APUS Period 7
March 8, 2010
The Treaty of Paris
In the late nineteenth century, America was involved in an insurrection called the Spanish American War. Trying to end the fighting, a small group was sent to negotiate a treaty with Spain. The treaty called for the surrender of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines to the United States. However, not everyone advocated this treaty. There were many factors that were debated during the ratification of the Treaty of Paris. The deciding factors of ratification were McKinley’s unsuccessful attempts at revising the treaty, the upholding of the constitution and McKinley’s campaign in America. President McKinley weighed many alternatives to annexation, but none were deemed as excellent ideas. First he proposed that he simply give them to another nation. Many nations including: Germany, Great Britain, Japan and Russia expressed interest in the area, but McKinley knew that the Philippines would fall if placed in their hands. He thought about independence, but was quickly persuaded out of the idea by Christian groups and the instability of the country. Many people, including Theodore Roosevelt, thought that it was “the white man’s burden” to Christianize the Filipinos, as stated in Kiplings’s poem. “Take up the White Man's burden--Send forth the best ye breed--Go bind your sons to exile, To serve your captives' need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild--Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.” (Doc I). This poem shows how these people wanted to annex the Philippines just to convert the natives. William Jenning Bryant stated to the New York Times that “it will be easier to end the war at once by ratifying the treaty and then deal with the subject in our own way” (Doc C). There were many different opinions on what to do with the Philippines, but he saw this was the best way to put an end to the conflicts. With the war over, he thought it would be easier to...
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