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Philippine-American War

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The United States declared war with Spain in 1898 to support Cuba with their struggles from Spanish control. The United States sent out a fleet to the Philippines to defeat the Spanish navy and this battle was known as the “Battle of Manila Bay”. The Spanish navy was defeated and the Filipino’s had the impression that they were liberated, free to rule their own country. However, the outcome of the Spanish­American War resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Paris. This agreement not only surrendered control for Cuba but also ceded Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States. The continued presence of the American forces had implied to the Filipino’s that they were still there to take sovereignty over the country.

On February 4, 1899, the American­Philippine War began. On January 23, 1899, the Filipinos proclaimed an independent republic and elected long­time nationalist Emilio Aguinaldo president.1 Since then, he organized a filipino revolutionary government and sent out resistance throughout the country. Thinking strategically, President McKinley along with others believed that the Philippines is too important to the U.S. to allow Filipino’s to govern themselves. President McKinley declared his intention to “educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them,” and mobilized 20,000 U.S. troops to get the job done.2 Although there were forces there already, this war required more effort and lasted longer than the Americans anticipated.

The war was fought in two phases. President Aguinaldo dominated this phase with ill­fated attempts to fight a conventional war against the better­trained and equipped American ​troops. The American troops were at an advantage in so many ways over the Filipino forces. These advantages included having a better well trained forces, a dependable amount of military equipment and means of control of the the different waterways of the country. President Aguinaldo fighting with these kinds of advantages over his forces had resulted in critical damage on his forces and supply.

It was apparent in the beginning that because the Filipino’s had a long­term of shortages in weapons and ammunitions and lack of support that going head on with the Americans with no plan was an oversight. After the 10 months of phase one was over, the second phase of the war took place. This time President Aguinaldo had his forces go on to the battlefield using the guerrilla warfare tactics. The guerrilla tactics is a form of warfare fought by irregulars using military tactics including ambushes, raids, element of surprise, and fought in fast­moving small scale actions to dominate larger but less mobile armies.

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