Sept 1 - Document Discussion - Archvies 14

Sept 1 - Document Discussion - Archvies 14 - -. ARC H I V E...

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-. ARC H I V E I 4 <. American Imperialism: War ~ .~ with the Philippines ~ r Archive Overview THE Philippine-American War, 1899-1902, provides a rich set of sources for exploring American imperialism as the United States changed the nature of its relationship with the larger world be- yond the Western Hemisphere. The Philippine War at the turn of the 20th century was the forceful beginning of the American military, moral, political, and economic presence throughout the world that we see clearly realized at the dawn of the 21st century. This archive considers the mixed blessing of being an interna- tional power: the difficulties a strong nation faces in trying to be both powerful and good, both responsible and loved. As the sources here demonstrate, it is difficult to be both. Not all Americans shared the missionary, moral, and mone- tary zeal that drove the decision to go to war with the Filipinos in 1899. Many wondered why, in the midst of a war to liberate the Cuban people from Spanish imperial rule, the United States decided to fight the Filipinos and then to annex the philippine Islands, thus establishing American imperial rule in that distant land. Your task is to decide, on the basis of these sources, first, why Americans engaged in war and annexed the Philippines and, second, how well that behavior squared with American val- ues and ideals. Finally, in an era when European nations were assuming the "burden" of imperial control of peoples in Africa and Asia, to what extent do you think the American role in the Philippines was morally right? The answer is not as simple as it might first seem. .~ Placing the Sources in Context THE American people's belief that they had a sacred obligation to spread their institutions and way of life ("manifest destiny") shaped the westward expansion in the 1840S into Texas and the southwest, Utah and the Great Basin, and California, Oregon, and the Pacific northwest. The process of empire-building re- sumed soon after the Civil War. In 1867, Secretary of State William Seward acquired Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, and, in the early 1870s, the United States debated the annexa- tion of the island ofSanto Domingo in the Caribbean. Although the Senate refused to ratify the Santo Domingo treary, American activity overseas continued with economic interventions in Latin America and with growing interest in gaining islands in the Pacific and a share ofthe Asian market. Washington negoti- ated a treaty in 1878 to gain a naval station in Samoa. In July 1898, Congress approved the annexation of Hawaii, and in 1899 Secretary ofState John Hay's first Open Door note attempted to lay claim to trading rights in China equal to those enjoyed by occupying imperial powers already there. No step in American empire-bUilding was as significant as Washington's war with Spain in 1898 and the resulting global territorial expansion involving Cuba, Puerto (Porto) Rico, Guam, Hawaii, and the islands of the Philippine archipelago. America's war with Spain occurred within a larger wave of European and
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Sept 1 - Document Discussion - Archvies 14 - -. ARC H I V E...

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