Philippine-American War and Insurgency Against America Term Paper by TheWholeDamnShow

Philippine-American War and Insurgency Against America
A comprehensive history of the insurgency against American troops in the Philippines directly after the Spanish-American War.
# 60217 | 3,126 words | 11 sources | MLA | 2005 | US

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This paper describes the war that existed in the Philippines after the Spain's defeat at the hands of the United States during the Spanish-American War. As a direct result of the war, the Philippines were given to the United States and the Filipino people who originally believed that they were fighting a war for freedom and independence against the Spanish begin to turn against American troops who they view as simply another occupying force. The first part of the paper gives a background to the Filipino insurgency and its main leader, General Emilio Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo's tactics of fighting a guerrilla war against American troops is examined, as well as the effectiveness of these attacks on shocking the American public back home. Feeling betrayed by America who promised the Filipino people freedom after the Spanish were defeated, Aguinaldo embarked on a series of deadly attacks on American soldiers in the Philippines. As a result, American troops responded with equal brutality in their reprisals with very little organized military command holding them back. Diaries are heavily cited in this section of the paper, giving primary sources that tell of how desperate the American soldiers were at the time and how they needed to racially dehumanize the enemy in order to commit such vicious acts of reprisal. The second part of the paper deals with how the American press responded to the war. Numerous newspaper articles and other criticisms of the war are given as examples, some written by the early 20th century's most prominent figures such as Mark Twain. The general point of this section is to show how deeply divided the American public was over the war in the Philippines and how many felt that it would lead to American involvement in other world affairs. A direct parallel is also drawn to the Iraq War in modernity. Finally, the paper ends with a detailed account of how individual soldiers from both sides viewed the conflict. The Filipinos clearly viewed the insurgency as a necessary action in order to preserve their promised independence, while many American soldiers were disgusted and frustrated with why they were in the country to begin with, and often responded violently towards the natives since they began to view them as subhuman. The psychology of warfare is briefly discussed, as soldiers often dehumanize the enemy as a means of justification of their own violent behavior. The end of the insurgency is also discussed, with American troops brutally putting down the rebellion and establishing a tight control over the entire area for decades.

From the Paper:

"On April 11th, 1898, the President of the United States William McKinley went to Congress and asked the elected body to declare war on Spain for their role in oppression overseas and to accommodate public opinion that was strongly anti-Spanish due to the sinking of the United States battleship Maine only a few months earlier that was blamed on Spanish agents. Congress eventually sanctioned the war, and the Spanish-American war commenced with several battles over Spanish colonies such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. The war itself was over fairly quickly, as hostilities were ended only a few months after war was officially declared. The involvement in the former Spanish colonies clearly demonstrated that America had shifted to a strong imperialistic attitude when it came to the Western Hemisphere and indeed the world in general, and would be forced to endure all of the benefits and tribulations that came from being an imperialistic power."

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APA Format

Philippine-American War and Insurgency Against America (2005, August 14) Retrieved June 04, 2023, from

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"Philippine-American War and Insurgency Against America" 14 August 2005. Web. 04 June. 2023. <>