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Should the United States Have Annexed the Philippines? Essay

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Updated: Jan 10th, 2020

The introduction: the importance of anti-imperialism

“Americans divided sharply in 1899 over whether to annex the Philippines as part of the United States. Still, the conflict between imperialists, isolationists, and Filipinos who fought for their nation’s independence would echo in debates over U.S foreign policy” (Spencer & Fabillar 1).

Generally speaking, anti-imperialism stands in opposition to the U.S. expansion. It means that anti-imperialists protest against the extension of American sovereignty by Spanish methods. The assumption that the American governors want to get rid of the spirit of 1776 in the islands is associated with fear that the American governors can conquer the islands.

The point in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain Unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is under threat (Uh.edu 1).

In other words, anti-imperialists want to follow the points written in the Declaration of Independence. They do not support the intentions of the U. S. to expand its territories. For anti-imperialists, freedom and national identity are considered to be the most critical issues. According to them, the Spanish methods are to be denied, as they are cruel and cause pain and suffering to others.

The Anti-Imperialist League doesn’t believe that Abraham Lincoln would have supported the annexation of the Philippines as he stated that “Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands” (Halsall 1).

It is evident that the policy of the present national administration in the Philippines is recognized to be destructive.

The thesis statement

Generally, there are many contradictions concerning the annexation of the Philippines. Thus, anti-imperialism stands in opposition to the U.S. expansion; while imperialism supports the idea of occupation. There is a need to consider the arguments of both sides to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the policies.

The body: the fundamentals of Philippine question

Albert Beveridge thinks that people are to be controlled without their consent. Thus, he talks about their successful policy concerning other territories the country controls. Beveridge points out that it is Spain, which is associated with reeking hands. The author uses the metaphor to emphasize the influence of his words. According to Beveridge, if America lets the Philippines go, Germany, England, Japan will gobble them up.

According to Beveridge, Providence is associated with “the purpose of a fate that has driven us to be greater than our small intentions” (Halsall 1). He thinks that Providence is to join the Philippines to America.

McKinley gave religious reasons for keeping the Philippines. In my opinion, the most appropriate reason was the fourth one. Thus, McKinley speaks about the duty to support other nations. Moreover, he says that the country is to do its best to protect the Philippines from any danger. The reason, which makes the least sense is “that we could not leave them to themselves—they were unfit for self-government—and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s was” (Gmu.edu 1).

Generally, William Jennings Bryan “a dedicated anti-imperialist, felt certain that by referendum the people would repudiate any administration that declared for annexation” (Answers.com 1). I took the quotation to confirm my idea.

Bryan says we dare not educate the Philippines to prevent something undesirable. There is an opinion that the desire to control everything never ends perfect for one of the sides.

Some Americans argued that it was necessary to take colonies to get rich. Bryan replies that “It is not necessary to own people to trade with them. The U.S. wanted the resources and annexation was not the only option” (Heights 1).

Bryan says there is no Gatling gun attachment to prove that the Bible doesn’t support the policy of Imperialism. “If true Christianity consists in carrying out in our daily lives the teachings of Christ, who will say that we are commanded to civilize with dynamite and proselyte with the sword?” (Patriotpost.us 1).

The conclusion: against annexation

Emilio Aguinaldo, the President of the Independent Philippine Republic, says that the American government will never draw back from armed conflict. The Philippines tried to avoid a severe disagreement, but the U.S. neglected that point.

Clemencia Lopez, an activist in the Philippine Struggle for Independence, says that all people want to be free. For any person, it is rather vital to understand the meaning of liberty. For this reason, people from different countries are equal in their right to fight for national identity and independence.

The people of color of Boston do not support the policy of Imperialism. They are considered to be the followers of anti-imperialism movement.

Most of the people agree that the policy of Imperialism is rather severe.

The United States shouldn’t have annexed the Philippines. That is my answer.

Works Cited

Answers. , 2012. Web.

Gmu.edu. , 1987. Web.

Halsall, Paul. , 1899, 1997. Web.

Halsall, Paul. , 1997. Web.

Heights, Arlington. . Web.

Patriotpost. Against Imperialism, 2012. Web.

Spencer, John & Fabillar, Eliza. Debate: SWeb.

Uh.edu. The Declaration of Independence, 2012. Web.

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"Should the United States Have Annexed the Philippines?" IvyPanda, 10 Jan. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/should-the-united-states-have-annexed-the-philippines/.

1. IvyPanda. "Should the United States Have Annexed the Philippines?" January 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/should-the-united-states-have-annexed-the-philippines/.


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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Should the United States Have Annexed the Philippines'. 10 January.

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