The Philippine Insurrection (1899 - 1902)

Discussion in 'Other Conflicts' started by spidge, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    The Philippine Insurrection (1899 - 1902)

    The Philippine Insurrection is a difficult and often confusing war to study. Some historians even disagree on what to call the conflict. Some refer to the war that lasted from 1899 to 1902 in the Philippines as the Philippine Insurrection, Philippine-American War, Filipino-American War, Fil-American War and the Philippine War.1 This article uses the term "Philippine Insurrection" to coincide with the historic records held at NARA.
    During the Spanish-American War, U.S. forces in the Philippines and Filipino forces led by revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo had a common enemy in Spain. As hostilities came to a close and the United States emerged from the war victorious, Aguinaldo and his supporters were eager for Philippine independence. However, as a result of the Treaty of Paris, December 10, 1898, the United States gained the Philippines as a U.S. territory. Many in the islands were not eager to see one colonial power replaced by another. This desire for independence soon resulted in armed resistance against the United States. The Philippine Insurrection began with a skirmish on the night of February 4, 1899, just outside of Manila.
    Fighting initially centered on the area around the city, with Filipino forces employing traditional European style warfare. These tactics eventually gave way to guerilla warfare, which soon spread to several other Philippine islands. As noted by historian Brian McAllister Linn, "in some areas there was long and bitter armed struggle marked by atrocities and widespread destruction, but in other areas— roughly half of the archipelago's provinces— there was little or no fighting."2
    Approximately 125,000 troops served in the Philippines during the war. After more than three years of fighting, at a cost of 400 million dollars and approximately 4,200 American dead and 2,900 wounded, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed an end to the insurrection in the Philippines on July 4, 1902.3 Despite Roosevelt's proclamation, isolated and sporadic guerilla activity continued throughout the period of American rule, which lasted until 1946, when the Philippines finally gained their independence.

    Read more at the link.
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  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    The War was the first proper indication of US Imperial pretensions. And it highlighted that, no matter what their rhetoric, they were no better than the European colonial powers. The atrocities they commited were terrible. Even the US government was sickened, as highlighted by the Lodge Committee:

    Click on some of the references at the end of the article
  3. Agrippa

    Agrippa New Member

    A close and un-biased reading of this war's story would reveal that the Philippine land forces were the ones that defeated the Spanish Army. But, out of pride, the Spanish General surrendered to the Americans, instead. Part of the deal was not to allow Philippine forces entry into the City of Manila. The US only had a small naval squadron led by Admiral Dewey and a battalion of Marines. The Philippines have already declared its independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. This was ratified was the 1st Philippine Congress a few months later. There was already a de-facto independent government before the Treaty of Paris between Spain and USA. America's reason for sailing all the way to the Far East was obvious, they wanted a share of the Asian pie as the other European powers; same intentions for the Cuban intervention - a slice of the Caribbean pie which the British, the French and the Dutch have been happily carving up.

    Anyway, back in the Philippines, there was already a strong opposition to accommodating the Americans to the point that the key leaders of the Philippine government quarreled among each other leading to the execution of the leader of the revolution - Andres Bonifacio, on orders of the new president - Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. The lines were drawn along social class, regional/provincial and even linguistic differences. Bonifacio came from the masses; Aguinaldo was from a rich and landowning family. Bonifacio and his cohort came from Manila and the northern provinces; Aguinaldo came from Cavite, the Spanish garrison province. The US was quick to take advantage of the animosity and promptly courted Aguinaldo.

    The Feb. 4 , 1899 incident was caused by over zealous sentries over a bridge. There were attempts to reach a reconciliation to avoid open warfare but it appeared that the Americans were girding for a fight; after all, their Army missed fighting the Spaniards. Might as well shoot these 'brown monkeys' (that is how the American called the locals) and get it over with. History books, especially those written by Americans, do not mention the extent of the atrocities committed by American forces on the civilian population - towns were destroyed including churches. Till now there is a church bell in a USA museum; this was taken as trophy by US forces when they sacked a town as retaliation for guerrilla attacks. Almost a million civilians died vs. 4,200 American soldiers.

    To call this conflict an 'insurrection' implies that USA had effective government control which the Filipinos did not like, so they rebelled. The fact is, US presence in Feb. 1899 was confined to Manila and its environs. This conflict is appropriately called the Philippine - American War.
  4. Ernest D'Albero

    Ernest D'Albero New Member

    Nice! It sure seems like a fascinating conflict! It's weird to see that the US, which once was a colony, ended up being a colonial power itself. I'll make sure to check out all the links in this thread.
  5. jayjacinto

    jayjacinto New Member

    I believe it all started due to the Treaty of Paris, which was considered as the "sale of the Philippines."

    If looked at bird's eye view, it appears as if after Americans helped Filipinos win the war over Spain, Americans took over in conquering the Philippines, which was in conflict with the Filipinos' idea of complete independence. I think this is what it looks like at least in the eyes of some people like General Gregorio Del Pilar, who was shot in the back by an American sniper.

    On the other hand, General Aguinaldo's understanding was that U.S. recognizes the independence of the Philippines but remains under the protection of the U.S. Navy.

    It was quite a conflict. Glad its over now.
  6. Charlie Prenicolas

    Charlie Prenicolas New Member

    The term "insurrection" connotes the colonizer's perspective on the war. This was used by the Americans mainly to disparage the efforts of the Filipinos in establishing self-governance of the archipelago after the mock battle in Manila Bay.

    The reports to Washington refer to the Fil-American War, which is considered as the bloodiest war ever fought on Philippine soil, as simply an insurrection.
  7. jayjacinto

    jayjacinto New Member

    And speaking of which, there is an upcoming movie about this, it will be included in the MMFF this December. "El Presidente". Looks promising!
  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir Siberian Tiger

    The movie is releasing on Christmas Day. Are you planning to watch it?


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