Today in History, February 4: 1899 –
The beginning of the Philippine-American War. The Americans had won the Spanish-American War, obtaining several Spanish colonies in the process.
The Americans knew the value of Cuba, but even President McKinley had to have the Philippines, where Admiral Dewey had won a tremendous naval victory, pointed out to him on the map.
McKinley commented that he wished Dewey had just sailed away after the victory…what was America to do with the Pacific Island nation??
But after further research, it was discovered that Germany would love to obtain the opportunities for a coaling station and empire. America and their British allies couldn’t have that. So the US annexed the Philippines…for the time being.
The Philippinos, who some in the US saw as “Indians” of the west…thinking the US was a liberator, turned to war for their independence. Oddly enough, the Americans did see themselves as liberators, having no desire for traditional imperialism. After 4 years of war, a compromise was reached. The Philippines would eventually be an independent nation.