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Imperialism

By mmcnee55 Apr 14, 2014 1008 Words
Suppose a stranger your home and demand that from now on you go by their rules and do as they say, most people would consider this absurd and do something about it. This is pretty much the situation that the United States put the citizens of the Philippines in the year of 1898. Imperialistic actions by the United States against the Philippines caused turmoil within the United States because the morals of the country were in question regarding the actions taking place and the beliefs stated in the Declaration of Independence. Anti-Imperialist League did not agree with the United States taking control over Philippine citizens and disregarding the fact that these citizens deserved respect. The Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation established by President McKinley was arguably unjust and impractical. Securing two naval bases to set up a means to develop commerce seems acceptable until it is put up against denying the Filipinos their sovereignty. Arguments from the Anti-Imperialist League were very strong and influential against the takeover of the Philippines by the United States. Anti-Imperialists denounced subjugation and suppression of what should be free people as a debauchery of American principles. The takeover of the Philippines went against the American belief system that it is derived from the Declaration of Independence (WW Norton Publishing, 2007). This action created a grievous heresy of the United States. The choices and actions the United States were enforcing were negatively representing the country, and in conflict with the “self-governing” principle of the United States, because a country supporting self-directed government should not be taking over a country against its will. Stated by Abraham Lincoln, “No man is good enough to govern another man without that man’s consent.” (WW Norton publishing, 2007). The Anti-Imperialistic League deplored these despotic and abhorrent actions in the Philippines. By taking over the Filipinos and forcing their way of government the, United States imperiled their freedom and rights of free people. Anti-Imperialist League called for immediate termination of imperialistic actions and restore sovereignty to the Filipino people with impunity before the United States imperil their beliefs and good name (WW Norton Publishing, 2007). Additionally, Anti-Imperialist League opposed and disagreed with the BAP established by President McKinley. The BAP was seen as impracticable, considering the plan was to send plenipotentiaries to set up tribunals to collect duties and force the Philippine people to cede their sovereignty (MSC Communications, 2007). As stated in the Proclamation, the Filipino government would only be run by people who took an oath of allegiance to the United States. Taxes and fees collected from the Filipino people would go directly towards funding the United States government. In addition, only United States allies would have the ability to trade and operate in the Filipino ports (MSC communications, 2007). The United States had no right to step into a foreign country, establish new rules and guidelines to be followed, and ultimately takeover what was not theirs. These actions implemented by the United States turned the island into a United States colony with or without approval. If the Filipino people didn’t approve or obey United States military authorities, they would be dealt with firmly (MSC communications, 2007). When Filipino forces tried to fight a conventional war they had a shortage of weapons and ammunition, as well as not being able to gain any outside support from other countries. It ended up being a mistake as the Filipinos suffered a significant loss of men, and the United States tortured suspected guerillas (Apple et al 2005). Sedulously disposing United States troops to require Philippine people to submit was not a temperate act of benevolence or did it bestowal upon them the principles which are important to Americans. The United States should have removed itself from the Philippines and returned sovereignty to the nation’s people, the sovereignty they had every right to obtaining. Lastly, there were a limited amount of advantages to the United States taking over the Philippines, but in addition to the advantages were some harsh disadvantages and consequences. The United States main reasoning for imperialization in the Philippines was redundant including; economics, geographical, religious, and political. Economically, the United States wanted new markets, and open doors to new trade possibilities seeing as the could use Filipino ports to trade. They could sell and produce their products cheaper in the Philippines; they had a new market, and needed to make exports exceed imports (Appleby, et al, 2005). They wanted to expand their foreign markets; they accomplished that by trading in the Philippines which gave them a whole new market for open trade. Another thing the Philippines had to offer that benefited economy and trade was cheap labor. In terms of geography, the United States had an excess of new land at their disposal, although the United States government only took Filipino private property when necessary, but paid for it at fair market price (MSC communications, 2007). Religiously the United States wanted to spread faith in Christianity to the Filipinos. Politically the untied states wanted to achieve its goal of being a world power, and colonize the Philippine’s. Repercussions to the United States were a result of their actions towards the Philippine’s leading to a Filipino revolt against American rule. A war broke out, the Philippine-American War, resulting in one million Filipino deaths (Appleby, et al, 2005). What the United States gained from enforcing imperialism in the Philippine’s came nowhere close to weighing out the repercussions that came from it. In conclusion, the choices made by the United States in 1898 were unjust, going against their own country’s documented beliefs. The United States had no right to step into another country and takeover and use them. The Anti-Imperialist League did not agree with the decision made by the United States to imperialize the Philippine’s and disregard rights of the Filipino citizens. The Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation enforced by President McKinley was unjust and impracticable. The idea of securing two naval bases to set up a means to develop commerce seems rational until it is balances against denying sovereignty and god given rights of freedom to the Filipinos.

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