Philippine * American War

A Case of Guilt, Shame, or
The Philippine-American War
Kevin M. Mariano
5 Focus Questions
 What lessons can be learned from studying the Philippine-American War and
should it be more of a focus in American public education? Explain.
Explain the impact that guerilla tactics had on both the Americans and Filipinos.
Why did Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo try to appeal to both the American government and
the American public?
Determine if the Philippine-American war is a case of "Guilt, Shame, or Amnesia"
for the American public and how this should be addressed?
Examine the use of learning with textbooks and learning with primary sources: why
is it valuable to learn from different sources and why are textbooks often limited in
their information?
Spanish American War
Background (Review)
•1854 U.S. wants to buy Cuba from Spain
•1886 American Sugar Plantations
•1895 Cuban revolutionaries destroy American
property why?
•General “Butcher” Weyler
•Yellow Journalism
•DeLome Letter Scandal
•U.S.S. Maine
• Feb 18,1898 USS Maine suddenly blows up
in Havana Harbor
• 260+ US men died
• Cause? Initially, people thought that Spain
was responsible
• $50,000 reward!
Yellow Journalism
• A type of
news in favor
of eyecatching
that sell
Spanish-American War
•April 1898 McKinley asks Congress for
permission to use force against Spain
The Philippines
•11,000 Americans joined forces with
Filipino rebels
•George Dewey – friends with T. Roosevelt.
- commander of Navy’s Asiatic squadron –
May 1st: enters Manila Bay with superior fire
power – Spanish surrender in 1 day – 381
Spanish dead – 1 American dead
BEGAN: February 4, 1899
ENDED: July 4, 1902 (This is the "official" end of the war, as proclaimed by U.S.
President Theodore Roosevelt. Fighting continued on several islands for years to
CAUSES: the U.S. government's quest for an overseas empire and the desire of
the Filipino people for freedom
a clash between the forces of imperialism and nationalism.
U.S.-- 4,234 dead and 2,818 wounded. Philippines-- 20,000 military dead and
200,000 civilian dead
Some historians place the numbers of civilian dead at 500,000 or higher.
1. This was the first major land campaign fought by the U.S. outside of the
Western Hemisphere.
2. The Philippine-American War can be considered America's first
"Imperialistic" conflict.
•Annexation of the Philippines – McKinley said
“must take them all and educate the Filipinos and
uplift and Christianize them”  Philippines becomes
central issue around which U.S. imperialism is
debated – Feb. 1899 Philippines annexed by U.S.
•Philippine-American War – Jan. 1899 Emilio
Aguinaldo declares Philippines independent  Feb.
armed conflict – Guerilla Warfare
When else was the U.S. involved in conflict against native peoples?
How was this fight different?
1. No reservations (to settle on)
2. No railroads/American settlers
3. Must pacify Filipinos not just defeat them
b/c US citizens are not “moving there”
USA Artillery
Filipino Artillery
Guerrilla Warfare
• the irregular warfare and combat in which a
small group of combatants use mobile military
tactics in the form of ambushes and raids to
combat a larger and less mobile formal army
Balangiga Massacre, September 28, 1901
• Company C, 9th US Infantry = 1st month = fraternization with
Filipinos (romance, parties, baseball, competitions/demonstrations)
• September 22, 1901- Two drunken US soldiers molest Filipino girl 
girl’s two brothers mauled the men, not killed
• Valeriano Abanador – local chief, mastermind of Filipino guerilla
- Women/children escorted out in the middle of the night
- August 28th, at 6:45am: 34 Filipinos cross dressed “as
worshipers”  Abanador stole US soldier’s gun, hit him in the
head, and yelled,“Atake, mga Balangigan-on! (Attack, men of
• A bell in the church tower was rung seconds later, to announce that
the attack had begun.
• 500 Filipinos hack Americans to death; close combat
• Most Americans initially defend themselves with chairs, utensils
• Filipinos retreat when remaining US organize their weapons
48 of 76 US men killed; of 26 remaining, 22 severely wounded
Filipinos also took 100 rifles with 25,000 rounds of ammunition; 28
Filipinos died and 22 were wounded
US wants revenge
US public shocked
US newspapers: “…the worst disaster suffered by the U.S. Army since Custer's last
stand at Little Big Horn.”
Maj. Gen. Adna R. Chaffee,( military governor for the “unpacified” areas of the
Philippines),to the media: “The situation calls for shot, shells and bayonets as the
natives are not to be trusted… If you should hear of a few Filipinos more or less
being put away don't grow too sentimental over it."
Chaffee informed his officers that it was his intention "to give the Filipinos 'bayonet
rule' for years to come."
President Theodore Roosevelt ordered Chaffee to adopt "in no unmistakable
terms," the "most stern measures to pacify Samar."
After the massacre at Balangiga, US General Smith issued his infamous Circular No.
6, and ordered his command thus: "I want no prisoners" and "I wish you to kill and
burn; and the more you burn and kill, the better it will please me." Then he tasked
his men to reduce Samar into a "howling wilderness," to kill anyone 10 years old
and above capable of bearing arms.
How did America try to pacify the
1. “Civilization”: Built railroads,
telegraph lines, telephone lines,
schools bridges (but did Filip.
want/need this? Who does it
“really” help?)
2. Torture, called Filipinos “niggers”
or “gugus,” massacred, herded
300,000 civilians into
concentration camps
The “Cost” of Philippine- American War
• (From class text: The Americans. McDougal Littell. Evanston,
Illinois. 1998): “20,000 Filipinos rebels die” // 4,000 US”
– San Juan, Jr. Article: 1.4 million Filipinos died (1,400,000)
who is telling the truth?
• $400 million = 20 times what the US paid for the islands
• Anti-Americanism
• Growing Racism
• New Resources to US
• Geographically: greater
presence in Asia
(China. Boxer Rebellion)
Assessment (use at least four sources overall)
• With this background knowledge, use the
primary sources, and the San Juan Jr. Article,
to answer either of the following Inquiry
Questions in essay format:
 What lessons can be learned from studying the PhilippineAmerican War and should it be more of a focus in American
public education? Explain.
 Determine if the Philippine-American war is a case of "Guilt,
Shame, or Amnesia" for the American public and how this
should be addressed?

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