Theessay explains the different perspectives held by the historians onthe annexation of the Philippines by the United States. After thePhilippines had acquired independence from Spain, the Americanswanted them to become part of the US, hence, causing an end to thewar with Spain. The Americans thought that the Filipinos were weakand unfit to rule themselves and, therefore, they annexed thePhilippines. The two secondary sources provided, provide strongarguments that clearly illustrate different views about the reasonswhy America annexed the Philippines by two historians including NellIrvin Painter and Kristin L. Hoganson. The primary source of VicePresident Theodore Roosevelt’s speech at Minnesota State Fair,“National Duties,” best explains and supports the Hoganson’sargument in the “The National Manhood Metaphor.” However, someaspects of Roosevelt’s speech also support the argument presentedby Painter, although it is not entirely founded on his idea oneconomic enrichment. The speech on "National Duties" rootsback to the thought of social progression, which was emphasized byHoganson. Understanding and explaining the Americans annexation ofthe Philippines is necessary for learning the ideas of both thehistorians and the problems perceived solvable by both authorsthrough the imperialism. Besides, the two arguments should becompared to identify the case that is best supported by Roosevelt`sspeech.
Throughlearning the ideas of the two authors, it becomes easy to understandthe colonialist support for the annexation. Painter held the notionof economic development as a reason why the Philippines werecolonized. Painter explains that at that time, the US was in searchof new and foreign markets to trade with such as China. “Whatwas needed were new markets, especially in Asia, in the most populouscountry in the world, China…”(Painter, 1989, p. 146). The Philippine Islands would, therefore,facilitate this trade between the two nations leading to economicgrowth in the state.
Howevers,Hoganson argued that the annexation of the Philippines would promotecultural development in the country. The annexation would help theAmericans to gain control and authority over their subjects and,thus, boost their culture. They would become "men accustomed towielding authority…overcome the threat of degeneracy…”(Hoganson, 1998, p. 155). The Filipinos were viewed as stereotypeswho lacked the ability to self-governance and would, hence, promotecultural development.
Moreover,the two authors explain the various challenges that the annexation ofthe Philippines would help overcome in the society. According toPainter, the islands of the Filipino such as Hawaii would be "theperfect stepping-stones to China" (Painter, 1989, p. 147). Heclaimed that the island would facilitate the refueling of theAmerican ships destined for Asia. The Philippine Islands were a greatopportunity for expansion in America and would lead to theestablishment of multiple industries and, hence, increase theemployment opportunities. On the other hand, Hoganson argued that theimperialism on the Philippines was necessary as it enabled them todevelop from their childhood into mature men. They are then able todevelop the nation through assuming their responsibilities, which wasreferred to as the “National Manhood Metaphor” (Hoganson, 1998,p. 157). Besides, they would enable the development of the US into astronger nation by enhancing their imperialism and governing power.
Thetwo arguments are complementary since they both focus on theelaboration of the country through the annexation of the Philippines.According to Painter, the imperialism on the Philippines paved theway for economic growth in America. The US expanded its market andtrade through transportation, development of more industries, andmore employment opportunities. Equally, Hoganson believed that theannexing of the Philippines promoted cultural development in thenation. The imperialism enabled America to develop physicallypowerful men, who would provide labor in the established factories.Both arguments emphasize on growth, economic growth that enhances thecountry’s development.
TheodoreRoosevelt’s speech on “National Duties” comprised of the ideasfrom both Hoganson’s and Painter’s arguments. However, Rooseveltrecognized the role of improving the Philippines as vital forcommercial development. “We must raise others while we arebenefiting ourselves. In bringing order to the Philippines, oursoldiers added a new page to the honor-roll of American history”(Roosevelt, 1902, p. 295). He believed that the Philippine Islandswere enjoying “a peace and liberty…” under the new management.Nonetheless, he argued that the material and trade development wouldbe essential in supplementing these benefits. He also claimed that asthe Filipino race developed, so did the economy grow leading to thecountry`s enhancement.
Thetwo secondary sources by Painter and Hoganson are strong argumentsbut rather reveal different mindsets for the Filipinos. The textenables us to understand the reasons for the Americans annexation ofthe Philippines through learning the ideas of both the historians andthe problems perceived solvable by both authors through theimperialism. In addition, the two arguments should be compared toidentify the case that is best supported by Roosevelt`s speech. Bothcases are essential as they promote development via economic andcultural growth.
Hoganson,Kristin L. (1998). Fighting for American manhood: How gender politics
provokedthe Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars. New Haven: Yale
Painter,Nell Irvin (1989). Standing at Armageddon: The United States,1877–1919. New
York:W. W. Norton & Company.
Roosevelt,Theodore (1902). “National duties.” In the strenuous life: essaysand addresses. New York: The Century Company.