After the Spanish-American war, the U.S was convinced that it had to expand. The expansion could benefit America in terms of food, industrial production. Additionally, foreign trade was gaining prominence during the same period hence acquisition of new territories could give America completive advantage. Without forgetting, there was burning desire to compete Europe because it had colonies spread across the world. Therefore, Philippines Islands were the immediate territory America had to consider keeping or annexing after defeating Spain. However, people held different views concerning the topic, which resulted in a national debate.
William Jennings Bryan was against imperialism, especially keeping the Philippines as American empire (Thriceholy.net, 2015). Bryan begins by explaining the difference between an empire and republic. His main point is that republic cannot be an empire because it rests upon authority that derive power from the governed, a reasoning that colonialism contravenes. Bryan states that American do not want Filipinos for citizens because they pose a danger by sharing same government with the U.S. Additionally, Bryan notes that America already have sophisticated race question and adding Filipinos to the equation will make things more complicated than ever. Clearly, he suggests that America cannot hold the Filipinos subjects even if it could benefit from it. Bryan is concerned that American experiment of colonialism had already failed by bringing loss, weakness, and humiliation. In summary, Bryan argues that America has remained a world power for approximately ten years without the use of sword or gun but instead known for doing good. Hence, he views annexation of Philippines as a drawback to the peace American has fought for since declaration of independence.
On the contrary, Albert J. Beveridge’s speech presented imperialism from the beneficial point of view. The primary purpose of Beveridge’s speech was to convince the Senate in keeping the Philippines. According to him, the United States would benefit from keeping Philippines Islands as an empire rather than leaving it free (Mtholyoke.edu, 2015). The author viewed benefits from three perspectives, that is, Philippines would act as the U.S base at the door of Eastern Pacific nations. Furthermore, the Islands had fertile farmlands that U.S could use to their advantage. Lastly, the historian says that the U.S would be fulfilling their duty to God by keeping Philippines Islands
In his support for the conquering of Philippines by the U.S, Beveridge points the strategic importance where the Islands would act as a base at the door of the entire east. He stressed how critical it was for the U.S to establish a trading base that facilitated travel as well. For...