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The earnest and unremitting endeavors of the commission and the admiral and major-general commanding the department of the Pacific to assure the people of the beneficent intentions of this government have had their legitimate effect in convincing the great mass of them that peace and safety and prosperity and staple government can only be found in a loyal acceptance of the authority of the United States.
FUTURE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES RESTS WITH CONGRESS.
The future government of the Philippines rests with the congress of the United States. Few graver responsibilities have ever been confided to us.
If we accept them in a spirit worthy of our race and our traditions, a great opportunity comes with them. The islands lie under the shelter of our flag. They are ours by every title of law and equity. They can not be abandoned.
If we desert them we leave them at once to anarchy and finally to barbarism. We Aling them, a golden apple of discord, among the rival powers, no one of which could permit another to seize them unquestioned. Their rich plains and valleys would be the scene of endless strife and bloodshed.
The advent of Dewey's fleet in Manila bay instead of being, as we hope, the dawn of a new day of freedom and progress, will have been the beginning of an era of misery and violence worse than any which has darkened their unhappy past.
The suggestion has been made that we could renounce our authority over the islands and, giving them independence, could retain a protectorate over them.
A PROTECTORATE NOT DESIRABLE. This proposition will not be found, I am sure, worthy of your serious attention. Such an arrangement would involve at the outset a cruel breach of faith. It would place the peaceable and loyal majority, who ask nothing better than to accept our authority, at the mercy of the minority of armed insurgents. It would make us responsible for the acts of the insurgent leaders and give us no power to control them. It would charge us with the task of protecting them against each other, and defending them against any foreign power with which they chose to quarrel. In short, it would take from the congress of the United States the power of declaring war and vest that tremendous prerogative in the Tagal leader of the hour.
NO RECOMMENDATION FOR A FINAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT. It does not seem desirable that I should recommend at this time a
specific and final form of government ior these islands. When peace shall be restored it will be the duty of congress to construct a plan of government which shall establish and maintain freedom and order and peace in the Philippines.
The insurrection is still existing, and when it terminates further information will be required as to the actual condition of affairs before inaugurating a permanent scheme of civil government. The full report of the commission, now in preparation, will contain information and suggestions which will be of value to congress, and which I will transmit as soon as it is completed. As long as the insurrection continues the military arm must necessarily be supreme. But there is no reason why steps should not be taken from time to time to inaugurate governments essentially popular in their form as fast as territory is held or controlled by our troops.
MAY SEND BACK THE COMMISSION. To this end I am considering the advisability of the return of the commission, or such of the members thereof as can be secured, to aid the existing authorities and facilitate this work throughout the islands.
I have believed that reconstruction should not begin by the establishment of one central civil government for all the islands, with its seat at Manila, but rather that the work should be commenced by building up from the bottom, first establishing municipal governments and then provincial governments, a central government at last to follow.
WILL UPHOLD THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE UNITED STATES. Until congress shall have made known the formal expression of its will I shall use the authority vested in me by the constitution and the statutes to uphold the sovereignty of the United States in these distant islands as in all other places where our flag rightfully floats.
I shall put at the disposal of the army and navy all the means which the liberality of congress and the people has provided to cause this unprovoked and wasteful insurrection to cease.
If any orders of miné were required to insure the merciful conduct of military and naval operations, they would not be lacking, but every step of the progress of our troops has been marked by a humanity which has surprised even the misguided insurgents.
KINDNESS TO FILIPINOS IS IN THE DEFEAT OF AGUINALDO. The truest kindness to them will be a swift and effective defeat of their present leader. The hour of victory will be the hour of clemency and reconstruction.
No effort will be spared to build up the waste places desolated by war and by long years of misgovernment. We shall not wait for the end of strife to begin the beneficent work. We shall continue, as we have begun, to open the schools and the churches, to set the courts in operation, to foster industry, and trade, and agriculture, and in every way in our power to make these people whom Providence has brought within our jurisdiction feel that it is their liberty and not our power, their welfare and not our gain, we are seeking to enhance.
OUR FLAG EVER WAVES IN BLESSING. Our flag has never waved over any community but in blessing. I believe the Filipinos will soon recognize the fact that it has not lost its gift of benediction in its world-wide journey to their shores.
Since the above message was written, the islands have been almost wholly tranquilized, and civil government is rapidly being established.
Meets the Crisis in China.
The firmness and wisdom with which the President met the trouble with Spain did not end his experiences in foreign warfare. The crisis in the affairs of the Chinese empire, which threatened its dismemberment, engaged his attention. Here, as on all other great occasions, the firmness and honesty of the President was displayed, and to it is in no small measure due the settlement of questions which threatened the peace of the civilized world. For a recital of the events attending the rebellion in China, we turn again to the President's own words. In his message of December 3, 1900, he said:
“In our foreign intercourse the dominant question has been the treatment of the Chinese problem. Apart from this our relations with the powers have been happy.
“The recent troubles in China sprang from the anti-foreign agitation which for the past three years has gained strength in the northern provinces. Their origin lies deep in the character of the Chinese races and in the traditions of their government. The Tai-Ping rebellion and the opening of the Chinese ports to foreign trade and settlement disturbed alike the homogeneity and the seclusion of China.
Meanwhile foreign activity made itself felt in all quarters, not alone on the coast, but along the great river arteries and in the remoter districts, carrying new ideas and introducing new associations among a primitive people which had pursued for centuries a national policy of isolation.
"The telegraph and the railway spreading over their land, the steamers plying on their waterways, the merchant and the missionary penetrating year by year farther to the interior, became to the Chinese mind types of an alien invasion, changing the course of their national life and fraught with vague forebodings of disaster to their beliefs and their self-control.
“For several years before the present troubles all the resources of foreign diplomacy, backed by moral demonstrations of the physical force of fleets and arms, have been needed to secure due respect for the treaty rights of foreigners and to obtain satisfaction from the responsible
authorities for the sporadic outrages upon the persons and property of unoffending sojourners, which from time to time occurred at widely separated points in the northern provinces, as in the case of the outbreaks in Sze-Chuen and Shan-Tung.
“Posting of anti-foreign placards became a daily occurrence, which the repeated reprobation of the imperial power failed to check or punish. These inflammatory appeals to the ignorance and superstition of the masses, mendacious and absurd in their accusations and deeply hostile in their spirit, could not but work cumulative harm. They aimed at no particular class of foreigners; they were impartial in attacking everything foreign.
“An outbreak in Shan-Tung, in which German missionaries were slain, was the too natural result of these malevolent teachings. The posting of seditious placards, exhorting to the utter destruction of foreigners and of every foreign thing, continued unrebuked. Hostile demonstrations toward the stranger gained strength by organization.
OFFICIALS CULPABLE. “The sect commonly styled the Boxers developed greatly in the provinces north of the Yang-Tse, and with the collusion of many notable officials, including some in the immediate councils of the throne itself, became alarmingly aggressive. No foreigner's life, outside of the protected treaty ports, was safe. No foreign interest was secure from spoliation.
"The diplomatic representatives of the powers in Peking strove in vain to check this movement. Protest was followed by demand and demand by renewed protest, to be met with perfunctory edicts from the palace and evasions and futile assurances from the tsung-li-yamen. The circle of the Boxer influence narrowed about Peking, and, while nominally stigmatized as seditious, it was felt that its spirit pervaded the capital itself, that the imperial forces were imbued with its doctrines, and that the immediate counselors of the empress dowager were in full sympathy with the anti-foreign movement.
“The increasing gravity of the conditions in China and the imminence or peril to our own diversified interests in the empire, as well as to those of all other treaty governments, were soon appreciated by this government, causing it profound solicitude.
AMERICAN RELATIONS WITH CHINA. "The United States, from the earliest days of foreign intercourse with China, had followed a policy of peace, omitting no occasions to testify good will, to further the extension of lawful trade, to respect