Philippine American War 1899-1902

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Philippine American War 1899-1902

Previous Involvement With The Phillipines

During the Spanish-American War, the United States and the Philippines had fought together against Spanish rule. However, impearlism in Europe had placed a threat on American industries. Many politicians believed that if Europe continued to conquer countries, America would not survive. To solve this problem, The United States had started their own impearlistic expansion and conqured the Philippines as a way to expand their economy and gain a influence on worldly affairs. U.S possesion of the islands disillusioned their leader Emilio Aguinaldo. He order Filipino troops to start an insurrection or rebellion against the United States. However, Aguinaldos troops had no match towards United States fire power. In fact, during the first phase of the war which began in November 1899, Aguinaldo was heavily dominated by American troops and had to rely on other tactics to combat their forces. Many soldiers, under Aguinaldo’s orders, relied on guerrilla warfare, a form of non-traditional warfare generally involving small bands of fighters to attack behind American lines.

The End of The Insurrection

During the late 1800’s, the United States had little influence over world affairs. The rise in industrialization, urbanization and immigration led the United States to come out of an era isolationism and emerge as a world superpower. The colonization of areas such as the Philippines, due to their vast commercial value had created great wealth for Americans. However in the years to come, troubling issues would arise that would impact the relationship between the United States and the Philippines.

In March of 1901, one year before the war ended, American troops captured Emilio Aguinaldo and used brutal tactics to crush Aguinaldo’s insurrection. Finally in 1902, Aguinaldo, called for an end to the resistance and demanded cooperation with the United States("Commentary on Emilio Aguinaldo."). Although the United States did gain possesion of the islands, The Philippine-American War was unsucessful in preventing the number of lives lost. In all, 5000 American troops and 200,000 Filipinos died in the fighting. The American public became outraged that a country which is known for equality and liberty could take over another country with such brutality and force.

Philippine-American War 1899-1902

This political cartoon symbolizes America crushing Emilio Aguinaldo's insurrection against the United States.

As part of the rebuilding effort, William Mckinley elected William Howard Taft as president of the Filipino Commision and serve as a civilian governor under United States control. While in Commision, Taft started a enormous rebuilding effort to help the islands fully recover from the war. He funded the construction of bridges, tolls, pipelines, ferries, and trains. He also tried to assimilate the American culture to the Filipino people. The overall construction and assimilation of culture, led the Philippines to become an industrialized nation. In addition, Taft's rule over the Philippines changed the government from a authroitarian dictatorship to a democracy. Many Filipino praised William Howard Taft because for the first time in their lives, they felt that they had gained a voice over their own country.


"Spanish-American War." Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century. Ed. Paul Finkelman. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001. U.S. History In Context. Web. 5 Nov. 2013."Philippines." Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996. U.S. History In Context. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.Lapsansky-Werner, Emma J. United States History: Modern America. Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2011. Print. Pg, 151-152 "Commentary on Emilio Aguinaldo." World War I and the Jazz Age. Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source Media, 1999. American Journey. U.S. History In Context. Web. 5 Nov. 2013."Philippine-American War." Encyclopedia of Asian History. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988. U.S. History In Context. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.

Emilio Aguinaldo Insurrection Troops preparing for battle against the U.S.

Philippines celebrate their independence with America in 1898.

Rebuilding Effort

The Age Of Impearlism


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