American Imperialism and the Colonization of the Philippines

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American Imperialism and the Colonization of the Philippines

The irony of the 1898 Spanish-American war was that Americans fought partly to aid Cubans in the fight for Cuban sovereignty, and the United States ended up colonizing some territories they won from Spain, like the Philippines. Despite America’s previous claims of only supporting independence and democracy, the United States became an imperialist power and colonized the Philippines (Introduction to the Spanish-American war and the Filipino insurgency in the assignment sheet). This led to a Filipino insurgency, led by discontent Filipinos, who fought American troops through guerrilla warfare (Conlin 545). Conlin states that many Americans died fighting against a “popular revolution” in the Philippines for independence (Conlin 545). Years ago, Americans were fighting for Cuban independence. During the Filipino insurgency, the United States fought to suppress anger among the Filipinos against American colonization of the Philippines. Americans justified colonizing the Philippines by arguing that Anglo-Saxons were superior to the Filipinos, Filipinos were incapable of sustaining a sovereignty, and a colony in the Philippines would benefit the United States economically.

Americans believed that Anglo-Saxons were superior to the Filipinos. Albert J. Beveridge from Indiana wrote that God made the “English-speaking and Teutonic peoples…the master organizers of the world” (Beveridge, 15). Beveridge believed that Anglo-Saxons were the dominant race of the world and that they needed to govern their inferiors to “establish system where chaos reigns” (Beveridge, 15). Beveridge wrote that Americans were “trustees of the world’s progress” (Beveridge, 15) because he believed Americans were more economically and socially advanced than other ethnicities. These claims helped to justify why colonizing the Philippines was acceptable. In the cartoon “Types and Development of Man,” the American-European man...
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