The Cover-Up of the Philippines Annexation
Reasons why US became an imperial power
March 12th, 2014
Throughout the history its been argued whether the United States had been expansionistic oriented or not, due to its limited presence only in the North American continent. In the late nineteenth century, the United States emerged the drive in expanding to the outside of the continent. The idea of imperialism in the Philippines became popular under the parole of protecting the world from Spanish rule, which was just a cover-up for the real reasons for the presence on these islands. This policy caused much controversy among politicians as well as the citizens. There were many reasons behind these imperialistic urges. One of the main reasons is that the United States sought to expand to foreign markets, and needed the Pacific islands as refueling stations for their ships. The other important reason for the expansion was to spread the Christianity among the heathen (Carnes page 576). In addition, the final reason for these imperialistic urges is that the U.S. had the necessity to annex some overseas properties. The important event for this time was sinking of the U.S. battleship, Maine. It is known today that Spanish did not have anything to do with it, but it had been fabricated by yellow journalism at that time that way the people believed that Spanish actually did it. (H 1002 Lecture, 03/06/2014). Even though this event happened close to Cuban coast, thousands miles away from Philippines, it played a crucial role in making decisions to move forward and occupy the islands in the Philippines. The U.S. led by Navy General George Dewey's and his fleet, consisting of six brand new warships four cruisers and two gun boats (Carnes page 583), sailed into Manila harbor. The little bit larger Spanish fleet was completely taken by surprise. Several of the Spanish ships were so old and rotting that they could barely float. Dewey's forces quickly defeated the Spanish fleet and not a single American was killed in engagement. (Carnes page 583). The Maine, which most Americans than believed had been destroyed by a Spanish mine, was avenged. Although the U.S. and Spain had some unresolved issues at that time, one of the main reasons for the expansion was to have a presence in the foreign markets, which was a very important aspect in the development of the United States economy. By this time American steelmakers could compete with producers anywhere in the world (Carnes page 576) and they needed new markets to sell their products. It was upon the United States government to find the easiest way to place its products outside of the country, and to find the routes to get the product to the desired destination. One of the fastest growing markets at that time was China. In order to get the U.S. cargo ships to China, U.S. had to make the presence on some Pacific islands and build refueling stations for their ships. They succeeded to make the presence in the islands such as Hawaii, Guam, and the most challenging island, the Philippines. The U.S. imperialism started to take the colonial shape. This did not only mean that the United States had become an overseas colonial power, it also meant that the U.S. government had to construct a complex structure within the Filipino political system. After this, more and more people began to dislike imperialism. The main reason why people disliked imperialism is that they believed that The United States have always protested against the doctrine of international law which permits the subjugation of the weak by the strong (Primary source, American Anti-Imperialist League, 1899). Many people also thought that imperialism was a bigger responsibility than they could control. Their argument that the navy keeps bringing more countries under America's control could soon get out of hand. Other anti-imperialist saw racism in imperialism. One example, many...
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