Asian History Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

How did Filipinos respond to American colonization just after they had gained independence from Spain?

Expert Answers info

Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write2,982 answers

starTop subjects are History, Law and Politics, and Social Sciences

After the Spanish-American War ended, the United States gained control of some of Spain’s colonies. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines were some colonies that the United States received from Spain. The people of the Philippines were very pleased to see that Spain lost the Spanish-American War. They hoped they would be given their independence after the Spanish-American War ended.

When the Spanish-American War ended, the Philippines did not become independent. Instead, the Philippines became a colony of the United States. The Filipino people were not happy, and they rebelled against American rule. Emilio Aguinaldo led the Filipino people in the rebellion against the United States. The Filipinos used guerrilla warfare tactics against the United States. The Americans responded by putting people into “reconcentration camps” and treating civilians and soldiers alike. There were many casualties on both sides, but the Filipino casualty numbers were higher. At least 4,200 American soldiers died compared to at least 16,000 Filipino soldiers being killed. The Americans eventually captured Aguinaldo, and most of the fighting in the conflict ended about a year later. The United States eventually granted independence to the Philippines after World War II ended. The Philippines gained its independence on July 4, 1946.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial



krishna-agrawala | Student

Filipino feeling towards domination of their country by USA was not very different from their feeling towards the Spanish rule. They were strongly opposed to both.

Spain had ruled philippines for a long time, but towards the close of 19th century the desire of Filipino people for independence grew very strong. Under the leadership of Emilie Aguinaldo, they revolted in 1896 to throw out the Spanish rulers, and by 1998 they had gained control of almost whole of territory in Philippines except Manila. Also they declared their independence on June 12, 1998.

This way when Spain ceded Philippines to USA in December 1998, the presence of USA  in that country was also  limited to Manila. The relations between USA and the Filipino remained tense for few months following transfer, and finally in February 1899 a bloody and disastrous war broke out between them. In this war nearly one sixth of population of Philippines including women and children perished. Philippines was not able to march the superior military and economic power of the USA and Emilie Aguinaldo was forced to surrender in 1901. This ended the major resistance by the Filipinos but some revolutionaries continued their struggle even after that.

epollock | Student

Early in 1899, Philippine nationalists, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, took up arms against the American occupation. Atrocities, committed by both sides, became commonplace. Although American casualties and the reports of atrocities committed by American soldiers provided ammunition for the anti-imperialists, McKinley's reelection settled the Philippine question for most Americans. William Howard Taft became the first civilian governor and encouraged participation by the Filipinos in the territorial government. This policy won many converts but did not end the rebellion.