During the Spanish-American War, America outright won Puerto Rico and Cuba by defeating the Spanish in each area. At the end of the war, the Spanish were not defeated in the Philippines, so America compromised with the Spanish and paid them for the area. Meanwhile, Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence in the Philippines. McKinley asserted that the Philippines would not be granted their independence, and fighting broke out as a result. Emilio Aguinaldo appointed himself president of the Philippine Republic. The Filipinos did not fight conventionally; they were not skilled enough in battle, so they engaged in guerrilla warfare.
Ending the war was a simple plan for the Americans. The main goal was to capture Emilio Aguinaldo, the heart of the Filipino people. One night at a party, two soldiers disguised as Filipino soldiers, surprised and captured Emilio Aguinaldo. Filipinos were willing to surrender the war in exchange for Emilio Aguinaldo, thus ending the Philippine Insurrection. The only way for America to effectively fight against the guerrilla warfare used by the Filipinos was to destroy their villages to cut off supplies from the guerillas.
Because of the Filipino lack of leadership and supplies, the war was virtually over. President Theodore Roosevelt declared general amnesty on July 4, 1902. The same year, Congress passed the Philippine Government Act. It meant that a governor would be appointed by the United States, and the senate would also be controlled by the United States. The Filipinos would be able to elect their House of Representatives. Then the Jones Act of 1916 was passed, giving Filipinos the right to vote in both the House of Representatives and in the senate.
After supporting the Philippines for about 44 years, America realized that their efforts were not worth it. The Philippines were troublesome to protect, and little money was to be made there. On July 4, 1946, they were granted complete independence. (www. military. com, www. u-s-history. com, www. librarylink. org) During this period of time, the Machine was in complete control of the government, and they knew that they could benefit greatly from both war, and from the territories that were acquired after war. The Machine was a group of elite conservatives, and they wanted imperialism.
One conservative ideology that supports imperialism is the use of an offensive military. By becoming imperialists, America would be able to set up gas stations around the world, making a stronger military more practical. Imperialism would benefit the upper class, another conservative belief. To support the war, businesses needed to produce more items. These businesses, owned by the Machine, thrived because of imperialism and war. By becoming imperialists, the Machine would then be able to exploit the resources of another area.
The Machine and the conservatives also believed in traditional values. To them, it was simply wrong that any group of people could believe in a religion that was not Christian. It became the responsibility of these people to save non-Christian groups from themselves by converting them to Christianity. By this thought process, we were doing them a favor by making sure they would not go to hell. Liberals were strongly against imperialism. Liberals are strong believers in benefiting lower classes, and a war for imperialism was not going to help the lower classes.
In fact, the lower classes would be exploited and sent to fight the war, possibly giving their lives for something that would not help them at all. Having a strong, defensive military would also mean imperialism was not necessary. With a defensive military we would not need to patrol the seas, thus removing the need for gas stations and military bases. Gas stations and military bases were an objective of imperialism, and if we do not need them, imperialism is not needed, either. Liberals did not believe in forcing a religion on anyone, either.
It was morally wrong to do so, and it was not supported by the liberals during the Philippine Insurrection. America’s acquisition of the Philippines was a very controversial issue in America. Though liberals and much of the country did not support imperialism, America became an imperialist anyway. The Machine, which controlled the government and economy, saw their own personal gain in imperialism. Sure enough, they influenced America to become imperialists. America saw both the benefits and the harms that can result from imperialism. Without imperialism, though, America may not be as powerful as it is now.