This substantial Spanish military advantage was offset by the rebels’ strategy of avoiding pitched battles, for the most part, and engaging in economic warfare, which included destroying property and preventing food from reaching Spanish-held cities. In February 1898, the USS Maine, an American battleship in the harbor off the coast of Cuba, exploded and was used as reasoning to go to war. It was a popular war, it has been affirmed often. The historical literature on the War of 1898 and the U.S.-Filipino War, like many other subjects within the discipline, has not remained static since the early twentieth century. Few did so, however, as they were short of food and money themselves. “Fewer than 4,000 Spanish soldiers died in combat with the insurgents,” notes Tone, whereas, “41,288 Spanish servicemen died from dysentery, malaria, pneumonia, typhus, yellow fever, and other diseases in Cuba. Much of the island's economy was already in American hands, and most of its trade, much of which was black market, was with the U.S.  Henry W. Berger, ed., A William Appleman Williams Reader: Selections from His Major Historical Writings (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1992), 117. During the 1910s, for example, two prominent Americans with experience in the Philippines presented contrary verdicts. Both Emilio Aguinaldo and Ho Chi Minh hoped and expected that the U.S. would come to their aid as they formed new governments. Miles, commander of the invading forces, received orders to sail for Puerto Rico to land his troops. U.S. diplomat Henry Sanford, writing in. It is quite possible that war could have been avoided had McKinley been willing to grant the Philippines a protectorate status. More recently, President George W. Bush denied that the U.S. was an imperial power, telling veterans who assembled at the White House in November 2002, “We don’t seek an empire. Escario lost twenty men killed and seventy wounded on the march.” The rebels were nevertheless unable to prevent Escario’s forces from entering Santiago de Cuba, and this “sent Shafter into a rage,” according to Tone: Having heard for years about epic battles won by the Cubans, Americans expressed astonishment when they saw that the insurgents did not fight well in a regular war of fixed positions. In May 1900, approximately six months before the presidential election, McKinley relieved General Otis of duty, supposedly at his own request. Sergeant Patrick Mason confessed, “I feel sorry for these people and all that have come under the control of the U.S. The "Lost Cause" myth took hold in the popular imagination and many former Confederate leaders were held in general high esteem nationally. The Cubans, for their part, resented American haughtiness. The United States Navy battleship Maine was mysteriously sunk in Havana harbor on 15 February 1898; political pressures from the Democratic Party pushed the administration of Republican President William McKinley into a war that he had wished to avoid. Since the 1960s much historiography has been done on the U.S. occupation of the Philippines.” These studies, he notes, “call into question the myth of U.S. rule as one of ‘benevolent assimilation’…”. Rather, conscious that many Americans were opposed to the acquisition of the Philippines, Aguinaldo sought to undermine the U.S. will to fight, and potentially influence the next presidential election. Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, future president, and author of The Winning of the West. The rebel strategy of economic warfare under Máximo Gómez was merciless in its application. The stories were sensationalized, to be sure, but the “yellow press” could hardly exaggerate the extent of the calamity that had befallen Cuba. Washington officials sought to separate the rank and file rebels from their leadership, and to exploit the class, linguistic, and religious fault lines of the insurgency. Experts at ambush and harassing actions, the Cubans had no experience with large-scale siege operations or battles…. U.S. soldiers first arrived on Cuban soil on June 10. In aiding U.S. operations, Macabebe forces committed numerous acts of brutality, including torture, throughout the conflict and during the period of American colonial rule. As relations between the two sides soured, Filipino leaders brought their grievances to Otis in a series of five meetings in January 1899. Our nation is committed to freedom for ourselves and others.”. This had been the view of President McKinley all along, but it now saturated the press and public opinion. American photographers captured the images of emaciated Cubans for American audiences at home, eliciting disbelief, indignation, and calls for U.S. intervention. H. L. Wells, a correspondent for the New York Evening Post, succinctly captured the racist underpinnings of this view when he wrote: There is no question that our men do ‘shoot niggers’ somewhat in the sporting spirit, but that is because war and their environments have rubbed off the thin veneer of civilization … undoubtedly, they do not regard the shooting of Filipinos just as they would the shooting of white troops. According to one account written in 1950, “Cuba does not owe its independence to the United States of North America, but to the efforts of its own people, through their firm and indomitable will to end the injustices, abuses, discriminations, and exploitation suffered under the despotic colonial regime.”. During the bombardment, many buildings were shelled, terrifying the population of San Juan. In later years, the wreckage was discovered and evidence showed that the explosion had come from the accidental ignition of powder o… The first president was George S. Boutwell, age 80, former Massachusetts governor, senator and representative, and U.S. Treasury secretary under President Ulysses S. Grant. President McKinley convened a naval court of inquiry to investigate the cause of the explosion. Guerrilla forces were operating in the Philippines, and had been present in Cuba for decades.  Resil B. Mojares, The War against the Americans: Resistance and Collaboration in Cebu: 1899-1906 (Quezon City, Philippines: Atteneo de Manila University Press, 1999), 1. Welsh and his assistants tracked down veterans to obtain their testimony. The stories were sensationalized, to be sure, but the “yellow press” could hardly exaggerate the extent of the calamity that had befallen Cuba. In all, the Cuban War of Independence took the lives of an estimated 170,000 persons, some ten percent of the population. The first meeting of what would become the national Anti-Imperialist League took place in Boston on June 15, 1898, three days after Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence. That the U.S. did not come to their aid but rather sought to impose its control is a great tragedy, an enormous mistake for which the U.S. has yet to make amends. Garcia, 1977), 245.  Brian McAllister Linn, The Philippine War, 1899-1902 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000), 31. That evening, two American privates shot four Filipino soldiers, “now believed to have been drunk and unarmed.”, The official U.S. report presented by Secretary of War Elihu Root blamed the outbreak of violence on Aguinaldo, but a English observer skeptically noted, “If the Filipinos were the aggressors, it is very remarkable that the American troops should have been so well prepared for an unseen event as to be able to immediately and simultaneously attack, in full force, all the native outposts for miles around the capital.”, The fighting in the Philippines skewed the debate over imperialism in the U.S., as questions now centered on military strategy and imperialists demanded that citizens stand behind “our troops,” a tactic replayed in many wars in many countries. Rumors of U.S. soldiers engaging in the “water cure” also reached the American public. Americans today are habituated to the idea that wherever U.S. troops are sent, the purpose is to “protect freedom” and “promote democracy.” To examine the reality beneath such idealistic goals can be shocking and disturbing, as indeed was the case during the U.S.-Filipino War. On June 25, the Yosemite blocked San Juan harbor. The destitute and starving women and children in Spanish-held towns made front-page news in the United States. According to the historian Brian Linn, McKinley’s policy “established conciliation as the cornerstone of military policy in the Philippines.” While there may be some merit to Linn’s claim, the overriding objective of Washington’s policy was to suppress the rebellion, establish U.S. rule, and use the country as a basis to extend U.S. power and influence. All voters were required to be Cuban males over the age of twenty and in possession of one of the following: real or personal property worth $250, or an ability to read and write, or honorable service in the Liberation Army. [Lester D Langley] The McKinley administration had already rejected Aguinaldo’s original declaration of independence (June 12, 1898), and he ignored this announcement as well. William Howard Taft, who later became the Governor General of the Philippines, reported that “our little brown brothers” would need approximately “fifty or one hundred years” of close supervision to “develop anything resembling Anglo-Saxon political principles and skills.” Like McKinley, Taft ignored the fact that Aguinaldo had created a republic prior to the outbreak of war and denied that such capabilities for self-government already existed among his “little brown brothers.” Pro-war journalists claimed that it would be unwise and illogical to grant independence to such a lazy and dishonest group of people. Cuba was an island belonging to Spain until 1898. As Pérez writes: The McKinley administration had vigorously opposed any recognition of Cuban independence but in the end understood the necessity of yielding to congressional demands.  David E. Sanger, “Bush Cites Philippines as Model in Rebuilding Iraq,” New York Times, October 19, 2003. During the 1960s, a new generation of historians arose who depicted the United States as an empire and challenged the nationalist narrative of America’s inherent benevolence.  Michael Hunt & Steve Levine, Arc of Empire: America’s Wars in Asia from the Philippines to Vietnam (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012), 11.  President William McKinley, First Annual Message to Congress (December 6, 1897), http://millercenter.org/president/mckinley/speeches/speech-3769. This conflation of national hegemony with democratic principles became a model for rationalizing future U.S. foreign policies. See also, Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, 4 volumes (1889-1896). ”During our brief occupation we have brought Filipinos far more health, wealth, and happiness than they ever had before,” he writes. Proctor returned convinced that U.S. intervention was necessary. The idea of the United States as an imperial power with foreign colonies was hotly debated domestically, with President McKinley and the Pro-Imperialists winning their way over vocal opposition.  Senator Redfield Proctor, “Cuban Reconcentration Policy and its Effects,” March 17, 1898, The Spanish American War Centennial Website, http://www.spanamwar.com/proctorspeech.htm. The U.S. finally granted independence to the Philippines in 1946. This practice increased during the last twenty months of the war, especially on the island of Samar. 81 (1969), 171. While the Lodge Committee held its deliberations, the Army put on trial several officers, including General Jacob Smith, General J. Franklin Bell, Major Littleton Waller, and Captain Edwin Glenn. 12, No. Field’s arguments in defense of the American imperial enterprise in the Philippines are refuted by Walter Lafeber and Robert L. Beisner in a separate article in the same journal issue. With prescience, anti-imperialist senators warned of an impending conflict between the U.S. and Filipino soldiers. With the aid of the U.S. minister to Hawaii, John Stevens, and U.S. Marines from a nearby cruiser, a group of prominent American landowners known as the “missionary boys” ousted the hereditary ruler, Queen Lili’uokalani. As Major General Lloyd Wheaton put it, “You can’t put down a rebellion by throwing confetti and sprinkling perfumery.”, 13th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry with Gatling Gun, capable of firing 600 rounds per minute. Insurgent leaders did not offer their less fortunate countrymen an appealing vision of the future. Carl Sandburg, later a famous poet, joined the Sixth Infantry Regiment of Illinois.  Welch, Response to Imperialism, 136. The connection between America’s four wars in Asia is discussed by Hunt and Levine in Arc of Empire. The latter was achieved in 1886, but not all Cubans were satisfied with the limited reforms. According to Pérez: The United States entered into war amid great excitement. Instead of sending food and resources, Madrid sent Captain-General Valeriano Weyler to replace Martínez-Campos and institute the policy of “reconcentration.” Less than five feet tall, Weyler was a veteran of Spanish counterinsurgency campaigns in the Dominican Republic and the Philippines. Senator George Vest of Missouri introduced a resolution aimed at preventing the federal government from acquiring any “territory to be held and governed permanently as colonies.” He argued that “the colonial system” was incompatible with the American democratic system “because it uproots and eliminates the basis of all republican institutions.” Other resolutions of a similar nature followed, introduced by Augustus Bacon of Georgia, William Sullivan of Mississippi, William Lindsay of Kentucky, William Allen of Nebraska, William Mason of Illinois, and George Hoar of Massachusetts. For many U.S. officials, however, tutoring Filipinos in the art of “self-government” was a dubious proposition. Yet, inexplicably, the Filipinos seem ungrateful. Mark Twain issued several searing critiques. 4 (March 1980), 816, 813. By 1898 America was convinced the Caribbean was of strategic vital interest to the U.S. America decided to construct the Panama Canal. An editorial in the Washington Post that same day called attention to the president’s duplicity in regard to Cuban independence: “Whatever else might have been in the President’s mind, it was supposed that the ultimate aim of his policy was the freeing of Cuba, but the message gave no corroboration of this fact. Herbert Welsh, the editor of City and State, played a prominent role in uncovering abuses committed by American troops. The U.S.-Filipino War resulted in the death of an estimated 200,000 Filipinos, mostly civilians, and 4,200 American soldiers. Any efforts by European nations to colonise territories or interfere with states in the Americas were thus considered an act of aggression. Roosevelt deemed such warfare “justifiable revenge” for enemy atrocities. In early June 1901, after much acrimonious debate, the Cuban constitutional convention accepted the Platt Amendment by a margin of one vote, attaching it to the constitution as an appendix. In the U.S., the proponents of empire incorporated racist views into the quasi-religious concept of “manifest destiny,” a phrase coined in 1845 to justify U.S. expansion across the North American continent. This prevented re-supply of the Spanish forces and also allowed the U.S. to land its considerable forces safely on the island. Roosevelt deemed such warfare “justifiable revenge” for enemy atrocities.. The war, in fact, was not over, as fighting in the southern provinces continued until 1914; but the fall elections were approaching and Roosevelt did not want the burdens of the war to diminish Republican political prospects. All Cuban women and two-thirds of all adult Cuban men were excluded from the franchise.  Louis Fisher, “Destruction of the Maine (1898),” The Law Library of Congress, August 4, 2009, pp. He raised money from Cuban émigrés in the U.S. and elsewhere, and recruited generals Máximo Gómez and Antonio Maceo to lead the military initiative. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem…. Culture also served as a dividing line. The Spanish government was not concerned at first, as antigovernment agitation was common in this underdeveloped region. To keep the brutal nature of the war hidden from the American public, the McKinley and Roosevelt administrations engaged in censorship, official denial, media spin, glittering generalities, and intimidation of war critics. The takeover created a storm of controversy in Washington. The official U.S. report presented by Secretary of War Elihu Root blamed the outbreak of violence on Aguinaldo, but a English observer skeptically noted, “If the Filipinos were the aggressors, it is very remarkable that the American troops should have been so well prepared for an unseen event as to be able to immediately and simultaneously attack, in full force, all the native outposts for miles around the capital.” U.S. officials in Washington validated Otis’ decision and continued to pursue the war. They appealed to the “Colored American Soldier” and reminded him of the lynching and discrimination he faced at home. It continued to resonate in historical accounts of the war. “On July 6,” writes Pérez, “only three days after General Shafter commenced negotiations with the Spanish command for the surrender of Santiago de Cuba, the dreaded quarantine flag was raised ominously behind U.S. lines: yellow fever had struck. I could not believe that out of a population of one million six hundred thousand, two hundred thousand had died within these Spanish forts…My inquiries were entirely outside of sensational sources…What I saw I cannot tell so that others can see it. Their victory, in turn, inspired hundreds more to join the rebellion. American westward expansion established the basis for obtaining overseas possessions in three ways: it created the legal framework for acquiring and administering colonial possessions; it established in the public mind an exception to the principle that “all men are created equal” and have the right to self-government; and it fostered acceptance of “uncivilized” methods of warfare against “savages,” in which no prisoners were taken and noncombatants were massacred. This practice increased during the last twenty months of the war, especially on the island of Samar. Article VIII of the amendment stipulated that its tenets be incorporated into the new Cuban constitution. The U.S. acquisition and colonization of the Philippines, as such, marked the beginning of a century-long effort to establish a measure of American hegemony in East Asia. Shafter rather hoped that the Cuban soldiers would serve as “porters, orderlies, messengers, and day laborers, working behind U.S. lines,” according to Pérez. The U.S. troops had far more problems dealing with heat and disease than with the Spanish forces, and within a month the island was in U.S. hands. He would consider settling for a limited independence, in spite of the objections from several of his other advisers. Not until 1900 did an American team under Walter Reed take advantage of Finlay’s discovery and begin preventative measures, which greatly aided U.S. occupation forces after 1900. Cuba is an island country in the Caribbean.  In the end, Pérez writes, The United States emerged from the war as a colonial power, seizing the far-flung remnants of the Spanish empire in the Pacific and Caribbean with remarkable efficiency of effort and economy of means. According to the historian Brian Linn, McKinley’s policy “established conciliation as the cornerstone of military policy in the Philippines.”. During the last three weeks of peace, Otis initiated a “series of orders and maneuvers” indicating “that he may have planned and provoked the war”: On January 16, he persuaded Dewey to move warships close to the water flanks of Aguinaldo’s semicircular line around Manila. Corporal Cyrus Ricketts told the committee he had witnessed the murder of insurgents who had surrendered, although his superiors had denied it. Macabebe Scouts employed by the U.S. Army, Wealthy Filipinos were not the only ones who collaborated with the United States. McKinley had previously indicated his intention to veto any joint resolution recognizing Cuban independence, but the Teller Amendment was vague enough to allow for multiple interpretations, and so he accepted it. Two newspaper titans, William Randolph Hearst of the New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World, exploited developments in Cuba to increase the circulation of their papers. The question of whether or not the U.S. should militarily intervene in Cuba did not break down according to imperialist and anti-imperialist orientations. Ten days later, seeing no possibility for victory, Madrid requested a suspension of all hostilities. In December, MacArthur ordered U.S. forces to wage war against the civilian population in hostile areas. They furthermore denied that the U.S. was following in the footsteps of European empires, even if their motives and justifications for annexing territories were eerily similar. Then America claimed Cuba from Spain. Beyond dispelling the myth of American benevolence, the authors illuminate the complex relationships that developed between “pacified” towns and their American occupiers, the ambivalent roles played by, The United States established an overseas empire in the aftermath of the War of 1898. The resulting Philippine-American War was long, bloody, and ultimately unsuccessful in quashing the Filipino nationalists' drive for independence, incurring thousands of military and civilian casualties during its fourteen-year span. The text reads: “Keep the island so it won’t get lost.”. This was not a uniform process. Maceo, a mulatto known as the “Bronze Titan,” was capable of attracting former slaves to the cause. In the peace treaty that ended the war, signed on December 10, 1898, with no Cuban or Filipino representatives present, Spain transferred possession of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States.  David L. 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