Why Did Some Americans Oppose The Annexation Of The Philippines

Why did many Americans oppose annexation of the Philippines?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There were two main reasons why some Americans did not want to annex the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.  One of these reasons was rather noble while the other one was most emphatically not noble.

On the noble side, some Americans like Mark Twain believed that it was simply wrong and un-American to deprive the Filipinos of their independence.  After all, here was a country that was acting just like the American colonies had in the 1770s.  It wanted to be free from a colonial power that had been oppressing it.  And yet here was the United States, a country built on freedom, going over to subdue the Filipinos by force and to annex their country.  This seemed completely contrary to all American values and, therefore, these people opposed it.

On the ignoble side, there were many Americans who did not want to annex the Philippines for racial reasons.  They worried that, if the US annexed the islands, all of the Filipinos would become American citizens or at least part of the American nation in some way.  They did not want a bunch of non-white people being included in the US and they, therefore, wanted to avoid annexing the Philippines.

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