The Philippine War
I don’t believe the Philippine War was justified. There are more ways than war to solve the annexation of the Philippines. I agree on some of the policies, but not all of the policies, that were in place during that time period.
I believe the war was not justified for a number of reasons. The ratio of dead to wounded was higher than it was in the civil war which is considered one of the saddest wars in this country’s history. In the civil war, the ratio was one wounded to five killed, where as in the Philippine War, the ratio was one wounded to twelve killed. America instead of trying to peacefully resolve the situation, decided that force was a more potent way to talk and guarantee control of the newly gained possession. I would use war as a last result, trying diplomacy first. It was good that the United States was freeing a country from an immoral government, but there are better ways to solve the controversy of what to do with the new annexation.
There were several policies in place at the time, some which were put into place before the war, some during the war, and some after. The ratification of the annexation process was long and difficult. There were debates as to how to treat the Filipino people. One suggestion was to treat the Filipinos as dependents, and not citizens, like the Native Americans came to be treated. Many of the imperialists believed that the Filipinos were savages and harsh policies would give America control. The anti-imperialists were not exactly sure whether to treat them as peers or to set them free. I would treat them as equals, as normal people, as they are like everyone else. At the time they might not have been as technologically advanced as we were, and their government may have seemed primitive to ours. I think we should have worked with them to help create a government, rather than occupy and just take over.
Another policy that occurred because of the war was the “open door” policy. America had much interest in Asia, and the Philippines provided a door to China. America viewed China as a weak country, and was afraid that other countries might attack China, take over, and exploit it. The annexation of the Philippines gave America the opportunity to “protect” china. So the Americans proposed an open door policy, where each country in the treaty were allowed a place of influence, where china had to respect the laws of the countries, but were allowed to collect tariffs.