The Philippine-American War

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The annexation of the Philippines and other overseas territories called into question just how far America's jurisdiction stretched. Author John Chetwood challenged American imperialistic practice with this 1898 pamphlet. In it he argues: "In the scales with the Monroe Doctrine lie our national honor and our national credit. Will the people of the United States exchange this for Manila?" Courtesy of Library of Congress via HathiTrust.

The Philippines waged a fiery, but ultimately unsuccessful, war against American imperialists.

Revolution had been brewing in the Philippines long before the Spanish-American War. In 1896, Filipino nationalists, largely organized by the militant Katipunan group, waged an armed rebellion against Spain. Emilio Aguinaldo, leader of a Katipunan faction, emerged as prominent military and political leader. The resistance even established the First Republic of the Philippines with Aguinaldo at its head. Neither Spain nor the US recognized its legitimacy. Nonetheless, during the Spanish-American War, Filipinos fought alongside the US hoping that an American alliance and victory would mean independence. Allies, however, soon became enemies.

In the Treaty of Paris, the US agreed to annex the Philippines at the cost of $20 million. Angered by the betrayal, Filipinos declared war. The Philippine-American War was a bloodier and more brutal affair than its predecessor. Where the US won in manpower and technology, Filipino rebels made up for their military deficit with tenacious guerrilla tactics. Philippine General Elwell S. Otis promised to "drive the Americans into the sea." By 1902 the US had captured Aguinaldo and devastated a majority of Filipino cities and communities. The war came to an end, and President Theodore Roosevelt pardoned the insurgents. The Philippines was now officially a US territory.