The splendid little war
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The Splendid Little War. Lecture 4: American “New” Imperialism & the Philippines. War lasted April to August 1898 Important factors: Severe depression in early 1890s exacerbates need for new markets and raw materials The closing of the frontier Imperial scramble at end of 1890s

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The Splendid Little War

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The splendid little war

The Splendid Little War

Lecture 4: American “New” Imperialism & the Philippines


Causes of the spanish american war

  • War lasted April to August 1898

  • Important factors:

    • Severe depression in early 1890s exacerbates need for new markets and raw materials

    • The closing of the frontier

    • Imperial scramble at end of 1890s

    • Weakening Spanish empire

    • “Yellow journalism”

    • Anglo-Saxonism

Causes of the Spanish American War


The anglo saxon s manifest destiny

“God has not been preparing the English-speaking and Teutonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing… He has made us master organizers of the world... He has given us the spirit of progress… He has made us adept in government that we may administer government among savage and senile peoples… He has marked the American people as his chosen nation to finally lead in the regeneration of the world. This is the divine mission of America, and it holds for us all the profit, all the glory, all the happiness possible to man.” (Sen. Albert J. Beveridge(Indiana), delivered to Congress on Jan 9, 1900)

  • Manifest Destiny

  • Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis

  • Revitalization of American manhood during industrialization & urbanization of Gilded Age

  • Reconciliation of ethnic and class strife

  • The birth of American “New” Imperialism as resolution to contradiction between ideals of democracy and political domination

The Anglo-Saxon’s Manifest Destiny


Timeline of spanish american war

  • 1895 – Jose Marti leads second Cuban rebellion

  • Feb 1898 – the sinking of USS Maine in Havana harbor

  • April 1898 – Declaration of War against Spain

    • American forces enter Philippines, Cuba, Guam, and Puerto Rico

  • May 1 – “Battle” of Manila Bay

  • July – Battle of San Juan Hill (Cuba)

  • Aug – Spain sues for Peace

  • Dec – Treaty of Paris signed – Spain receives $20 million for Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines

  • May 1902 – US withdraws from Cuba; Guantanamo perpetually leased

Timeline of Spanish American War


Philippine revolution

  • March 17, 1521 – Ferdinand Magellan claims Philippines for Spain

  • Aug 1896 – Andres Bonifacio begins armed revolt against Spanish authorities

  • 1898:

    • April - Rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo makes unofficial alliance with the U.S. at start of Spanish American War

    • May – Philippine forces take Manila city while Dewey “defeats” Spanish navy in Battle of Manila Bay

    • June 12 – Aguinaldo declares independence

    • Dec – US and Spain sign Treaty of Paris – US buys Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico for $20 million

Philippine Revolution


The philippine american war

  • Feb 1899 – start of armed conflict between U.S. & Filipino forces

    • “Philippine Insurrection” vs “Philippine American War”

  • 1902

    • declared official end of insurrection, but guerilla fighters continue to resist up to WWII

    • American use of scorched earth campaigns, concentration camps and water cure

    • Estimated # of Filipino casualties is anywhere from 250,000 to 1 million

The Philippine American War


Benevolent assimilation

“ When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confessed I did not know what to do with them… I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance…it came to me this way… 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… there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died.” (Pres. William McKinley, Jan 22, 1903 to the delegation of the Methodist Church)

  • American Anglo-Saxon = divinely sanctioned epitome of civilization

  • For love of civilization, US must sacrifice to “uplift” and “civilize”

  • Control of people and land not about extractive colonialism but benevolent assimilation

Benevolent Assimilation


The splendid little war

Political cartoon from Judge

The caption reads: the Filipino’s first bath.

President McKinley stands in the pool of civilization in front of the white house.

In the background, Puerto Rico and Cuba have just had their bath.


Inclusion vs exclusion

  • 1902-1934 – Philippines under direct US military control

  • 1901-1905 – the Insular Cases

    • “Does the Constitution follow the flag?”

    • Philippines declared an unincorporated territory

    • Filipinos categorized as US nationals – could travel with US passports but did not have full rights of citizenship

  • 1916 – Jones Act – US will grant independence “as soon as a stable government can be established”

Inclusion vs Exclusion


Questions to consider

  • Is America is in the Heart an autobiography? A fictionalized memoir? A novel? Why does it seem to blur the line between history, memory and fiction?

  • How does the narrator’s imagining of America in part 1 contrast with his experiences in parts 1-4 of the novel? How does the narrator attempt to understand and confront the disparity?

  • How does the narrator’s relationship with white American women symbolize his larger perception and relationship to America?

  • Ultimately, what does it mean when the author insists America is in the heart?

Questions to consider


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