Philippine-American War
Overview
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection (1899–1902), was an armed conflict between a group of Filipino revolutionaries and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic
First Philippine Republic
The Philippine Republic , more commonly known as the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic was a short-lived insurgent revolutionary government in the Philippines...

 to gain independence following annexation by the United States. The war was part of a series of conflicts in the Philippine struggle for independence
Philippine Declaration of Independence
The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo , Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of Independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the...

, preceded by the Philippine Revolution
Philippine Revolution
The Philippine Revolution , called the "Tagalog War" by the Spanish, was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities which resulted in the secession of the Philippine Islands from the Spanish Empire.The Philippine Revolution began in August...

 and the Spanish–American War.

Fighting erupted between U.S.
Quotations

"for American energy to build up such a commercial marine on the Pacific Coast as should ultimately convert the Pacific Ocean into an American lake, making it far more our own than the Atlantic Ocean is now Great Britain's"--Whitelaw Reid|Whitelaw Reid, part of the commision sent to Paris to negotiate the Treaty of Paris|Treaty of Paris to end the Spanish-American War|Spanish-American War.

"The fighting ... was precipitated by ... two native soldiers who refused to obey the order of a sentry who challenged their passage to his post.... They insolently refused to [halt] and continued to advance," so the sentry shot them.

The U.S. troops were "expecting trouble and were glad to have an opportunity to square accounts with the natives, whose insolence of late was becoming intolerable."

"The slaughter at Manila was necessary, but not glorious. The entire American population justifies the conduct of its army at Manila because only by a crushing repulse of the Filipinos could our position be made secure....We are... the trustees of civilization and peace throughout the islands"...the "white man's burden" had been thrust on the United States by "the impotent oppression of Spain and the semi-barbarous conduct of the Philippines."

Major Edwin Glenn|Edwin Glenn did not deny that he made forty-seven prisoners kneel and "repent of their sins" before ordering them bayoneted and clubbed to death.

"Obtain information from natives no matter what measures have to be adopted."--Adna Chaffee|General Adna Chaffee

Encyclopedia
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection (1899–1902), was an armed conflict between a group of Filipino revolutionaries and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic
First Philippine Republic
The Philippine Republic , more commonly known as the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic was a short-lived insurgent revolutionary government in the Philippines...

 to gain independence following annexation by the United States. The war was part of a series of conflicts in the Philippine struggle for independence
Philippine Declaration of Independence
The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo , Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of Independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the...

, preceded by the Philippine Revolution
Philippine Revolution
The Philippine Revolution , called the "Tagalog War" by the Spanish, was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities which resulted in the secession of the Philippine Islands from the Spanish Empire.The Philippine Revolution began in August...

 and the Spanish–American War.

Fighting erupted between U.S. and Philippine revolutionary forces on February 4, 1899, and quickly escalated into the 1899 Battle of Manila
Battle of Manila (1899)
The Battle of Manila, the first and largest battle fought during the Philippine–American War, was fought on 4 and February 5, 1899, between 12,000 Americans and 15,000 Filipinos. Armed conflict broke out when American troops, under orders to turn away insurgents from their encampment, fired upon an...

. On June 2, 1899, the First Philippine Republic officially declared war against the United States. The war officially ended on July 4, 1902. However, members of the Katipunan society
Katipunan
The Katipunan was a Philippine revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892, whose primary aim was to gain independence from Spain through revolution. The society was initiated by Filipino patriots Andrés Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and others on the night...

 continued to battle the American forces. Among them was General Macario Sacay
Macario Sacay
Macario Sakay y de León was a Filipino general in the Philippine Revolution against Spain and in the Philippine-American War. According to some historians, He may have been a president of the Philippines but is currently not recognized as such by the Philippine government.He continued resistance...

, a veteran Katipunan member who assumed the presidency of the proclaimed Tagalog Republic, formed in 1902 after the capture of President Aguinaldo. Other groups, including the Moro people and Pulahanes, continued hostilities until their defeat at the Battle of Bud Bagsak on June 15, 1913.

Opposition to the war inspired Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

 to found the Anti-Imperialist League
American Anti-Imperialist League
The American Anti-Imperialist League was an organization established in the United States on June 15, 1898 to battle the American annexation of the Philippines as an insular area...

 on June 15, 1898. The war and occupation by the United States would change the cultural landscape of the islands, as the people dealt with an estimated 34,000–1,000,000 casualties, disestablishment of the Catholic Church as the state religion, and the introduction of the English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as the primary language of government and some businesses. In 1916, the United States promised eventual self-government, a limited form of which came in 1935. In 1946, following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the United States recognized Philippine Independence through the Treaty of Manila
Treaty of Manila (1946)
The Treaty of Manila is a treaty of general relations signed on July 4, 1946 in Manila, capital of the Philippines. Parties to the treaty were the governments of the United States and the Republic of the Philippines...

.

Philippine Revolution

On July 7, 1892 Andrés Bonifacio
Andres Bonifacio
Andrés Bonifacio y de Castro was a Filipino nationalist and revolutionary. He was a founder and later Supremo of the Katipunan movement which sought the independence of the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule and started the Philippine Revolution...

, a warehouseman
Warehouseman
A warehouseman can be someone who works in a warehouse, usually delivering goods for sale or storage, or, in older usage, someone who owns a warehouse and sells goods directly from it or from a shop fronting onto the warehouse .An Italian warehouseman was someone who stocked goods from Italy such...

 and clerk from Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, established the Katipunan
Katipunan
The Katipunan was a Philippine revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892, whose primary aim was to gain independence from Spain through revolution. The society was initiated by Filipino patriots Andrés Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and others on the night...

, a revolutionary organization which aimed to gain independence from Spanish colonial rule by armed revolt. The Katipunan spread throughout the provinces, and the Philippine Revolution
Philippine Revolution
The Philippine Revolution , called the "Tagalog War" by the Spanish, was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities which resulted in the secession of the Philippine Islands from the Spanish Empire.The Philippine Revolution began in August...

 of 1896 was led by its members, called Katipuneros. Fighters in Cavite
Cavite
Cavite is a province of the Philippines located on the southern shores of Manila Bay in the CALABARZON region in Luzon, just 30 kilometers south of Manila. Cavite is surrounded by Laguna to the east, Metro Manila to the northeast, and Batangas to the south...

 province won early victories. One of the most influential and popular Cavite leaders was Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role during the Philippines' revolution against Spain, and the subsequent Philippine-American War or War of Philippine Independence that resisted American occupation...

, mayor of Cavite El Viejo (modern-day Kawit), who gained control of much of eastern Cavite. Eventually Aguinaldo and his faction gained control of the leadership of the movement. In 1897, Aguinaldo was elected president of an insurgent government while the “outmaneuvered” Bonifacio was executed for treason. Aguinaldo is officially considered the first president of the Philippines
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

.

Aguinaldo's exile and return

By December 1897 the struggle had come to a stalemate. In August 1897 armistice negotiations were opened between Aguinaldo and the current Spanish governor-general, Fernando Primo de Rivera
Fernando Primo de Rivera
Fernando Primo de Rivera y Sobremonte, 1st Marqués of Estella, 12th Count of Peña Vélez, 17th Count of Torres Rovellas, 23rd Count of Sobremonte was a Spanish politician, and soldier....

. By mid-December an agreement was reached in which the governor would pay Aguinaldo a sum described in the agreement as "$800,000 (Mexican)" in three installments if Aguinaldo would go into exile. Aguinaldo then established himself in Hong Kong. Before leaving, Aguinaldo denounced the Revolution, exhorted Filipino combatants to disarm and declared those who continued hostilities to be bandits. However, some Filipino revolutionaries did continue armed struggle against the Spanish colonial government.

Aguinaldo wrote retrospectively in 1899 that he had met with U.S. Consuls E. Spencer Pratt and Rounceville Wildman in Singapore in 1898 between April 22 and 25 and that they persuaded him to again take up the mantle of leadership in the revolution, with Pratt communicating with Admiral George Dewey
George Dewey
George Dewey was an admiral of the United States Navy. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War...

 (the U.S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron commander) by telegram, passing assurances from Dewey to Aguinaldo that the United States would at least recognize the independence of the Philippines under the protection of the United States Navy, and adding that there was no necessity for entering into a formal written agreement because the word of the Admiral and of the United States Consul were in fact equivalent to the most solemn pledge that their verbal promises and assurance would be fulfilled to the letter and were not to be classed with Spanish promises or Spanish ideas of a man’s word of honor. Aguinaldo reports agreeing to return to the Philippines, traveling from Singapore to Hong Kong aboard the steamship Malacca, onwards from Hong Kong on American dispatch-boat McCulloch, and arriving in Cavite on May 19. The New York Times wrote on August 6, 1899 that Pratt had obtained a court order enjoining the publication of certain statements "... which might be regarded as showing a positive connection" between himself and Aguinaldo. The Times reports the court ruling to uphold Mr. Pratt's position that he had "no dealings of a political character" with Aguinaldo and the book publisher withdrew from publication statements to the contrary.

In Camiguin, Aguinaldo reports meeting with Admiral Dewey, and recalls: "I asked whether it was true that he had sent all the telegrams to the Consul at Singapore, Mr. Pratt, which that gentleman had told me he received in regard to myself. The Admiral replied in the affirmative, adding that the United States had come to the Philippines to protect the natives and free them from the yoke of Spain. He said, moreover, that America is exceedingly well off as regards territory, revenue, and resources and therefore needs no colonies, assuring me finally that there was no occasion for me to entertain any doubts whatever about the recognition of the Independence of the Philippines by the United States." By late May Dewey had been ordered by the U.S. Department of the Navy to distance himself from Aguinaldo lest he make untoward commitments to the Philippine forces.
In a matter of months after Aguinaldo's return, Filipino revolutionary forces conquered nearly all of Spanish-held ground within the Philippines. With the exception of Manila, which was completely surrounded by revolutionary forces some 12,000 strong, the Filipinos now controlled the Philippines. Aguinaldo also turned over 15,000 Spanish prisoners to the Americans, offering them valuable intelligence. On June 12 Aguinaldo declared independence
Philippine Declaration of Independence
The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo , Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of Independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the...

 at his house in Cavite El Viejo.

On August 13, with American commanders unaware that a peace protocol had been signed between Spain and the United States on the previous day, American forces captured the city of Manila from the Spanish. Governor-General Fermin Jaudenes had made a secret agreement with Dewey and General Wesley Merritt
Wesley Merritt
Wesley Merritt was a general in the United States Army during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War. He is noted for distinguished service in the cavalry.-Early life:...

. Jaudenes specifically requested to surrender only to the Americans, not to the Filipino rebels. To save face, he proposed a mock battle with the Americans preceding the Spanish surrender; the Filipinos would not be allowed to enter the city. Dewey and Merritt agreed to this, and no one else in either camp knew about the agreement. On the eve of the mock battle, General Thomas M. Anderson
Thomas M. Anderson
Thomas McArthur Anderson was a career officer in the United States Army who served as a general in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War.-Early Life and Civil War:...

 telegraphed Aguinaldo, “Do not let your troops enter Manila without the permission of the American commander. On this side of the Pasig River you will be under fire”.

At the beginning of the war allies against Spain in all but name; now Spanish and Americans were in a partnership that excluded the Filipino insurgents. Fighting between American and Filipino troops almost broke out as the former moved in to dislodge the latter from strategic positions around Manila on the eve of the attack. Aguinaldo had been told bluntly by the Americans that his army could not participate and would be fired upon if it crossed into the city. The insurgents were infuriated at being denied triumphant entry into their own capital, but Aguinaldo bided his time. Relations continued to deteriorate, however, as it became clear to Filipinos that the Americans were in the islands to stay.

The June 12 declaration of Philippine independence had not been recognized by either the United States or Spain, and the Spanish government ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1898)
The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed on December 10, 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War, and came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the ratifications were exchanged....

, which was signed on December 10, 1898, in consideration for an indemnity for Spanish expenses and assets lost.

On January 1, 1899 Aguinaldo was declared President of the Philippines
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

—the only president of what would be later called the First Philippine Republic
First Philippine Republic
The Philippine Republic , more commonly known as the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic was a short-lived insurgent revolutionary government in the Philippines...

. He later organized a Congress at Malolos, Bulacan
Bulacan
Bulacan , officially called the Province of Bulacan or simply Bulacan Province, is a first class province of the Republic of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon Region in the island of Luzon, north of Manila , and part of the Metro...

 to draft a constitution
Constitution of the Philippines
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

.

Admiral Dewey later argued that he had promised nothing regarding the future:

Conflict origins

Filipino historian Teodoro Agoncillo
Teodoro Agoncillo
Teodoro Andal Agoncillo was a 20th-century Filipino historian. He and his contemporary Renato Constantino were among the first Filipino historians renowned for promoting a distinctly nationalist point of view of Filipino history...

 writes of "American Apostasy", saying that it was the Americans who first approached Aguinaldo in Hong Kong and Singapore to persuade him to cooperate with Dewey in wresting power from the Spanish. Conceding that Dewey may not have promised Aguinaldo American recognition and Philippine independence (Dewey had no authority to make such promises), he writes that Dewey and Aguinaldo had an informal alliance to fight a common enemy, that Dewey breached that alliance by making secret arrangements for a Spanish surrender to American forces, and that he treated Aguinaldo badly after the surrender was secured. Agoncillo concludes that the American attitude towards Aguinaldo "... showed that they came to the Philippines not as a friend, but as an enemy masking as a friend."
On December 21, 1898, President McKinley issued a Proclamation of Benevolent Assimilation
Benevolent assimilation
The term Benevolent Assimilation refers to a proclamation about the Philippines issued on December 21, 1898 by U.S. President William McKinley during the Philippine-American War, which followed the defeat of Spain during the Spanish-American War. The proclamation reads in part:The proclamation was...

. General Otis delayed its publication until January 4, 1899, then publishing an amended version edited so as not to convey the meanings of the terms "sovereignty", "protection", and "right of cessation" which were present in the unabridged version. However, General Marcus Miller, then in Iloilo and unaware that an altered version had been published by Otis, passed a copy of the unabridged proclamation to a Filipino official there. The unaltered version then found its way to Aguinaldo who, on January 5, issued a counter-proclamation: "My government cannot remain indifferent in view of such a violent and aggressive seizure of a portion of its territory by a nation which arrogated to itself the title of champion of oppressed nations. Thus it is that my government is disposed to open hostilities if the American troops attempt to take forcible possession of the Visayan islands. I denounce these acts before the world, in order that the conscience of mankind may pronounce its infallible verdict as to who are true oppressors of nations and the tormentors of mankind." In a revised proclamation issued the same day, Aguinaldo protested "most solemnly against his intrusion of the United States Government on the sovereignty of these islands."

Otis regarded these two proclamations as tantamount to war, alerting his troops and strengthening observation posts. On the other hand, Aguinaldo's proclamations energized the masses with a vigorous determination to fight what was perceived as an ally turned enemy. On the evening of February 4, two American sentries, one of which was Pvt. Robert William Greyson, on guard duty at Manila's San Juan del Monte bridge fired the shots which began the 1899 Battle of Manila
Battle of Manila (1899)
The Battle of Manila, the first and largest battle fought during the Philippine–American War, was fought on 4 and February 5, 1899, between 12,000 Americans and 15,000 Filipinos. Armed conflict broke out when American troops, under orders to turn away insurgents from their encampment, fired upon an...

. The following day, General Arthur MacArthur, without investigating the cause of the firing, ordered his troops to advance against Filipino troops, beginning a full-scale armed clash.

First Philippine Commission

On January 20, 1899, President McKinley had appointed Dr. Jacob Gould Schurman to chair a commission, with Dean C. Worcester, Charles H. Denby
Charles Harvey Denby
Colonel Charles Denby was a U.S. Union officer in the Civil War and diplomat. He was the father of Edwin C. Denby, a U.S. Representative from Michigan, and later Secretary of the Navy, and Charles Denby, Jr., a diplomat....

, Admiral Dewey, and General Otis as members, to investigate conditions in the islands and make recommendations. Fighting had erupted between U.S. and Filipino forces in February, and the non-military commission members found General Otis looking on the commission as an infringement upon his authority when they arrived in March.

In the report that they issued to the president the following year, the commissioners acknowledged Filipino aspirations for independence; they declared, however, that the Philippines was not ready for it. Specific recommendations included the establishment of civilian control over Manila (Otis would have veto power over the city’s government), creation of civilian government as rapidly as possible, especially in areas already declared “pacified” (the American chief executive in the islands at that time was the military governor), including the establishment of a bicameral legislature, autonomous governments on the provincial and municipal levels, and a system of free public elementary schools.

On November 2, 1900 Dr. Schurman signed the following statement:

Second Philippine Commission

The Second Philippine Commission (the Taft Commission
Taft Commission
The Taft Commission, also known as Second Philippine Commission was established by United States President William McKinley on March 16, 1900. The Commission was the legislature of the Philippines, then known as the Philippine Islands under the sovereign control of the United States during the...

), appointed by McKinley on March 16, 1900, and headed by William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

, was granted legislative as well as limited executive powers. Between September 1900 and August 1902 it issued 499 laws. A judicial system
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 was established, including a Supreme Court
Supreme court
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or apex court...

, and a legal code
Legal code
A legal code is a body of law written by a governmental body, such as a U.S. state, a Canadian Province or German Bundesland or a municipality...

 was drawn up to replace antiquated Spanish ordinances. A civil service was organized. The 1901 municipal code provided for popularly elected presidents, vice president
Vice president
A vice president is an officer in government or business who is below a president in rank. The name comes from the Latin vice meaning 'in place of'. In some countries, the vice president is called the deputy president...

s, and councilors to serve on municipal
Township
The word township is used to refer to different kinds of settlements in different countries. Township is generally associated with an urban area. However there are many exceptions to this rule. In Australia, the United States, and Canada, they may be settlements too small to be considered urban...

 boards. The municipal board members were responsible for collecting taxes, maintaining municipal properties, and undertaking necessary construction projects; they also elected provincial
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

 governors.

American Tactics

The American military strategy in the Philippines shifted from a conventional footing against Spain to a suppression footing against the insurrection. Tactics were changed toward control of key areas and segregation of the civilian population from the guerrilla population. The use of concentration camps or "zones of protection" theoretically prevented an undue loss of civilian life that would have occurred had the US Army engaged in total war on the Filipino population. However, due to unsanitary conditions, many of the interned died from dysentery.

Support for American actions in the Philippines was justified by those in the U.S. government and media who supported the conflict through the use of moralistic oration. Stuart Creighton Miller writes "Americans altruistically went to war with Spain to liberate the Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Filipinos from their tyrannical yoke. If they lingered on too long in the Philippines, it was to protect the Filipinos from European predators waiting in the wings for an American withdrawal and to tutor them in American-style democracy."

General Otis's Actions

General Otis gained a significant amount of notoriety for his actions in the Philippines. Although multiple orders were given to Otis from Washington to avoid military conflict, he did very little to circumvent the breakout of war. Notably, shortly after fighting began he turned down a proposal from Emilio Aguinaldo to end the fighting, stating “fighting, having begun, must go on to the grim end.” Otis refused to accept anything but unconditional surrender from the Philippine Army. He often made major military decisions on his own, without first consulting leadership in Washington at all. He acted aggressively in dealing with the Filipinos under the impression that their resistance would collapse quickly; even after this proved false, he continued to insist that the insurgency had been defeated, and that the remaining casualties were caused by “isolated bands of outlaws”.

Otis also played a large role in suppressing information about American military tactics from the media. When letters describing American atrocities reached the American media, the War Department became involved and demanded that General Otis investigate their authenticity. Each press clipping was forwarded to the original writer’s commanding officer, who would then convince or force the soldier to write a retraction of the original statements.

Meanwhile, Otis claimed that Filipino insurgents tortured American prisoners in “fiendish fashion”. During the closing months of 1899 Emilio Aguinaldo attempted to counter General Otis’s account by suggesting that neutral parties—foreign journalists or representatives of the International Red Cross—inspect his military operations. Otis refused, but Emilio Aguinaldo managed to smuggle four reporters—two English, one Canadian, and one Japanese—into the Philippines. The correspondents returned to Manila to report that American captives were “treated more like guests than prisoners,” were “fed the best that the country affords, and everything is done to gain their favor.” The story went on to say that American prisoners were offered commissions in the Filipino army and that three had accepted. The four reporters were expelled from the Philippines as soon as their stories were printed.

Naval Lieutenant J.C. Gilmore, whose release was forced by American cavalry pursuing Aguinaldo into the mountains, insisted that he had received “considerable treatment” and that he was no more starved than were his captors. Otis responded to these two articles by ordering the “capture” of the two authors, and that they be “investigated”, therefore questioning their loyalty.

When F.A. Blake of the International Red Cross arrived at Emilio Aguinaldo’s request, Otis kept him confined to Manila, where Otis’s staff explained all of the Filipinos' violations of civilized warfare. Blake managed to slip away from an escort and venture into the field. Blake never made it past American lines, but even within American lines he saw burned out villages and “horribly mutilated bodies, with stomachs slit open and occasionally decapitated.” Blake waited to return to San Francisco, where he told one reporter that “American soldiers are determined to kill every Filipino in sight.”

Philippine war strategy

Estimates of the Filipino forces vary between 80,000 and 100,000, with tens of thousands of auxiliaries. Lack of weapons and ammunition was a significant impediment to the Filipinos.

The goal, or end-state, sought by the First Philippine Republic was a sovereign, independent, socially stable Philippines led by the ilustrado (intellectual
Intellectual
An intellectual is a person who uses intelligence and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity.- Terminology and endeavours :"Intellectual" can denote four types of persons:...

) oligarchy
Oligarchy
Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy...

. Local chieftains, landowners, and businessmen were the principales
Principalia
The Principalía or noble class was the ruling and, usually, the educated upper class in the towns of colonial Philippines, composed of the Gobernadorcillo , and the Cabezas de Barangay who governed the districts. The distinction or status of being part of the Principalía is a heriditary right...

who controlled local politics. The war was strongest when illustrados, principales, and peasants were unified in opposition to annexation
Annexation
Annexation is the de jure incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity . Usually, it is implied that the territory and population being annexed is the smaller, more peripheral, and weaker of the two merging entities, barring physical size...

. The peasants, who provided the bulk of guerrilla manpower, had interests different from their illustrado leaders and the principales of their villages. Coupled with the ethnic and geographic fragmentation, unity was a daunting task. The challenge for Aguinaldo and his generals was to sustain unified Filipino public opposition; this was the revolutionaries' strategic center of gravity
Center of gravity (military)
The center of gravity is a concept developed by Carl Von Clausewitz, a Prussian military theorist, in his work On War.-United States Department of Defense:...

.

The Filipino operational center of gravity was the ability to sustain its force of 100,000 irregulars in the field. The Filipino general Francisco Makabulos described the Filipinos' war aim as, “not to vanquish the U.S. Army but to inflict on them constant losses.” They sought to initially use conventional tactics and an increasing toll of U.S. casualties to contribute to McKinley's defeat in the 1900 presidential election. Their hope was that as President the avowedly anti-imperialist
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

 would withdraw from the Philippines. They pursued this short-term goal with guerrilla tactics
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 better suited to a protracted struggle. While targeting McKinley motivated the revolutionaries in the short term, his victory demoralized them and convinced many undecided Filipinos that the United States would not depart precipitately.

Guerrilla war phase

For most of 1899, the revolutionary leadership had viewed guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 strategically only as a tactical option of final recourse, not as a means of operation which better suited their disadvantaged situation. On November 13, 1900, Emilio Aguinaldo decreed that guerrilla war would henceforth be the strategy. This made American occupation of the Philippine archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 all the more difficult over the next few years. In fact, during just the first four months of the guerrilla war, the Americans had nearly 500 casualties. The Philippine Army began staging bloody ambushes and raids, such as the guerrilla victories at Paye
Battle of Paye
The Battle of Paye was a battle during the Philippine-American War between the United States and the Philippines. It was fought on December 19, 1899, near San Mateo in Morong between the forces of General Henry Ware Lawton, and 200 Filipino riflemen under General Licerio Gerónimo...

, Catubig
Siege of Catubig
The Siege of Catubig was a long and bloody engagement fought during the Philippine-American War, in which Filipino guerrillas launched a surprise attack against a detachment of U.S. infantry, and then forced them to abandon the town after a four-day siege. It began on April 15, 1900, and lasted...

, Makahambus
Battle of Makahambus
The Battle of Makahambus Hill was one of the few victories won by the Filipinos over the Americans during the Philippine-American War. It was fought on June 4, 1900 in Cagayan de Misamis . The Filipinos were under the command of Colonel Apolinar Velez of the Maguindanao Battalion...

, Pulang Lupa
Battle of Pulang Lupa
The Battle of Pulang Lupa was an engagement fought on September 13, 1900, during the Philippine-American War between the forces of Colonel Maximo Abad and Devereux Shields, in which Abad's men defeated the American force....

, Balangiga
Balangiga massacre
The Balangiga massacre, as it is known in the Philippines, or the Balangiga affair, as it is known in the United States, was an incident in 1901 during the Philippine-American War where more than forty American soldiers were killed in a surprise guerrilla attack in the town of Balangiga on Samar...

 and Mabitac
Battle of Mabitac
The Battle of Mabitac was an engagement in the Philippine-American War, when on September 17, 1900, Filipinos under General Juan Cailles defeated an American force commanded by Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham, Jr....

. At first, it even seemed as if the Filipinos would fight the Americans to a stalemate and force them to withdraw. This was even considered by President McKinley at the beginning of the phase.

The shift to guerrilla warfare drove the US Army to a "total-war" doctrine. Civilians were given identification and forced into concentration camps with a publicly announced deadline after which all persons found outside of camps without identification would be shot on sight. Thousands of civilians died in these camps due to poor conditions. However this brought the war to a quick end.

Decline and fall of the First Philippine Republic

The Philippine Army continued suffering defeats from the better armed United States Army during the conventional warfare phase, forcing Aguinaldo to continually change his base of operations, which he did for nearly the length of the entire war.

On March 23, 1901 General Frederick Funston
Frederick Funston
Frederick N. Funston also known as Fred Funston, was a General in the United States Army, best known for his role in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War...

 and his troops captured Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela
Palanan, Isabela
Palanan is a remote 2nd class municipality in the province of Isabela, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 16,254 people in 2,837 households....

, with the help of some Filipinos (called the Macabebe Scouts
Philippine Scouts
The Philippine Scouts was a military organization of the United States Army from 1901 until the end of World War II. Made up of native Filipinos assigned to the United States Army Philippine Department, these troops were generally enlisted and under the command of American officers, however, a...

 after their home locale) who had joined the Americans' side. The Americans pretended to be captives of the Scouts, who were dressed in Philippine Army uniforms. Once Funston and his "captors" entered Aguinaldo's camp, they immediately fell upon the guards and quickly overwhelmed them and the weary Aguinaldo.

On April 1, 1901, at the Malacañang Palace
Malacañang Palace
The Malacañan Palace, commonly known simply as Malacañang, is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the Philippines. Located at 1000 J. P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, the house was built in 1750 in Spanish Colonial style. It has been the residence of every...

 in Manila, Aguinaldo swore an oath accepting the authority of the United States over the Philippines and pledging his allegiance to the American government. On April 19, he issued a Proclamation of Formal Surrender to the United States, telling his followers to lay down their weapons and give up the fight. “Let the stream of blood cease to flow; let there be an end to tears and desolation,” Aguinaldo said. “The lesson which the war holds out and the significance of which I realized only recently, leads me to the firm conviction that the complete termination of hostilities and a lasting peace are not only desirable but also absolutely essential for the well-being of the Philippines.”

The capture of Aguinaldo dealt a severe blow to the Filipino cause, but not as much as the Americans had hoped. General Miguel Malvar
Miguel Malvar
Miguel Malvar y Carpio was a Filipino commander who served during the Philippine Revolution and subsequently during the Philippine–American War. He assumed command of the Philippine revolutionary forces during the latter conflict following the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo in 1901...

 took over the leadership of the Filipino government, or what remained of it. He originally had taken a defensive stance against the Americans, but now launched all-out offensive against the American-held towns in the Batangas
Batangas
Batangas is a first class province of the Philippines located on the southwestern part of Luzon in the CALABARZON region. Its capital is Batangas City and it is bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna to the north and Quezon to the east. Across the Verde Island Passages to the south is the...

 region. General Vincente Lukban in Samar, and other army officers, continued the war in their respective areas.

In response General J. Franklin Bell
J. Franklin Bell
James Franklin Bell was Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1906 to 1910.Bell was a major-general in the Regular United States Army, commanding the Department of the East, with headquarters at Governors Island, New York at the time of his death in 1919...

 adopted tactics to counter Malvar's guerrilla strategy. Forcing civilians to live in concentration camps, Use of water cure
Water cure (torture)
Water cure as a term for a form of torture refers to a method in which the victim is forced to drink large quantities of water in a short time, resulting in gastric distension, water intoxication and possibly death....

 interrogation, and his scorched earth
Scorched earth
A scorched earth policy is a military strategy or operational method which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area...

 campaigns took a heavy toll on the Filipino revolutionaries.
Bell also relentlessly pursued Malvar and his men, breaking ranks, dropping morale, and forcing the surrender of many of the Filipino soldiers. Finally, Malvar surrendered, along with his sick wife and children and some of his officers, on April 13, 1902. By the end of the month nearly 3,000 of Malvar's men had also surrendered. With the surrender of Malvar, the Filipino war effort began to dwindle even further.

Official end to the war

The Philippine Organic Act of July 1902
Philippine Organic Act (1902)
The Philippine Organic Act, popularly known as the Philippine Bill of 1902 and sometimes known as the Cooper Act after its author Henry A. Cooper, was the first organic law for the Philippines enacted by the United States Congress during the American Colonial Period in the Philippines...

 ratified McKinley's previous executive order which established the Philippine Commission, and stipulated that a legislature would be established composed of a popularly elected lower house, the Philippine Assembly
Philippine Assembly
The Philippine Assembly was the lower house of the legislative body of the Philippines during the early part of American colonial period. It was created by the Philippine Organic Act, passed in 1902, which also established the Philippine Commission as the upper house of the Philippine Legislature,...

, and an upper house consisting of the Philippine Commission. The act also provided for extending the United States Bill of Rights to Filipinos.

On July 2. the U.S. Secretary of War telegraphed that since the insurrection against the U.S. had ended and provincial civil governments had been established, the office of military governor was terminated. On July 4, Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, who had succeeded to the U.S. Presidency after the assassination of President McKinley
William McKinley assassination
The assassination of William McKinley occurred on September 6, 1901, inside the Temple of Music located on the grounds of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York...

 on September 5, 1901, proclaimed a full and complete pardon and amnesty to all people in the Philippine archipelago who had participated in the conflict.

Irreconcilables

Historian Constantino has suggested that the war unofficially continued for nearly a decade since remnants of the Katipunan
Katipunan
The Katipunan was a Philippine revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892, whose primary aim was to gain independence from Spain through revolution. The society was initiated by Filipino patriots Andrés Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and others on the night...

 and other resistance groups, collectively known as Irreconcilables, remained active fighting the United States Military or Philippine Constabulary
Philippine Constabulary
The Philippine Constabulary ' was the oldest of four service commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It was a gendarmerie type para-military police force of the Philippines established in 1901 by the United States-appointed administrative authority replacing the Guardia Civil...

. After the close of the war, however, Governor General Taft preferred to rely on the Philippine Constabulary and to treat the Irreconcibiles as a law enforcement concern rather than a military concern requiring the involvement of the American army. He was, in fact, criticized for this.

On September 25, 1903 in Bicol, Simeon Ola of Guinobatan, Albay
Guinobatan, Albay
Guinobatan is a 1st class municipality in the province of Albay, Philippines. It is the birthplace of Gen. Simeón Ola, the last Filipino general to surrender to the Americans after the Philippine-American War....

 surrenderred in place of Malvar, becoming arguably the last Filipino general to surrender.

In 1902 Macario Sakay a veteran Katipunan member formed another Tagalog Republic, called Katagalugan after Bonifacio's, in southern Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

. The republic ended in 1906 when Sakay and his top followers were arrested and executed the following year by the American authorities as bandits, after they had accepted an amnesty offer.

Pulajanes

Quasi-religious armed groups also fought Americans in assorted provinces. These groups included the pulajanes, so called because of their red garments; the colorum, from a corruption of the Latin in saecula saeculorum part of the Glory Be to the Father
Glory Be to the Father
Gloria Patri, also known as Glory Be to the Father’ , is a doxology, a short hymn of praise to God in various Christian liturgies...

 prayer; and Dios-Dios, literally "God-God". They were mostly composed of farmers and other poor people, led by messianic leaders such as Dionisio Seguela, a.k.a. Papa Isio
Papa Isio
Dionisio Magbuelas, Dionisio Seguela or Dionisio Papa y Barlucia, more widely known as Papa Isio , was the leader of a group of babaylanes who were, as conjectured by Modesto P...

 ("Isio the Pope"), and subscribed to a blend of Roman Catholic and folk belief. For example, they believed amulet
Amulet
An amulet, similar to a talisman , is any object intended to bring good luck or protection to its owner.Potential amulets include gems, especially engraved gems, statues, coins, drawings, pendants, rings, plants and animals; even words said in certain occasions—for example: vade retro satana—, to...

s, called agimat or anting-anting, would make them bulletproof. These movements were all dismissed by the American government as bandits, fanatics or cattle rustlers. The last of these groups were defeated or had surrendered by 1913.

Moro Rebellion

The American government had a peace treaty with the Sultanate of Sulu at the outbreak of the war with Aguinaldo that was supposed to prevent war in Moro territory
Bangsamoro
The term Bangsamoro refers to a people who are natives or original inhabitants of the island of Mindanao and its adjacent islands in the Philippines, including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization...

. However, after the resistance in the north was crippled, the United States began to colonize Moro land, which provoked the Moro Rebellion
Moro Rebellion
The Moro Rebellion was an armed military conflict between Moro revolutionary groups in the Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan and the United States military which took place in the Philippines as early as between 1899 to 1913, following the Spanish-American War in 1898...

. Beginning with the Taraca
Battle of Taraca
The Battle of Taraca was fought in what is now Taraka, Lanao del Sur in the Philippines between the Moro people of Mindanao and the United States during the Philippine-American War. General Leonard Wood invited the Moro leader, Datu Ampuanagus to consult with him, but was met with refusal. The...

, which occurred on April 4, 1904, American forces battled Datu Ampuanagus, who surrendered after losing 200 members of his people. Numerous battles would occur after that up until the end of the conflict on June 15, 1913. During the conflict, the battles of Bud Dajo
First Battle of Bud Dajo
The First Battle of Bud Dajo, also known as the Battle of Mt. Dajo, was a counter insurgency action fought by the United States Army against native Moros in March 1906, during the Moro Rebellion phase of the Philippine-American War...

 and Bud Bagsak were among the most notable since casualties included women and children.

American opposition

Some Americans, notably William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

, Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

, Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century...

, Ernest Crosby, and other members of the American Anti-Imperialist League
American Anti-Imperialist League
The American Anti-Imperialist League was an organization established in the United States on June 15, 1898 to battle the American annexation of the Philippines as an insular area...

, strongly objected to the annexation of the Philippines. Anti-imperialist movements claimed that the United States had become a colonial power, by replacing Spain as the colonial power in the Philippines. Other anti-imperialists opposed annexation on racist
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 grounds. Among these was Senator Benjamin Tillman
Benjamin Tillman
Benjamin Ryan Tillman was an American politician who served as the 84th Governor of South Carolina, from 1890 to 1894, and as a United States Senator, from 1895 until his death in office. Tillman's views were a matter of national controversy.Tillman was a member of the Democratic Party...

 of South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

, who feared that annexation of the Philippines would lead to an influx of non-white immigrants into the United States. As news of atrocities committed in subduing the Philippines arrived in the United States, support for the war flagged.

Mark Twain famously opposed the war by using his influence in the press. He said the war betrayed the ideals of American democracy by not allowing the Filipino people to choose their own destiny.
In a diary passage removed by Twain's first biographical editor Thomas Bigelow Paine, Twain refers to American troops as “our uniformed assassins” and describes their killing of “six hundred helpless and weaponless savages” in the Philippines as “a long and happy picnic with nothing to do but sit in comfort and fire the Golden Rule into those people down there and imagine letters to write home to the admiring families, and pile glory upon glory.”

Some later historians, such as Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn was an American historian, academic, author, playwright, and social activist. Before and during his tenure as a political science professor at Boston University from 1964-88 he wrote more than 20 books, which included his best-selling and influential A People's History of the United...

 and Daniel Boone Schirmer, cite the Philippine–American War as an example of American imperialism.

Filipino collaboration

Some of Aguinaldo's associates supported America, even before hostilities began. Pedro Paterno
Pedro Paterno
Pedro Alejandro Paterno y de Vera-Ignacio, also spelled Pedro Alejandro Paterno y Debera Ignacio was a Filipino politician, as well as a poet and novelist.His intervention on behalf of the Spanish led to the signing of the Pact of...

, Aguinaldo's prime minister and the author of the 1897 armistice treaty with Spain, advocated the incorporation of the Philippines into the United States in 1898. Other associates sympathetic to the U.S. were Trinidad Pardo de Tavera and Benito Legarda, prominent members of Congress; Gregorio Araneta, Aguinaldo's Secretary of Justice; and Felipe Buencamino, Aguinaldo's Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Buencamino is recorded to have said in 1902: "I am an American and all the money in the Philippines, the air, the light, and the sun I consider American." Many such people subsequently held posts in the colonial government.

U.S. Army Captain Matthew Arlington Batson
Matthew Arlington Batson
Matthew Arlington Batson was a United States Army Officer who received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Philippine-American War. 1st Lieutenant Batson was awarded the medal for swimming the San Juan River under enemy fire. He later obtained the rank of Captain. He was awarded his medal...

 formed the Macabebe Scouts as a native guerrilla force to fight the insurgency.

American atrocities

It should be noted that the number of Filipino casualties was at the time, and still is, intensely debated and politicized. It is estimated that some 34,000 Filipino soldiers lost their lives and that as many as 200,000 civilians may have died directly or indirectly as a result of the war, most due to a major cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 epidemic that broke out near its end.

In 1908 Manuel Arellano Remondo, in General Geography of the Philippine Islands, wrote:
“The population decreased due to the wars, in the five-year period from 1895 to 1900, since, at the start of the first insurrection, the population was estimated at 9,000,000, and at present (1908), the inhabitants of the Archipelago do not exceed 8,000,000 in number.” In light of the massive casualties suffered by the civilian population, Filipino historian E. San Juan, Jr.
E. San Juan, Jr.
Epifanio San Juan, Jr., also known as E. San Juan, Jr. , is a known Filipino American literary academic, mentor, cultural reviewer, civic intellectual, activist, writer, essayist, video/film maker, editor, and poet whose works related to the Filipino Diaspora in English and Filipino languages have...

, alleges that the death of 1.4 million Filipinos constitutes an act of genocide on the part of the United States.

Atrocities were committed on both sides. United States attacks into the countryside often included scorched earth campaigns in which entire villages were burned and destroyed, the use of torture (water cure
Water cure (torture)
Water cure as a term for a form of torture refers to a method in which the victim is forced to drink large quantities of water in a short time, resulting in gastric distension, water intoxication and possibly death....

) and the concentration of civilians into "protected zones". In November 1901, the Manila correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger reported:"The present war is no bloodless, opera bouffe engagement; our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog...."

American soldiers' letters and response

Throughout the entire war American soldiers would write home about the horrors and atrocities which the United States committed in the Philippines. In these letters they would criticize General Otis and the U.S. military; when these letters reached anti-imperialist editors they became national news and forced the War Department to look into their truthfulness. Two of the letters went as follows:
  1. A New York-born soldier: “The town of Titatia [sic] was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger (Benevolent Assimilation, p. 88).”
  2. Corporal Sam Gillis: “We make everyone get into his house by seven p.m., and we only tell a man once. If he refuses we shoot him. We killed over 300 natives the first night. They tried to set the town on fire. If they fire a shot from the house we burn the house down and every house near it, and shoot the natives, so they are pretty quiet in town now.”


However, General Otis’s investigation of the content of these letters consisted of sending a copy of them to the author’s superior and having him force the soldier/author to write a retraction. Then, when a soldier refused to do so, as Private Charles Brenner of the Kansas regiment did, he was, remarkably, court-martialed. In the case of Private Brenner, the charge was “for writing and conniving at the publication of an article which…contains willful [sic] falsehoods concerning himself and a false charge against Captain Bishop.” This is not to say that all American soldiers’ letters home explained the atrocities committed by the U.S. so as to bring about the American public’s and General Otis’s displeasure. Many portrayed U.S. actions as the result of Filipino “insurgent” provocation and thus entirely justified. One such letter home was written by Private Hermann Dittner and was titled “the trouble with the nigs”. It went as follows:
“It then became apparent that a fight was imminent. So on February 3 we posted our sentry at the same old place. The insurgents kicked but without avail. Our colonel was down there and an insurgent called him a s - n - -b - h. Of course this made Stotsenburg mad and he gave orders to arrest the lieutenant as soon as they could catch him.”

Concentration camps

Filipino villagers were forced into concentration camps called reconcentrados which were surrounded by free-fire zones, or in other words “dead zones.” Furthermore, these camps were overcrowded and filled with disease, causing the death rate to be extremely high. Conditions in these “reconcentrados” were inhumane. Between January and April 1902, 8,350 prisoners of approximately 298,000 died. Some camps incurred death rates as high as 20 percent. "One camp was two miles by one mile (3.2 by 1.6 km) in area and 'home' to some 8,000 Filipinos. Men were rounded up for questioning, tortured, and summarily executed."

In Batangas Province, where General Franklin Bell was responsible for setting up a concentration camp, a correspondent described the operation as “relentless.” General Bell ordered that by December 25, 1901, the entire population of both Batangas Province and Laguna Province had to gather into small areas within the “poblacion” of their respective towns. Barrio families had to bring everything they could carry because anything left behind—including houses, gardens, carts, poultry and animals—was to be burned by the U.S. Army. Anyone found outside the concentration camps was shot. General Bell insisted that he had built these camps to "protect friendly natives from the insurgents, assure them an adequate food supply" while teaching them "proper sanitary standards." The commandant of one of the camps referred to them as the "suburbs of Hell."

Filipino atrocities

U.S. Army General Otis stated that Filipino insurgents tortured American prisoners in “fiendish fashion”. According to Otis, many were buried alive or were placed up to their necks in anthills. He said others had their genitals removed and stuffed into their mouths and were then executed by suffocation or bleeding to death. It was also reported that Spanish priests were horribly mutilated before their congregations, and natives who refused to support Emilio Aguinaldo were slaughtered by the thousands. American newspaper headlines announced the “Murder and Rapine” by the “Fiendish Filipinos.” General “Fighting Joe” Wheeler
Joseph Wheeler
Joseph Wheeler was an American military commander and politician. He has the rare distinction of serving as a general during war time for two opposing forces: first as a noted cavalry general in the Confederate States Army in the 1860s during the American Civil War, and later as a general in the...

 insisted that it was the Filipinos who had mutilated their own dead, murdered women and children, and burned down villages, solely to discredit American soldiers.

In January 1899, the New York World
New York World
The New York World was a newspaper published in New York City from 1860 until 1931. The paper played a major role in the history of American newspapers...

published a story about an American soldier, Private William Lapeer, who had allegedly been deliberately infected with leprosy. The veracity of the story, however, has been questioned, and the opinion expressed that the name Lapeer itself is probably a pun
Pun
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play which suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. These ambiguities can arise from the intentional use and abuse of homophonic,...

.

Other events dubbed atrocities included those attributed by the Americans to General Vicente Lukban, allegedly the Filipino commander who masterminded the Balangiga massacre
Balangiga massacre
The Balangiga massacre, as it is known in the Philippines, or the Balangiga affair, as it is known in the United States, was an incident in 1901 during the Philippine-American War where more than forty American soldiers were killed in a surprise guerrilla attack in the town of Balangiga on Samar...

 in Samar
Samar
Samar, formerly and also known as Western Samar, is a province in the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is Catbalogan City and covers the western portion of Samar as well as several islands in the Samar Sea located to the west of the mainland...

 province, a surprise Filipino attack that killed almost fifty American soldiers. Media reports stated that many of the bodies were mutilated. The attack itself triggered American reprisals in Samar, ordered by General Jacob Hurd Smith
Jacob H. Smith
General Jacob Hurd Smith was a United States Army officer best known for ordering an indiscriminate retaliatory attack on a group of Filipinos during Philippine-American War after more than forty American soldiers were massacred in a surprise attack on the Island of Samar...

, who reportedly ordered his men to kill everyone over ten years old. To his credit, Major Littleton Waller
Littleton Waller
Littleton "Tony" Waller Tazewell Waller was a career officer in the United States Marine Corps, who served in the Spanish American War, the Caribbean and Asia. He was court martialled and acquitted for actions during the Philippine-American War where he led a ill-fated expedition across the island...

 countermanded it to his own men. Smith was court-martialed for this order and found guilty in 1902, which ended his career in the U.S. Army. Waller was acquitted of killing eleven Filipino guides.

Sergeant Hallock testified in the Lodge Committee that natives were given the water cure
Water cure (torture)
Water cure as a term for a form of torture refers to a method in which the victim is forced to drink large quantities of water in a short time, resulting in gastric distension, water intoxication and possibly death....

, “...in order to secure information of the murder of Private O'Herne of Company I, who had been not only killed, but roasted and otherwise tortured before death ensued.”

On the Filipino side, information regarding atrocities comes from the eyewitnesses and the participants themselves. In his History of the Filipino People Teodoro Agoncillo
Teodoro Agoncillo
Teodoro Andal Agoncillo was a 20th-century Filipino historian. He and his contemporary Renato Constantino were among the first Filipino historians renowned for promoting a distinctly nationalist point of view of Filipino history...

 writes that the Filipino troops could match and even exceed American brutality on some prisoners of war. Kicking, slapping, and spitting at faces were common. In some cases, ears and noses were cut off and salt applied to the wounds. In other cases, captives were buried alive. These atrocities occurred regardless of Aguinaldo's orders and circulars concerning the good treatment of prisoners.

Worcester recounts two specific Filipino atrocities as follows:

Cultural impact

The Roman Catholic Church was disestablished and a considerable amount of church land was purchased and redistributed. The land amounted to 170917 hectares (422,344.7 acre), for which the Church asked $12,086,438.11 in March 1903. The purchase was completed on 22 December 1903 at a sale price of $7,239,784.66. The land redistribution program was stipulated in at least three laws: the Philippine Organic Act
Philippine Organic Act (1902)
The Philippine Organic Act, popularly known as the Philippine Bill of 1902 and sometimes known as the Cooper Act after its author Henry A. Cooper, was the first organic law for the Philippines enacted by the United States Congress during the American Colonial Period in the Philippines...

, the Public Lands Act and the Friar Lands Act. Section 10 of the Public Land Act limited purchases to a maximum of 16 hectares for an individual or 1024 hectares for a corporation or like association. Land was also offered for lease to landless farmers, at prices ranging from fifty centavos to one peso and fifty centavos per hectare per annum. Section 28 of the Public Lands Act stipulated that lease contracts may run for a maximum period of 25 years, renewable for another 25 years.

U.S. President McKinley, in his instructions to the First Philippine Commission in 1898, ordered the use of the Philippine languages as well as English for instructional purposes. The American administrators, finding the local languages to be too numerous and too difficult to learn and to write teaching materials in, ended up with a monolingual system in English with no attention paid to the other Philippine languages except for the token statement concerning the necessity of using them eventually for the system.

In 1901 at least five hundred teachers (365 males and 165 females) arrived from the U.S. aboard the USS Thomas
USS Thomas (1894)
USAT Thomas was a United States Army transport ship, launched as the SS Persia in 1894, having been built for the Hamburg America Line's service to New York. She was bought by the Atlantic Transport Line in 1897 because she was "practically a sister" to other Massachusetts class of ships already...

. The name Thomasite
Thomasites
The Thomasites is a group of about five hundred pioneer American teachers sent by the U.S. government to the Philippines in August 1901.-Foundation, purpose and etymology:...

was adopted for these teachers, who firmly established education as one of America's major contributions to the Philippines. Among the assignments given were Albay
Albay
Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Legazpi City and the province borders Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. Also to the northeast is Lagonoy Gulf....

, Catanduanes
Catanduanes
Catanduanes is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Virac and the province lies to the east of Camarines Sur across Maqueda Channel. As of 2007, the population of the province is 232,757 people.-Etymology:"Isla de Cobos" was Catanduanes' first...

, Camarines Norte
Camarines Norte
Camarines Norte is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Daet and the province borders Quezon to the west and Camarines Sur to the south.-Demographics:...

, Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Pili and the province borders Camarines Norte and Quezon to the north, and Albay to the south...

, Sorsogon
Sorsogon
Sorsogon is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region; it is the southernmost province in Luzon and is subdivided into fourteen municipalities and one city. Its capital is Sorsogon City and borders the province of Albay to the north...

, and Masbate
Masbate
Masbate is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. Its capital is Masbate City and consists of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao and Burias.-History:...

. Twenty-seven of the original Thomasites either died of tropical diseases or were murdered by Filipino rebels during their first 20 months of residence. Despite the hardships, the Thomasites persisted, teaching and building learning institutions that prepared students for their chosen professions or trades. They opened the Philippine Normal School (now Philippine Normal University
Philippine Normal University
The Philippine Normal University is a public national university in the Philippines established during the early days of American rule of the Philippine Islands. Pursuant to a law passed by the Philippine Congress, Republic Act No...

) and the Philippine School of Arts and Trades (PSAT) in 1901 and reopened the Philippine Nautical School, established in 1839 by the Board of Commerce of Manila under Spain. By the end of 1904, primary courses were mostly taught by Filipinos under American supervision.

Philippine independence

On January 20, 1899, President McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

 appointed the First Philippine Commission (the Schurman Commission), a five-person group headed by Dr. Jacob Schurman, president of Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

, to investigate conditions in the islands and make recommendations. In the report that they issued to the president the following year, the commissioners acknowledged Filipino aspirations for independence; they declared, however, that the Philippines was not ready for it. Specific recommendations included the establishment of civilian government as rapidly as possible (the American chief executive in the islands at that time was the military governor), including establishment of a bicameral legislature
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

, autonomous governments on the provincial and municipal levels, and a new system of free public elementary schools.

The Second Philippine Commission (the Taft Commission
Taft Commission
The Taft Commission, also known as Second Philippine Commission was established by United States President William McKinley on March 16, 1900. The Commission was the legislature of the Philippines, then known as the Philippine Islands under the sovereign control of the United States during the...

), appointed by McKinley on March 16, 1900, and headed by William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

, was granted legislative as well as limited executive powers. Between September 1900 and August 1902, it issued 499 laws. A judicial system was established, including a Supreme Court, and a legal code was drawn up to replace Spanish ordinances. A civil service was organized. The 1901 municipal code provided for popularly elected presidents, vice presidents, and councilors to serve on municipal boards. The municipal board members were responsible for collecting taxes, maintaining municipal properties, and undertaking necessary construction projects; they also elected provincial governors. In July 1901 the Philippine Constabulary was organized as an archipelago-wide police force to control brigandage and deal with the remnants of the insurgent movement. After military rule was terminated on July 4, 1901, the Philippine Constabulary gradually took over from United States army units the responsibility for suppressing guerrilla and bandit activities.

From the very beginning, United States presidents and their representatives in the islands defined their colonial mission as tutelage: preparing the Philippines for eventual independence. Except for a small group of "retentionists," the issue was not whether the Philippines would be granted self-rule, but when and under what conditions. Thus political development in the islands was rapid and particularly impressive in light of the complete lack of representative institutions under the Spanish. The Philippine Organic Act
Philippine Organic Act (1902)
The Philippine Organic Act, popularly known as the Philippine Bill of 1902 and sometimes known as the Cooper Act after its author Henry A. Cooper, was the first organic law for the Philippines enacted by the United States Congress during the American Colonial Period in the Philippines...

 of July 1902 stipulated that, with the achievement of peace, a legislature would be established composed of a lower house, the Philippine Assembly
Philippine Assembly
The Philippine Assembly was the lower house of the legislative body of the Philippines during the early part of American colonial period. It was created by the Philippine Organic Act, passed in 1902, which also established the Philippine Commission as the upper house of the Philippine Legislature,...

, which would be popularly elected, and an upper house consisting of the Philippine Commission, which was to be appointed by the president of the United States.

The Jones Act
Jones Law (Philippines)
The Jones Law or the Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, also known as the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916, replaced the Philippine Organic Act of 1902 that earlier served as a constitution for the Philippine Islands. The Philippines was ceded by Spain to the United States in 1898 and a civil...

, passed by the U.S. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 in 1916 to serve as the new organic law
Organic law
An organic or fundamental law is a law or system of laws which forms the foundation of a government, corporation or other organization's body of rules. A constitution is a particular form of organic law for a sovereign state....

 in the Philippines, promised eventual independence and instituted an elected Philippine senate. The Tydings–McDuffie Act (officially the Philippine Independence Act; Public Law 73-127) approved on March 24, 1934 provided for self-government of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and for Filipino independence (from the United States) after a period of ten years. World War II intervened, bringing the Japanese occupation between 1941 and 1945. In 1946, the Treaty of Manila (1946)
Treaty of Manila (1946)
The Treaty of Manila is a treaty of general relations signed on July 4, 1946 in Manila, capital of the Philippines. Parties to the treaty were the governments of the United States and the Republic of the Philippines...

 between the governments of the U.S. and the Republic of the Philippines provided for the recognition of the independence of the Republic of the Philippines and the relinquishment of American sovereignty over the Philippine Islands.

See also

  • Amigo (film)
    Amigo (film)
    Amigo is a 2010 American drama film written and directed by John Sayles. The film takes place in the Philippines in 1900 during the Philippine–American War...

  • Battles of the Philippine–American War
  • Benevolent assimilation
    Benevolent assimilation
    The term Benevolent Assimilation refers to a proclamation about the Philippines issued on December 21, 1898 by U.S. President William McKinley during the Philippine-American War, which followed the defeat of Spain during the Spanish-American War. The proclamation reads in part:The proclamation was...

  • Filipino American
    Filipino American
    Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

  • History of the Philippines
    History of the Philippines
    The history of the Philippines is believed to have begun with the arrival of the first humans via land bridges at least 30,000 years ago. The first recorded visit from the West is the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, who sighted Samar on March 16, 1521 and landed on Homonhon Island southeast of Samar...

  • List of Philippine–American War Medal of Honor recipients
  • Lodge Committee
  • Moro Rebellion
    Moro Rebellion
    The Moro Rebellion was an armed military conflict between Moro revolutionary groups in the Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan and the United States military which took place in the Philippines as early as between 1899 to 1913, following the Spanish-American War in 1898...

  • Battle of Cagayan de Misamis
    Battle of Cagayan de Misamis
    The Battle of Cagayan de Misamis was fought on April 7, 1900 in the town of Cagayan de Misamis on the Mindanao island, southern part the Philippines, during the Philippine-American War...

    , now the City of Cagayan de Oro
  • Philippine Constabulary
    Philippine Constabulary
    The Philippine Constabulary ' was the oldest of four service commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It was a gendarmerie type para-military police force of the Philippines established in 1901 by the United States-appointed administrative authority replacing the Guardia Civil...

  • Philippine Scouts
    Philippine Scouts
    The Philippine Scouts was a military organization of the United States Army from 1901 until the end of World War II. Made up of native Filipinos assigned to the United States Army Philippine Department, these troops were generally enlisted and under the command of American officers, however, a...

  • Timeline of Philippine–American War
  • The White Man's Burden
    The White Man's Burden
    "The White Man's Burden" is a poem by the English poet Rudyard Kipling. It was originally published in the popular magazine McClure's in 1899, with the subtitle The United States and the Philippine Islands...

    , written in regard to the U.S. conquest of the Philippines and other former Spanish colonies

Further reading


Primary sources

  • The "Lodge Committee" (a.k.a. Philippine Investigating Committee) hearings and a great deal of documentation were published in three volumes (3000 pages) as S. Doc. 331, 57th Cong., 1st Session An abridged version of the oral testimony can be found in: American Imperialism and the Philippine Insurrection: Testimony Taken from Hearings on Affairs in the Philippine Islands before the Senate Committee on the Philippines—1902; edited by Henry F Graff; Publisher: Little, Brown; 1969. ASIN: B0006BYNI8
  • Storey, Moorfield
    Moorfield Storey
    Moorfield Storey was an American lawyer, publicist, and civil rights leader. According to Storey's biographer, William B...

     and Julian Codman
    Julian Codman
    Julian Codman was born in Cotuit, Massachusetts as the son of Charles Russell Codman and his wife, née Lucy Lyman Paine Sturgis. He was a lawyer who was a vigorous opponent of Prohibition, and who was also involved with the Anti-Imperialist League.In 1897 he married Norah Chadwick, daughter of...

     legal counsel for the Philippine Investigating Committee. (1902). Secretary Root's Record:"Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare — Wikisource.

External links

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