American Imperialism in the Philippines

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In 1898, in an effort to free Cuba from the oppression of its Spanish colonizers, America captured the Philippines. This brought about questions of what America should do with the Philippines. Soon, controversy ensued both in the American political arena as well as among its citizens. Throughout its history, America had always been expansionistic, but it had always limited itself to the North American continent. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, however, there emerged a drive to expand outside of the continent. When America expanded to the Philippines, the policy it followed was a stark break from past forms of expansionism. Despite much controversy, America followed the example of the imperialistic nations in Europe and sought to conquer the Philippines as an imperialist colony that they would rule either directly or indirectly.

Throughout its development, America has molded its expansionist policies, which it confined to the North American continent. The ordinances of 1784, 1785 and 1787 governed the acquisition and administration of new territory, which set a precedent for establishing future territorial acquisitions as states equal to those already established . They were designed to settle the West in an orderly fashion while at the same time, lessening the possibility of secessionist movements. More importantly, the ordinances served to prevent the emergence of dependent colonies. In addition, by adding a new western aspect to the national identity, they set a trend for westward expansion (Henretta 181).

The Monroe Doctrine and the Manifest Destiny stated America's philosophies regarding foreign policy. The Monroe Doctrine (1823), crafted by President Monroe and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, was a statem...

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