Front Matter The Beginning of the U.S Franklin's Return Troubles After the War The Constitution The First President Washington's Troubles A Wonderful Invention Death of Washington The U.S. Buys Land War With African Pirates Death of Somers The First Steamboat The Gerrymander The War of 1812 "Don't Give Up the Ship" The Star-Spangled Banner Clinton's "Big Ditch" More Land Bought Jackson Stories Jackson's Presidency New Inventions Whitman's Ride The Mormons The First Telegraph The Mexican War The Slavery Quarrel Daniel Webster's Youth Webster's Speeches Early Times in California Discovery of El Dorado Rush to California The Underground Railroad The First World's Fair John Brown's Raid Lincoln's Youth The First Shot The Call to Arms The President's Decision Admiral Farragut The Monitor and Merrimac The Penninsular Campaign Barbara Frietchie Lincoln's Vow The Battle of Gettysburg The Taking of Vicksburg Riots, Raids, and Battles The Burning of Atlanta The March to the Sea Sheridan's Ride The Doings of the Fleet Lee's Surrender Decoration Day Lincoln Stories Lincoln's Rebukes A President's Son A Noble Southerner Hard Times in the South The Atlantic Cable Best Way to Settle Quarrels Our One Hundredth Birthday Gold for Greenbacks A Clever Engineer Death of Garfield The Celebration at Yorktown The Great Statue A Terrible Flood Lynch Law The Great White City The Explosion of the Maine The Battle of Manila Hobson's Brave Deed Surrender of Santiago The Hawaiian Islands The Annexation of Hawaii The Philippine War Assassination of McKinley The Panama Canal Roosevelt's Administration Two Presidents German Views The World War Since the World War

Story of the Great Republic - Helene Guerber

The Philippine War

In the war with Spain, you will remember, the city of Manila was not taken for several months after Commodore Dewey won his great naval victory of Manila Bay. Although he could have taken it at once, he did not do so, chiefly because he knew that a large force would be necessary to keep order there.

While waiting for the arrival of the American soldiers who had sailed from San Francisco, Dewey blockaded Manila; and he had a hard time of it. Not only was he obliged to look carefully after his own men and ships, but he had to watch the Spaniards in Manila, keep the peace with the foreign vessels in the harbor,—some of which w ere trying to interfere with him,—and prevent the rebel natives, whom he assisted, from doing anything rash.

The Filipinos, like the Cubans, had long been tired of the rule of Spain, and had rebelled against it many times. Aguinaldo, the leader of the last insurrection, was living at Hong Kong, but as soon as he heard that Dewey had destroyed the Spanish fleet, he came back to the Philippines, rallied his old followers, and led them against the Spanish army which was holding Manila.

Not content with freeing his country from Spanish rule, Aguinaldo wished besides to establish a republic of which he would be the first president. Had most of the Filipinos agreed with him, the Americans might have consented; but it was soon discovered that Aguinaldo's men were mostly from a single tribe of Filipinos, and that the different tribes would be apt to fight one another, if left to themselves. Many people felt sure that Aguinaldo and his party, if successful, would be worse masters than the Spaniards had been, and that for this reason it would he better for the United States to control the islands until they were ready to govern themselves.

When at last the American army, under General Merritt, arrived, Manila was captured by the American forces on sea and land (August 13). But the Filipinos, who had besieged the city for many days, were not allowed to share in this victory. Aguinaldo's army remained outside the city, and as our war with Spain was now stopped, everybody waited for the treaty of peace. By this, as we have seen, the Philippines were ceded to the United States.

Still, many Americans did not feel that the United States ought to have colonies, so, until our Senate ratified this treaty (in February, 1899), nothing was really settled; and Aguinaldo and his friends kept hoping that in the end all would be as they wished. But when they found out that the Americans would not give them the Philippines, they became very angry, and began war against the United States (February 4, 1899).

This war lasted about two years, although the main insurgent army was defeated and scattered in a few battles. The Filipinos fought bravely, but were no match for our well-trained soldiers. After their army was broken up, they fought for several months in small bands, and then, one after another, these were compelled to surrender and give up their arms.

Aguinaldo, who had long been a fugitive, was captured in the spring of 1901. Like the other insurgents, he was set free after he had sworn to respect our laws, and since then he has used his influence in favor of order, which is now established in nearly all the Philippines.

Many native and American teachers are now busy in public schools, teaching the Filipino boys and girls to become good citizens, and the natives already have some share in the government of their country. An army is still there to keep order, especially among some of the savage tribes, for the islands are numerous, and inhabited by people who vary greatly in appearance, language, and degree of civilization. But, while some Filipinos are as ignorant as can be, many of them are as well educated as Americans; and there was a university at Manila long before we could boast of anything of the sort in our own country.

The other islands which Spain lost in the war of 1898—Cuba and Porto Rico—have prospered greatly and have been at peace. Cuba does not belong to our country; it has a constitution and government of its own, but is under the protection of the United States. Porto Rico, like the Philippines, belongs to the United States, but the people have a large share in its government.

Besides the large and important islands of Porto Rico and the Philippines, the United States has recently gained possession of three small ones: Guam and Wake Island, on the route from Hawaii to the Philippines, and Tutuila, one of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific. Wake Island we took because nobody owned it; Tutuila came under our control in 1900, with the consent of the natives, when the Samoan Islands were divided between our country and Germany; but Guam was captured from Spain, during the war of 1898, by one of our war ships which was on its way to join Dewey at Manila. Guam lay so far out of the usual course of vessels, that the Spanish governor did not even know that his country was at war with the United States. When our ship fired its first shots he fancied it was merely a salute, and sent an officer to explain that he was sorry he could not return it, for he had no powder!