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Controversy Of Annexation Of The Phillipine Islands

1052 words - 5 pages

The United States should not annex the Philippine islands, the Philippines, already a country of their own should not be forced to adapt to American culture and civilization. Prior to the annexation of the Philippines, America had major conflict with Spain in order to free Cuba from their brutal tactics for dominance. Tension continued to rise, until President Mckinley decided to take action and go to war against Spanish forces to enable a more stable government as well as provide protection for the citizens of Cuba.  After months of fighting, the Spanish admitted defeat and began discussing peace terms of the Treaty of Paris. In this treaty Cuba was guaranteed independence, also the Spanish were forced to give up Guam and Puerto Rico. They Spanish also complied to selling the Philippines to the U.S for 20 million. However, the Filipinos wanted independence, not just a change in who governed them, this desire led many Philippine citizens to break out, beginning the Philippine- American war, which lasted three years, and caused the death of over two hundred thousand American and Filipino citizens. 
The United States decision to annex the Philippines was extremely controversial and hypocritical.  First of all it was extremely expensive for the united states to buy the country. The resources that were available were plentiful, but not worth 20 million at the time, and rather than buy the country the U.S should have set up ports and planned for regulated trade with the Philippines. This would have benefitted both countries, the Philippines would be independent and the U.S would have an abundance of resources close by. The United States had enough to fix within their own country that the money could have funded. 
Also, the U.S saw it as their duty to civilize the Filipinos, it was “the white burden”. This was an extremely supercilious way of thinking. Who said they needed civilizing? What right did the U.S have to civilize them? Abraham Lincoln, one the most highly regarded presidents said, “No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent. When the white man governs himself, that is self-government but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government- that is despotism.” He was referring to the tendency of the U.S to belittle people of different race and consider them inferiors. The United States definitely had this mind set and insisted that the Filipinos were “unfit” to govern themselves and proceeded to annex them. The Bible also discussed this issue in  Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” This verse is so relevant because the U.S thought of themselves superiorly to the Filipinos, when really God judges the heart, not the color of peoples skin, or their so called civilization. 
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