Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE PHILIPPINES.

BEPUBLICAN POLICY CARRIED TO SUCCESS NOTWITH

STANDING THE INSURRECTION. The Philippines became territory of the United States by the exchange of ratifications of the treaty of peace with Spain, April 11, 1899. There was then an insurrection against the authority of the United States led by Aguinaldo. That insurrection has been suppressed; civil authority has taken the place of military authority throughout the archipelago; a general amnesty i has been proclained, and Congress, by legislation, has provided for a civil government in the Philippines that is more liberal than any gorernment ever before over the islands, and with the promise of a legislative assembly when a census shall have been taken to determine the proper basis of representation.

No other great accession of territory has been so quickly provided with civil government in the past. It is more liberal than that first given to the Northwest Territory, from which the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin were organized, or that of Louisiana, from which the States west of the Mississippi River were organized. The Supreme Court has declared that the govern. ment extended to the Northwest Territory and the District of Louisiana were more like those of a British Crown colony than a State in the American Union.

This question of organizing new territory and providing government for the people in new territory acquired by the United States is as old as the Government. It became a subject of great controversy when President Jefferson acquired by purchase from France the great Louisiana territory, and that controversy has been revived with each acquisition of territory since that date. The Supreme Court has, however, decided that Congress has full power to govern territory of the United States, and that the Constitution does not extend to such territory by its own force. The theory of ex proprio vigore has not the approval of the Supreme Court.

That the Philippine question is a troublesome one, no one has ever denied. President McKinley so recognized it, and he hesitated long before he decided that the whole archipelago should be ceded to this Government. That question was not decided in the light of commercial advantage or territorial extension. It was decided in conscience as to the duty of this Government toward the people in the Philippines who had revolted against Spain, and our respon

[ocr errors]

sibility to the other civilized governments of the world. The war for humanity ended in a larger duty to humanity, and that duty was accepted by President McKinley, by his Peace Commissioners, and by Congress, as other great obligations have been accepted by the American people. President McKinley said at the time “we must choose between manly doing and base desertion,” and the American people approved of his doing what was done. There was, in 1898, practically no division of public sentiment on this question. It was almost unanimous in favor of taking over the Philippine archipelago from Spain as indemnity for the war. Democrats and Republicans urged this course. But President McKinley hesitated in an effort to find some other way than assumption of the responsibility for the government of the Philippines. There was no other way. We had destroyed the only government that had ever had existence in the Philippines. There was no other and no hope of any other. The ablest men in the Philippines did not want complete independence. Aguinaldo, the leader of the insurrection, did not. He wanted independence under the protection of the United States. This Government has never assumed such responsibilities and never will. There was only one alternative to keeping the islands. That was by returning them to Spain. The Filipinos protested against such suggestion, and the American people did not approve it. It was not in harmony with our purpose in waging a war for humanity in Cuba. When Commodore Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, he destroyed the power of Spain in the Philippines. That was May 1, 1898. On receipt of the news of Dewey's victory President McKinley telegraphed to the commander of the fleet, asking what troops would be necessary. Dewey advised sending 5,000 troops to take possession of Manila. The President, by executive order, May 19, 1898, announced that “as the control of the naval station had rendered it necessary in prosecution of the war with Spain to send an army U1 occupation to the Philippines for the twofold purpose of completing the reduction of the Spanish power in that quarter and of giving order and security to the islands while in the possession of the United States, he had designated General Merritt to proceed with an army of occupation for that purpose.” “It will be the duty,” that order declared, “of the commander of the expedition, immediately upon arriving in the islands, to publish a proclamation declaring that we come not to make war upon the people of the Philippines nor upon any party or faction among them, but to protect them in their homes, in their employments, and in their personal and religious rights. All persons who either by active aid or honest submission cooperate with the United States in its efforts to give effect to this beneficent purpose, will receive the reward of its support and protection. Our occupation should be as free from severity as possible.” In pursuance of this order the first expedition sailed May 25 and arrived at Manila June 30. Others expeditions followed until we had an army of 15,000 men in front of Manila. The protocol with Spain was signed in Washington, August 12, 1898, providing in addition to the relinquishment of Cuba and the cession of Porto Rico that “the United States will occupy the city, bay, and harbor of Manila pending the conclusion of a treaty of peace which shall determine the control, disposition, and government of the Philippines.” The news of the signing of the protocol did not reach Admiral Dewey and General Merritt until they had demanded and accepted the surrender of Manila on August 13. No Joint Occupation.—Four days later, on August 17, President McKinley directed that a telegram be sent to General Merritt saying: “The President directs that there must be no joint occupation with the insurgents. The United States in possession of Manila City, Manila bay and harbor, must preserve the peace, and protect persons and property within the territory by their military and naval forces. The insurgents and all others must recognize the military occupation and authority of the United States, and the cessation of hostilities proclaimed by the President.” On the 12th of the following December the treaty was signed by the Commissioners at Paris, and on December 21st, in an order to the Secretary of War, after referring to the conclusion of the treaty and the cession of future control of the Philippines to the United States, the President said: “The military commander is enjoined to make known to the inhabitants of the Philippine Islands that in succeeding to the sovereignty of Spain * * * the authority of the United States is to be exerted for the security of persons and property of the people of the islands and for the confirmation of all their private rights and relations. It will be the duty of the commander of the forces of occupation to announce that wooome not as invaders or conquerors, but as friends to protect the 7tative in their homes, in their employments, and in their personal and religious rights. All persons who, either by active aid or by honest submission, cooperate with the Government of the United States to give effect to this beneficent purpose will receive the reward of its support and protection. All others will be brought within the lawful rule we have assumed with firmness, if need be, but without severity so far as may be possible.”

[graphic]

There was no joint occupation. The first Philippine Commission, composed of Admiral Dewey, General Otis, President Schurman, Professor Worcester, and Charles Denby, said in its report: “When the city of Manila was taken on August 13, the Filipinos took no part in the attack, but came following in with a view to looting the city, and were only prevented from doing so by our forces preventing them from entering. Aguinaldo claimed that he had the right to occupy the city; he demanded of General Merritt the palace of Malacanan for himself and the cession of all the churches of Manila, also a part of all the money taken from the Spaniards as spoils of war should be given up, and above all, that he should be given the arms of the Spanish prisoners.” Admiral Dewey said in his hearing before the Philippine committee of the Senate in June, 1902, that Aguinaldo had no higher ideal than that of loot. Dewey denied that he had ever heard of Aguinaldo's desire for independence until he issued his proclamation declaring himself dictator, and then he paid no attention to him or his pretentions. Dewey says he never saluted the piece of bunting. Aguinaldo called the Filipino flag, never addressed him as General, and never gave him any more attention than to allow him to go to Cavite and organize a mob which he called his army. After the American troops took possession of Manila, Aguinaldo went to Malolos and organized a government of his own. He had a Congress appointed by himself. They were all representatives of his own race and from Manila. He surrounded himself with luxury by assessing the people. The United States forces were at this time and until the ratification of the treaty of peace with Spain restricted to the limitations of the protocol, “the city, bay, and harbor of Manila,” and they did not interfere with Aguinaldo or his government established outside that limitation. General Merritt and his successor, General Otis, and Admiral Dewey observed strictly the letter and spirit of the protocol. After the treaty of peace was signed in Paris, December 10, 1898, ceding the Philippines to the United States, General Otis was instructed by the President to proclaim in the most public manner that “we come not as invaders and conquerors, but as friends to protect the natives in their homes, in their employments, and in their personal and religious rights,” and on the same day, December 21, General Otis was ordered to see that peace was preserved in Iloilo, but admonished that, “It is most important that there should be no conflict with the insurgents.” A month later, on January 21, 1899, President McKinley announced his intention of sending to Manila, a Commission to cooperate with Admiral Dewey and General Otis. These gentlemen were Dr. Jacob Gould Schurman, President of Cornell University; Hon. Charles Denby, for many years minister to China, originally appointed by President Cleveland; and Prof. Dean C. Worcester, of the University of Michigan. These commissioners were instructed “to facilitate the most humane and effective extension of the authority throughout the islands, and to secure with the least

possible delay the benefits of a wise and generous protection of life and property to the inhabitants.” Democrats Aided in Ratifying the Treaty.—The treaty of peace was ratified by the Senate February 6, 1899. At that time the Republicans were in the minority in the Senate. Eighteen Senators who were not Republicans voted to ratify the treaty, and William J. Bryan came to Washington and urged all Democrats to vote for it. The treaty was ratified, and Democrats and Republicans felt they were acting in harmony with public sentiment in this country as well as for the best interests of the Filipinos, and according to the dictates ef patriotism. The House passed the bill to pay the $20,000,000 to Spain as provided by the treaty. While the Republicans had a majority in the House the rules had to be suspended by a two-thirds vote to secure consideration for that bill, and 64 Democrats voted with the Republicans. Throughout the whole transaction which made the Philippines territory of the United States all parties in Congress contributed to every vote carrying out the executive action. From the inauguration of the war with Spain until the ratification of the treaty which ceded the Philippines to the United States, the minority was . made up of individuals and not a party. The majority was made up of Republicans, Democrats, Populists, and Silver men. All parties approved the acquisition of the Philippines, as all parties had insisted on the war with Spain to drive her out of Cuba. Among the Senators who voted to ratify the treaty of Paris were Allen of Nebraska, Populist; Butler of North Carolina, Populist; Clay of Georgia, Democrat; Faulkner of West Virginia, Democrat; Gray of Delaware, Democrat; Harris of Kansas, Populist; Jones of Nevada, Silver; Kenney of Delaware, Democrat; Kyle of South Dakota, Independent; Lindsey of Kentucky, Democrat; McEnery of Louisiana, Democrat; McLaurin of South Carolina, Democrat; Mantle of Montana, Silver; Morgan of Alabama, Democrat; Pettus of Alabama, Democrat; Stewart of Nevada, Silver; Sullivan of Mississippi, Democrat; Teller of Colorado, Silver; and Wellington of Maryland, and Mason of Illinois, Republicans, who have since opposed the course of the Administration in the Philippines. Thus it will be seen that ten Democrats, three Populists, four Silver men, one Independent, and Senators Mason and Wellington voted for the ratification of the treaty absolutely conveying the Philip. pine Islands to the United States two days after the breaking out of the insurrection. The bill to appropriate $20,000,000 to carry out the financial obligation of the treaty of Paris—or “to purchase 10,000,000 people at $2 a head,” as the Democrats called it—was pending in the House February 20, 1899. Mr. Cannon, chairman of the Committee on Ap

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »