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Philippine-American War, 1899-1902

Page history last edited by Caroline Harland 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Political Cartoon, 1899


Political Cartoon, 1899

Topics on the Page


Event Summary


American Tactics


Personal Accounts from Both Sides


Filipino Movements for Independence


Anti-War Sentiment and the Anti-Imperialist League


Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam


  Cross-Link:  Annexation of Hawaii



Event Summary

Here is an interactive timeline of the relationship between the US and Philippines

When the U.S. declared war on Spain, rebel armies were already fighting for independence from Spanish rule in both Cuba and the Philippines.


  • Spain was on the verge of defeat. Washington declared that it was on the rebel's side and Spain quickly capitulated. But the U.S. soon made it clear that it had no intention of leaving the countries.


  • The rebels fought the U.S. forces just as they had fought the Spanish.


  • The U.S. subjugated the Philippines with brutal force. U.S. soldiers were ordered to "Burn and Kill all" and they did.


  • By the time Filipinos were defeated 600,000 had died. (Andreas 2005)



Summary video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scho0YzzPu8

- also covers the diplomatic debate annexation v. liberation of Philippines after the war. (also really important)

  " The Philippines are ours forever.... and just beyond the Philippines are China's illimitable markets. The Pacific Ocean is our Ocean."

 Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana, 1990


American tactics - the American troops used brutality to suppress the Filippino rebellion, such as concentration camps.


- An article by Professor Welch Jr. of Lafayette College addressing American atrocities in the conflict

- An article about the use of concentration camps in the war

For a critical perspective on American foreign policy toward the Philippines, see an online review of the book Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream, 1899-1999.



 The Brutality of US Tactics


- this video: shows the brutality of American tactics while also showing how American film clips were used as propaganda supporting the US side during this war.


American Soldiers in the Philippines Write Home about the War


U.S. Army soldiers during a lull, October 2, 1899


Personal accounts and photos of Philippine insurgents.

  • Link here for Soldiers in the Philippines: What Accounted for American Atrocities during the Philippine War? a lesson plan on American soldiers' brutality during the war. Focuses on the hearings that took place in 1902.





Filipino Movements for Independence


external image Emilio_Aguinaldo_%28ca._1898%29.jpg

"Emilio Aguinaldo was born from a local elite family in Cavite. His father was mayor of Kawit, Cavite, a post he himself held.


He joined the secret organization of Katipunan founder by Andres Bonifacio but came to be its leader when the two Katipunan factions united and elected the officers of what would become the Revolutionary Government. 


Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain on June 12, 1898, and a year later was proclaimed president of the Philippine Republic. The United States did not recognize his authority, having earlier won the Philippine Islands as a war trophy in the US-Spanish War of 1898.


In February 1899, Aguinaldo declared war on the US and led what was to become the Philippine-American War that lasted until Aguinaldo's capture in March 1901. Filipino resistance, however, continued until 1902." 

quoted from Center for Philippine Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa


The Filipino perspective - a digital archive dedicated to providing the Filipino history of the conflict


For background on American involvement in the Philippines, see Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's Imperial Dream. Gregg Jones, New American Library, 2012.


Crash Course History - Imperialism - a video series dedicated to the US history curriculum detailing US imperialism in the early 20th century


 A video on Resistance to American Imperialism in the Philippine Islands. 

Race and US involvement - a review of Paul Kramer's The Blood of Government, which argues that the US involvement in the Philippines was part of a larger issue of race and American society

Connecting to our modern society - sensational media and its role in the war

Arguments for US action - Albert Beveridge, Indiana senator at the time, arguing for American imperialism to secure economic power in the Pacific - "In Support of an American Empire"

Click here and here for lesson plans on the Philippine-American War


Click here for a lesson plan called The Matter of the Philippines.




Treaty of Paris 1898: this peace treaty ended the Spanish-American War, where Spain ceded many territories including Cuba and the Philippines to the United States


Another great resource about the debate and treaty: https://www.britannica.com/event/Treaty-of-Paris-1898


Tydings-McDuffie Act 1946: The Philippines finally gained independence as President Harry Truman acknowledged their independence.


 Primary Source: Speech by Manuel Quezon, Filipino statesman, soldier, and President of the Commonwealth of Philippines from 1935-44.




ANTI-War Sentiment and the Anti-Imperialist League


 Women and the Anti-Imperialist movement - Erin Murphy's article analyzing how women participated in the anti-imperialist movement of the war and how they were purposefully excluded






The Anti-Imperialist League, 1898-1902 from American Peace Movements



Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam


Material Submitted by Kate Milliken (October 2020)







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