphasis put on the relations between a young Emilio Aguinaldo, the rebel General, Andrés Bonifacio and his formation of the clandestine and secret Filipino revolutionary group, the Katipunan. This group will be shown to have had a tremendous impact on not only the rebellion against Spain but against the United States as well. The next source is written by Carlos Quirino and it is titled The Young Aguinaldo From Kawit to Biyaak-na-bato. It is mainly a biographical account of Aguinaldo during the revolution against Spain. However, the author goes into great detail about the young Aguinaldo’s rise to national prominence and his political and nationalistic ideas are put forward. The next source under examination is Aguinaldo and the Revolution of 1896, A Documentary History by Pedro S. de Achútegui and Miguel A. Bernad. It is unique in the fact that the entire book is dedicated to an individual analysis of one hundred fifty-six primary sources relative to the revolution against Spain. These sources include items such as a blank form for an oath into the Katipunan, circulars posted by the Spanish officials in towns and cites throughout the Islands, and general correspondence transmitted between both the Filipino revolutionaries and the Spanish officials. Interestingly enough, many of the documents under review are copied and appear at the end of the book. In the Days of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo by Eufronio A. Alip is the next source used for this multi-source examination. The subtitle on the book is “A Study of the Life and Times of a Great Military Leader, Statesman, and Patriot Who Founded the First Republic in Asia.” Accordingly, it is a survey of Aguinaldo’s Republic and how they operated. The portion this section seeks to uncover is the diplomacy and constitutional composition of the Republic. The fifth source in use for this particular examination is The Philippine Insurrection Against the United States; A Compilation of Documents with Notes and Introduction, Volume II May 19, 1898 to July 4, 1902 by U.S. Army Capt. John R.M. Taylor. It is one in a series of seven books in which Taylor wrote under the orders of Gen. MacArthur. It is an interpretive analysis of the thousands of documents captured by American forces in the Islands from 1899 to 1906. Although it’s considered a “biased account” by Filipino standards, there are multitudes of government statistics for Aguinaldo’s fledgling Philippine Republic. It is reasonable to consider that a closer examination of these stats could provide a good indicator on the fledgling Republic’s capacity to govern.
    Finally, I’ve once again chosen to look at another source written by Brian McAllister Linn in The U.S. Army and the Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902. Linn examines the political questions that surrounded the Philippine-American War. He declares that the struggle between the U.S. Army and Emilio Aguinaldo’s forces weren’t necessarily one between militaries but one between governments. The author repeatedly refers to the Philippine independence of 1898 as the point of demarcation in his survey. It examines Aguinaldo’s government and Linn declares that the United States is engaged in the suppression of a formally declared state. Furthermore, he researches the demise of the Filipino army from a standing fighting force to its transformation into a less effective guerilla force. Among his multiple resources are the American military and administrative papers from four particular military districts on the island of Luzon and official Philippine Republic government documents. Linn concludes that his evidence suggests that the United States government failed to take into account the extent of the Filipino reluctance to assimilate with much of the blame falling on McKinley’s shoulders.

    My research on the American-Philippine War will differ from prior scholarship in that I will seek to intertwine the political and military aspects of the conflict as well as the identities of the Filipino insurgents. Most, if not all, of the sources used for this project did not possess all of the same characteristics as those I wish to put forward; specifically, the three-pronged examination of the political, military and the social identities of the Filipino peoples. Another area that I believe sets my research apart from previous scholarship is an examination of the Filipino groups who opposed the Spanish just prior to the American intervention; groups such as Katipunan and La Liga Filipina. How did these opposition groups operate? What were their aims? To what extremes did they go to in order to attain their aims? I do not wish to form any significant portion of my theses with such an examination. I do, however, want to gain a foundation for the Filipino resistance.

    The American evidence that I intend to put forth will not be anything that hasn’t already been scrutinized. It will contain the well-chronicled data regarding the principle American political actors during the American-Philippine War including McKinley, Roosevelt, Root, and Taft among others. The military side of things during the war will also be explored with a look into the Filipino experiences of Dewey, MacArthur, Chaffee, Bell, Otis, Smith and Funston. I will also take into account the independent commissions that operated in the Philippines during the Insurgency. Furthermore, I will attempt to determine the significances of the 1901 Supreme Court decisions which, from a judicial standpoint, helped form the base of American foreign policy at the turn of the twentieth century.

    Thus the foundation of my research will revolve around three distinct features: the motives and inspiration of the principal American political actors between 1898-1902, the successes and failures of the U.S. military’s arduous, dual task of pacification and civic reconstruction and finally, the Philippine perspective; all in an effort to better understand what the costs of this ‘duty’ of nation building shall extract in American blood, treasure and political prestige. The answers to these questions are certainly not cut-and-dry yet they could potentially raise a multitude of issues that all Americans ought to be aware of as we forge ahead into the twenty-first century.


    ~ Brian McAllister Linn, The U.S. Army and the Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902, (Lawrence: Kansas University Press, 2000) 30. Linn uses the instance of the formal Filipino declaration of independence from Spain made on June 12, 1898 and the subsequent drafting of the Filipino Constitution on January 20, 1899 as the foundation of his arguments.
    ~ “Katipunan”: The Katipunan was a secret society founded in the Philippines by Andres Bonifacio aimed towards liberating the country from the Spanish colonizers. The name Katipunan is actually a shorter version of the official name, which is in Tagalog: Kataastaasang, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (roughly translated as The Highest and Most Respected Society of the Sons and Daughters of the Land). La Liga Filipina was its predecessor.


    ---TO BE CONT'D---
     
  3. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    El Justo, I seem to recall you making an excellent scenario in the way of this war/conflict/insurrection/thing. True?

    I look foward to reading more of this, I need to brush up on my Phillipine American War history.
     
  4. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    yes, i did :)

    this is a very intersting time in US history as it was the first real world stage for the Yanks. ;)
     
  5. Dann

    Dann Green bug

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    Eagerly awaiting the next installment. :clap:

    I'm from the Philippines and thus very interested. Willing to help too if needed.

    What happened there was initially very brutal it is true, but the Americans eventually did such a successful hearts and minds campaign that Filipinos (most of them at least) would 1) stay loyal during World War 2, and 2) feel no animosity towards the USA unlike other ertswhile colonies who demonize their former colonial masters.

    Perhaps there could be some lessons learned that could apply to today's situation as well, foremost being that people today expect too much, too soon. Three years is far too short for any results. The American pacification and transformation of the Philippines took decades! But it worked!
     
  6. Spartan117

    Spartan117 Immortal

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    honestly i was just first reading about this a couple of days ago and was surprised i never heard of it before..shucks:sad:
     
  7. Adler17

    Adler17 Prussian Feldmarschall

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    Great topic. I eagerly await your article. However if you have foot notes you should mark this in your text with (1), (2) or in another way.

    Adler
     
  8. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    It may have worked, but the real question is - what was the point in the first place, and was any of this justified? The US basically bought a subject people from another imperial power, ignoring the fact that the subject people were fed up being subject to foreigners at all; they then fought a brutal and aggressive war to impose their rule over them. How on earth did the US justify this at the time, and how do modern apologists for the history of US foreign policy justify it now?
     
  9. Bugfatty300

    Bugfatty300 Buddha Squirrel

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    The same justification that the Europeans were using to brutally colonize Africa and other places. They were bringing civilization to poor backwards people.

    "Civilize em with a Krag" was a popular saying during the Filipino-American War.
     
  10. 7ronin

    7ronin 海軍少佐

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    @ Dann - What is it they say about the history of the Philippines - Five hundred years of Spanish Catholicism and fifty years of Hollywood? There certainly is a very strong and warm bond between the two countries especially since so many Philippinos have ended up living here.

    @ Plotinus - I don't think there are any modern historical apologists. All of the recent works on the subject I have read paint an unpleasant picture. With regard to more recent events, there seems to be mostly silence about American support for the brutal and corrupt Marcos regime.

    @El J - Great article!

    If I may point out one thing to your readers. The General MacArthur mentioned is General Arthur MacArthur. Arthur MacArthur was a Civil War veteran and the father of Douglas MacArthur, the general of World War II and Korean War fame.
     
  11. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    thank you Dann and eveyone else :)

    i hope that i've been able to properly relay some of this info in a non-partisan fashion.

    i will highlight specific pacification measures in later posts.

    anyhow, few people outside of the P.I. realize that Emilio Aguinaldo and his band of revolutionaries (they were not insurrectionists imo b/c of the 'govt v. govt' theory i mentioned earlier on in one of the posts) were the frist Asians to form a nation (the short lived Republic of the Philippines). they were also the first Asian peoples to overthrow their colonial oppressors (the Spanish who were so paranoid of a Philippine repraisal during crack-downs that they begged the Americans to safeguard all Spanish and Church property in the early days of the American arrival [ie shortly after the first fall of Manila - mor eont hat later])

    as for why the US took possession of the islands? this will also be highlighted. however, it should be noted on the record that Root, Bell, Taft, and others took a page directly out of the British book of imperial conquest. TR and Root in particular who fond admirerers of the British Empire.

    in a nutshell:
    the US 'bought' the islands for a mere $20M. had the Yanks not purchased them, the Brits were no. 2 in line and the Germans were sniffing around as well. this is all according to my primary sources. again, i'll get into this w/ more specificity later on.

    it should be clarified from the outset that the Philippine peoples did not regard the Americans the same as they did other colonial powers of the time. the US Constitution and the democratic principles of the US were foundations for many of the short-lived Philippine Republic. the Filipinos absolutelt loathed the Spanish and the oprressive Catholic friars in the P.I. the latter was a land-owning giant in the islands. also note that prior to the escalation between the Filipinos and the Yanks, Aguinaldo received 'promises' --wink-- from upper level American officers & diplomats that the Philippine peoples would not be 'under the thumb' of the Americans. Admiral Dewey himself is said to have fostered cordial relations w/ Aguinaldo. however, in the end, Aguinaldo felt decieved once the true intentions of the Americans was revealed (and rightly so imo). this breakdown in the American chain of command would prove to be quite disaterous.

    a great deal can be learned from the American experiences in the P.I; especially w/ what has happened in Iraq. specifically, armed resistance, pacification, hearts & minds, civic reconstruction, insurgencies, counter-insurgencies, US public backlash, and the age old question of "when are you leaving"?

    one thing Dann:
    i'm curious to know how Aguinaldo is regarded in the P.I today. is he considered a patriot? i would hope that he is b/c he definitely wasn't the scoundrel that the Yanks made him out to be at the time. :(
     
  12. 7ronin

    7ronin 海軍少佐

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    Aguinaldo is regarded as a hero. They've placed him on the five peso banknote.
     
  13. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Not that there's anything inconsistent about being a patriot and a scoundrel (some of us would consider them much the same thing, but that's a discussion for another thread).

    There was a thread recently in which someone was insisting - contrary to all counter-examples given by me and others - that the US' foreign policy has always and at all times been enlightened and concerned only with people's welfare, and that the US has never fought a war of aggression. I mentioned the war in the Philippines and the poster simply insisted that that, too, was neither aggressive nor brutal. I don't remember exactly what the reasoning was, but it was obviously spurious. Very strange - I can sort of understand why someone might be a religious fundamentalist, but a nationalist fundamentalist? A new one to me.
     
  14. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    rightousness only goes so far i'm afraid :p

    the US had definitely intertwined 'enlightenment' and 'civilization' into the Philippine conquest. our fat little squirrel friend duly noted that ;) however, the brutality in which it was undertaken is legendary i'm afraid. otoh, American brutality in the P.I. can be attributed to 2 main themes: retribution and racism

    i'll get into that more when i am able to post additional passages.

    also, Adler, i am unable to number the footnotes as per the original document. specifically, it does not transfer when i C&P it. anyhow, i list only the relevant footnotes. all the others are for specific citations while the ones i post here in the thread actually supplement or directly address any above referenced paragraph.
     
  15. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    American troops in the P.I. were often the targets of sneak attacks, ambushes, and other sorts of treachery associated w/ guerilla warfare. considering this, it is not really out of line to suggest that retribution is a common human instinct. don't get me wrong though...the American attrocities are completely unexcusable. but one can sort of understand why they even occurred in the first place.

    American racism is an awful black eye on my country's history and it unfortunately reared its ugly head in the P.I. even Taft himself referred to the Filipinos as "our little brown brothers". and soldiers were terribly brutal towards the Filipino peoples. i recall reading accounts of soldiers who said that they considered the indigenous peoples as "savages" and that they were even below African Americans :rolleyes: this was not a blanket stereotype though. some officers and soldiers were incredibly sympathetic. however, due to the era, Social Darwinism, and segregation in the US at the time, many US troops harboured a great amount of prejudice and they didn't hide it either.
     
  16. Gallienus

    Gallienus Chieftain

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    El Justo, I found this thread fascinating and I am looking forward to your next instalment.

    I was particularly struck by your comment about some of the key American players being inspired by the British Empire since we were also fighting a major colonial war at the time, against the descendants of Dutch colonists in South Africa. What similarities and differences do you see between the objectives and military strategies of the British in South Africa and the Americans in the Phillipines?
     
  17. Adler17

    Adler17 Prussian Feldmarschall

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    I have to add here that in this time the US were nearly at war with Germany. The so called Manila crise nearly lead to war. Is this chapter also included, El J?

    Adler
     
  18. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    thank you Gallienus.

    yes, the Second Boer War and the Philippine-American War were fought at around the same time. i am very much a novice w/ regard to the Boer Wars though. however, my first thought is that the Afrikaaners had much more of a military capacity than the Filipinos. i mean, Aguinaldo and his soldiers were constructing bamboo artillery pieces and sending men out to a deserted battlefield to retrieve empty shell casings! iirc, the Boers were able to push the Brits back a few times during that war. however, the turining point in the Philippine-American War came when the Filipinos were no longer able to engage the Yanks in conventional warfare and thus relied on guerilla tactics which proved to be much more successful (at least compared to the slaughter of open combat vs the Americans).

    as for the objectives:
    the Americans sought to extend their control over the entire archipelago. now, this seems simple enough. however, considering that there's over 7 thousand islands in the Philippine Archipelago, it is quite a daunting task to control it in its entirety. there were some regions which capitulated immeadiately (a few regions on the island of Negros). this was the exception rahter than the rule though. also, lots of people were jsut happy to get rid of the Spanish and the oppressive friars and as a result, they welcomed the Americans w/ open arms (until, of course, it became clear that independence was not in the offing).

    the Filipinos (Aguinaldo primarily) sought to crystalize the government of the Philippine Republic. they tried desperately to get the population to side w/ them. the issue of taxation was huge for the fledling Republic. they had no cash...nothing really at all. as such, they attempted to set up administrative regions for the express purpose of levying taxes on the Filipinos. i devoted the entire final chapter to this and it'll go into great detail how this was executed (or more precisiely, how it wasn't). furthermore, Aguinaldo sort of force-fed a constitution in early 1899. he also sought to strengthen the executive branch of the government (far beyond what is generally accepted). i'll also highlight this feature as well.

    thanks for the interest, too. i really enjoy posting this stuff. brings back some good memories (from school - that is) :)
     
  19. El Justo

    El Justo Deity

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    yes, i touch on this briefly. it is naval records and Peace Commission documents were i found that the US and Germany were at odds over who was to receive the islands at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War.

    also, i should note that the Japanese were also sniffing around at this time as were the Russians as they highly desired a warm water port(s) w/ access to the Pacific.
     
  20. Dann

    Dann Green bug

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    Three hundred years ++. ;)
    A hero all right, but a flawed one. Infighting was rife within the fledgling Philippine Republic, sometimes ending in assasination. Some people suspect that Aguinaldo, or at least his faction, had a hand in Andres Bonifacio's death, but the evidence is inconclusive.

    Bonifacio was the pioneer and the peasants' hero. The "masa" guy as opposed to Aguinaldo's illustrado background. Unfortunately he was also a poor field tactician. About the only victory he had was the start of the uprising itself where his band raided an armory. He would slowly lose favor in the power struggles as his lack of real battle ability (aside from being a good underground organizer) became more and more apparent. But he was THE founder of the revolution. And chafed at being outmanuevered by someone who came later. Eventually things came to a head and someone decided that his death would be a good thing... :(

    As for Aguinaldo, the feeling is that though the fates were not kind to him, he himself had some questionable moments. In a state of relative advantage vis-a-vis the Spanish he still accepted a peace deal and voluntarily went into exile in Hongkong, only to return with guns blazing in front of the Americans. Outgunned and outclassed while fighting the Americans, he chose to surrender and cooperate while some of his generals (like Gen. Sakay) went on to fight to the death as guerillas. I think the few Filipinos who have an inkling of history (most of our youth couldn't care less about the subject :( ) hold in higher esteem other generals of the era, like Antonio Luna or Gregorio del Pilar.
     

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