Philippines Independence 1901

Philippines Granted Independence By President Bryan 1901

“Philippines Independence Granted” could have been the news headline if the 1900 U.S.A election had gone the other way, the Philippines would have been an independent country by 1901 and the Genocide that was being carried out by the Americans would have come to an end.

The American election of 1900 was between William McKinley a Republican and William Jennings Bryan a Democrat.

Presidential candidates William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan had very different views on the Philippines and American imperialism.

William McKinley considered Filipinos incapable of ruling their own country and believed the Filipino people needed America to Christianise and educate them. It was because of this he declared war on the Philippines in 1899 which was also the start of the Philippines Genocide.

William Jennings Bryan had a very different view towards the Philippines, he was outraged by the Treaty of Paris that gave the United States of America control of the Philippines.

Bryan spoke strongly against American imperialism. However, he did urge his supporters to ratify the Treaty of Paris his reasoning for this was to bring a quick end to the War and then give the Philippines its independence as soon as possible.

McKinley had other ideas and claims it came to him while praying that America should keep the Philippines. Emilio Aguinaldo did not agree and tried to end the American rule of the Philippines.

In his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination said that the 1900 election was “a contest between democracy and plutocracy.” He criticized the USA over the annexation of the Philippines and compared it to the British rule of the Thirteen Colonies.

William Jennings Bryan argued strongly that America should reframe from imperialism, he also believed America should become the arbiter of the world’s disputes and should become a supreme moral factor in the world.

By 1900 opposition to the United States control of the Philippines came mainly from the American Anti-Imperialist League which included people such as Mark Twain who wrote about horrific events of the Philippines genocide, Carl Schurz, Benjamin Harrison and Andrew Carnegie.

Many of the leaders of the American Anti-Imperialist League distrusted Bryan and his followers, 4 years earlier they had opposed Bryan. However, despite the mistrust because of Bryan’s stance against imperialism and especially because he wanted to give the Philippines their independence most of the leadership of the American Anti-Imperialist League decided to support Bryan the Democratic nominee in the 1900 American election.

Sadly for the Philippines, the American public was won over by the Republican campaign of a strong industrial economy for America, rather than the morality of American imperialism and the annexing the Philippines. If you look at the way much of the US media at the time depicted Filipinos it is not surprising that many Americans had little care about the annexing the Philippines.

Filipinos at the time were often depicted as backward savages that needed America to educate and rule them by the American media.

William Jennings Bryan only received 155 of the Electoral vote compared to William McKinley that received 292 of the Electoral vote so won a second term as President.

Less than a year later McKinley was assassinated but this would not change anything for the Philippines they would have to wait another 45 years before they were granted independence.

If William Jennings Bryan had won the 1900 American Election the Philippines would probably have been granted independence by 1901 or 1902 ad it whole history for the 20th century would have changed and the Philippines would be a very different place today.

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