War of Philippine Independence Essay

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War of Philippine Independence
Filipinos are equally heirs to a second great missionary enterprise after Spanish:
United States efforts to foster in our country institutions of government and attitudes toward life derived from American experience and faith in democratic ways.1 Originally a port of call for Yankee traders on their long voyage to China, our country became a source of sugar, pepper, hides, and hemp. There was very little in a way of immediate economic interest to make our country of special concern to Americans by the time the Spanish-American War brought Commodore George Dewey's fleet to Manila Harbor to do battle with the Spanish flotilla on the night of April 30 and the morning of May 1, 1898.2
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The Filipino revolutionaries cried foul and resumed fighting, now against the American troops that were occupying the country.5 This reaction caught Americans by surprise, and even worse, the Filipinos using guerilla tactics were difficult to defeat.
The United States made peace by offering the illustrados all they could possibly want. The U.S promised to end the religious orders, guarantee private property, limit the franchise to the educated, place illustrados in key positions, hold early elections, and make America's stay in the Philippines brief.6
The Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898. By the Treaty, Cuba gained its independence and Spain ceded the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States for the sum of US$20 million.7 This was not well received in the Philippines. Filipino nationalists were incensed at the arrogance of the imperial powers to bargain away their independence for the tidy price of US$20 million with not so much as a pretence of consultation with Filipinos. Given its own history of colonial revolution, American opinion was uncomfortable and divided on the moral principle of owning colonial dependencies. Having acquired the Philippines almost by accident, the United States was not sure what to do with them. On January 20, 1899, President McKinley appointed the First Philippine Commission (Schurman Commission) to make recommendations. Aguinaldo did not need recommendations to decide what he would do. On January

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