Compare and contrast the causes of the Spanish-American and Filipino-American wars?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In some ways, the causes of these two wars were the same because they were part of the same war.  The Filipino-American War only came about because of the Spanish-American War.  In that sense, the causes of the Spanish-American War were also causes of the Filipino-American War.  In addition to this, both wars were, to some extent caused by the desire for empire.

There were, however, differences between the causes of the two wars.  The Spanish-American War was, at least in theory, meant to end the colonization of a people.  The Americans were ostensibly fighting to free Cuba.  By contrast, the war in the Philippines was meant to continue the colonization of a people.  The Americans were fighting in the Philippines to prevent Filipinos from gaining their independence after the US defeated Spain.

So, both wars' causes were similar in that both were caused to some extent by the desire to take an empire.  On the other hand, the war in the Philippines was more nakedly imperialistic while the Spanish-American War was supposedly for a more humanitarian purpose.

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