Analyze, synthesize, and compare and contrast imperalism vs anti imperalism and the treaty of paris (1898)
Excerpts from The March of the Flag
Albert Beveridge was elected to the U.S. Senate from Indiana as a fervent supporter of the Treaty of Paris (1898) and American imperialism. He gave this speech at a campaign event on September 16, 1898, in which he connected the new imperative of imperialism with the earlier 19th century quest to fulfil our Manifest Destiny.
It is a noble land that God has given us; a land that can feed and clothe the world; a land set like a sentinel between the two imperial oceans of the globe, a greater England with a nobler destiny.
It is a mighty people that He has planted on this soil; a people sprung from the most masterful blood of history; a people perpetually revitalized by the virile, manproducing workingfolk of all the earth; a people imperial by virtue of their power, by right of their institutions, by authority of their Heaven-directed purposes….
It is a glorious history our God has bestowed upon His chosen people; a history heroic with faith in our mission and our future; a history of statesmen who flung the boundaries of the Republic out into unexplored lands and savage wilderness….
Therefore, in this campaign, the question is larger than a party question. It is an American question. It is a world question. Shall the American people continue their march toward the commercial supremacy of the world? Shall free institutions broaden their blessed reign as the children of liberty wax in strength, until the empire of our principles is established over the hearts of all mankind…?
Hawaii is ours; Porto Rico is to be ours; in the islands of the East, even to the gates of Asia, coaling stations are to be ours at the very least; the flag of a liberal government is to float over the Philippines….
The Opposition tells us that we ought not to govern a people without their consent. I answer, The rule of liberty that all just government derives its authority from the consent of the governed, applies only to those who are capable of self-government….
And, regardless of this formula of words made only for enlightened, self-governing people, do we owe no duty to the world? Shall we turn these peoples back to the reeking hands from which we have taken them? Shall we abandon them, with Germany, England, Japan, hungering for them? Shall we save them from those nations, to give them a self-rule of tragedy?
Will you say by your vote that American ability to govern has decayed, that a century’s experience in self-rule has failed of a result? Will you affirm by your vote that you are an infidel to American power and practical sense? Or will you say that ours is the blood of government; ours the heart of dominion; ours the brain and genius of administration? Will you remember that we do but what our fathers did – we but pitch the tents of liberty farther westward, farther southward-we only continue the march of the flag?
The march of the flag! In 1789 the flag of the Republic waved over 4,000,000 souls in thirteen states, and their savage territory which stretched to the Mississippi, to Canada, to the Floridas. The timid minds of that day said that no new territory was needed, and, for the hour, they were right. But Jefferson, through whose intellect the centuries marched; Jefferson, the first Imperialist of the Republic, Jefferson acquired that imperial territory which swept from the Mississippi to the mountains…and the march of the flag began!
The infidels to the gospel of liberty raved, but the flag swept on! The title to that noble land out of which Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana have been carved was uncertain: Jefferson…obeyed the Anglo-Saxon impulse within him, whose watchword is, “Forward:” another empire was added to the Republic, and the march of the flag went on!
A screen of land from New Orleans to Florida shut us from the Gulf, and over this and the Everglade Peninsula waved the saffron flag of Spain; Andrew Jackson seized both, the American people stood at his back, and, under Monroe, the Floridas came under the dominion of the Republic, and the march of the flag went on!
Then Texas responded to the bugle calls of liberty, and the march of the flag went on! And, at last, we waged war with Mexico, and the flag swept over the southwest, over peerless California, past the Gate of Gold to Oregon on the north, and from ocean to ocean its folds of glory blazed.
And, now, obeying the same voice that Jefferson heard and obeyed, that Jackson heard and obeyed, that Monroe heard and obeyed, that Seward heard and obeyed, that Grant heard and obeyed, that Harrison heard and obeyed, our President today plants the flag over the islands of the seas, outposts of commerce, citadels of national security, and the march of the flag goes on!
The ocean does not separate us from lands of our duty and desire…. Cuba not contiguous? Porto Rico not contiguous! Hawaii and the Philippines no contiguous! The oceans make them contiguous. And our navy will make them contiguous.
…There was not one reason for the landlust of our statesmen from Jefferson to Grant, other than the prophet and the Saxon within them But, today, we are raising more than we can consume, making more than we can use. Therefore we must find new markets for our produce….
The resources of Porto Rico have only been trifled with. The riches of the Philippines have hardly been touched by the fingertips of modern methods. And they produce what we consume, and consume what we produce-the very predestination of reciprocity-a reciprocity…. Their trade will be ours in time. Do you indorse that policy with your vote?
Excerpts from the Platform of the American Anti-Imperialist League
The Anti-imperialist League formed to fight Treaty of Paris (1898) and the U.S. annexation of the Philippines, citing a variety of reasons ranging from the economic to the legal to the racial to the moral. It included among its members such notables as Mark Twain, Jane Addams, Andrew Carnegie, Grover Cleveland, and William Graham Sumner.
We hold that the policy known as imperialism is hostile to liberty and tends toward militarism, an evil from which it has been our glory to be free. We regret that it has become necessary in the land of Washington and Lincoln to reaffirm that all men, of whatever race or color, are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We maintain that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. We insist that the subjugation of any people is “criminal aggression” and open disloyalty to the distinctive principles of our government.
We earnestly condemn the policy of the present national administration in the Philippines. It seeks to extinguish the spirit of 1776 in those islands. We deplore the sacrifice of our soldiers and sailors, whose bravery deserves admiration even in an unjust war. We denounce the slaughter of the Filipinos as a needless horror. We protest against the extension of American sovereignty by Spanish methods.
We demand the immediate cessation of the war against liberty, begun by Spain and continued by us. We urge that Congress be promptly convened to announce to the Filipinos our purpose to concede to them the independence for which they have so long fought and which of right is theirs.
The United States have always protested against the doctrine of international law which permits the subjugation of the weak by the strong. A self-governing state cannot accept sovereignty over an unwilling people. The United States cannot act upon the ancient heresy that might makes right.
Imperialists assume that with the destruction of self-government in the Philippines by American hands, all opposition here will cease. This is a grievous error. Much as we abhor the war of “criminal aggression” in the Philippines, greatly as we regret that the blood of the Filipinos is on American hands, we more deeply resent the betrayal of American institutions at home. The real firing line is not in the suburbs of Manila. The foe is of our own household. The attempt of 1861 was to divide the country. That of 1899 is to destroy its fundamental principles and noblest ideals….
We deny that the obligation of all citizens to support their government in times of grave national peril applies to the present situation. If an administration may with impunity ignore the issues upon which it was chosen, deliberately create a condition of war anywhere on the face of the globe, debauch the civil service for spoils to promote the adventure, organize a truth-suppressing censorship, and demand of all citizens a suspension of judgment and their unanimous support while it chooses to continue the fighting, representative government itself is imperiled.
We propose to contribute to the defeat of any person or party that stands for the forcible subjugation of any people. We shall oppose for re-election all who in the white house or in congress betray American liberty in pursuit of un-American ends. We still hope that both of our great political parties will support and defend the declaration of independence in the closing campaign of the century.
We hold with Abraham Lincoln, that “no man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent. When the white man governs himself, that is self-government, but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government–that is despotism.” “Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just God cannot long retain it.”
We cordially invite the co-operation of all men and women who remain loyal to the declaration of independence and the constitution of the United States.
The White Man’s Burden
Rudyard Kipling, a celebrated English author and poet, wrote what is often called the “Anthem of Imperialism.” The White Man’s Burden appeared in McClure’s Magazine in 1899 and was written to appeal to American to ratify the Treaty of Paris (1898) and take the Philippines.
Take up the White Man’s burden– Send forth the best ye breed– Go, bind your sons to exile To serve your captives’ need; To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild–Your new-caught sullen peoples, Half devil and half child.
Take up the White Man’s burden– In patience to abide, To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride; By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain, To seek another’s profit And work another’s gain.
Take up the White Man’s burden– The savage wars of peace– Fill full the mouth of Famine, And bid the sickness cease; And when your goal is nearest (The end for others sought) Watch sloth and heathen folly Bring all your hope to naught.
Take up the White Man’s burden– No iron rule of kings, But toil of serf and sweeper– The tale of common things. The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread, Go, make them with your living And mark them with your dead.
Take up the White Man’s burden, And reap his old reward– The blame of those ye better The hate of those ye guard– The cry of hosts ye humour (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:– “Why brought ye us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night?”
Take up the White Man’s burden– Ye dare not stoop to less– Nor call too loud on Freedom To cloak your weariness. By all ye will or whisper, By all ye leave or do, The silent sullen peoples Shall weigh your God and you.
Take up the White Man’s burden! Have done with childish days– The lightly-proffered laurel, The easy ungrudged praise: Comes now, to search your manhood Through all the thankless years, Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom, The judgment of your peers.
Excerpts from To the Person Sitting in Darkness
Mark Twain was an avid anti-imperialist. He commented frequently on his opposition to the annexation of the Philippines. Below is an excerpt from one of these commentaries, To the Person Sitting in Darkness.
The plan developed, stage by stage, and quite satisfactorily. We entered into a military alliance with the trusting Filipinos, and they hemmed in Manila on the land side, and by their valuable help the place, with its garrison of 8,000 or 10,000 Spaniards, was captured — a thing which we could not have accomplished unaided at that time. We got their help by — by ingenuity. We knew they were fighting for their independence, and that they had been at it for two years. We knew they supposed that we also were fighting in their worthy cause — just as we had helped the Cubans fight for Cuban independence — and we allowed them to go on thinking so. Until Manila was ours and we could get along without them. Then we showed our hand. Of course, they were surprised — that was natural; surprised and disappointed; disappointed and grieved. To them it looked un-American; uncharacteristic; foreign to our established traditions. And this was natural, too; for we were only playing the American Game in public — in private it was the European. It was neatly done, very neatly, and it bewildered them. They could not understand it; for we had been so friendly — so affectionate, even — with those simple-minded patriots! We, our own selves, had brought back out of exile their leader, their hero, their hope, their Washington — Aguinaldo; brought him in a warship, in high honor, under the sacred shelter and hospitality of the flag; brought him back and restored him to his people, and got their moving and eloquent gratitude for it. Yes, we had been so friendly to them, and had heartened them up in so many ways! We had lent them guns and ammunition; advised with them; exchanged pleasant courtesies with them; placed our sick and wounded in their kindly care; entrusted our Spanish prisoners to their humane and honest hands; fought shoulder to shoulder with them against “the common enemy” (our own phrase); praised their courage, praised their gallantry, praised their mercifulness, praised their fine and honorable conduct; borrowed their trenches, borrowed strong positions which they had previously captured from the Spaniard; petted them, lied to them — officially proclaiming that our land and naval forces came to give them their freedom and displace the bad Spanish Government — fooled them, used them until we needed them no longer; then derided the sucked orange and threw it away. We kept the positions which we had beguiled them of; by and by, we moved a force forward and overlapped patriot ground — a clever thought, for we needed trouble, and this would produce it. A Filipino soldier, crossing the ground, where no one had a right to forbid him, was shot by our sentry. The badgered patriots resented this with arms, without waiting to know whether Aguinaldo, who was absent, would approve or not. Aguinaldo did not approve; but that availed nothing. What we wanted, in the interest of Progress and Civilization, was the Archipelago, unencumbered by patriots struggling for independence; and the War was what we needed. We clinched our opportunity.
Excerpts from Distant Possessions: The Parting of the Ways
Industrialist Andrew Carnegie took a unique position on the imperialism question in 1898. In the excerpts below he explains two reasons for his opposition to acquiring colonial possessions around the globe.
Is the Republic to remain one homogeneous whole, one united people, or to become a scattered and disjointed aggregate of widely separated and alien races?
Is she to continue the task of developing her vast continent until it holds a population as great as that of Europe, all Americans, or to abandon that destiny to annex, and to attempt to govern, other far distant parts of the world as outlying possessions, which can never be integral parts of the Republic?
Is she to exchange internal growth and advancement for the development of external possessions which can never be really hers in any fuller sense than India is British or Cochin China French? Such is the portentous question of the day. Two equally important questions the American people have decided wisely, and their flag now waves over the greater portion of the English-speaking race; their country is the richest of all countries, first in manufactures, in mining, and in commerce (home and foreign), first this year also in exports. But, better than this, the average condition of its people in education and in living is the best.
If we could establish colonies of Americans, and grow Americans in any part of the world now unpopulated and unclaimed by any of the great powers…heart and mind might tell us that we should have to think twice, yea, thrice, before deciding adversely. Even then our decision should be adverse; but there is at present no such question before us. What we have to face is the question whether we should embark upon the difficult and dangerous policy of undertaking the government of alien races in lands where it is impossible for our own race to be produced….
I am no “Little” American, afraid of growth, either in population or territory, provided always that the new territory be American, and that it will produce Americans, and not foreign races bound in time to be false to the Republic in order to be true to themselves.
To reduce it to the concrete, the question is: Shall we attempt to establish ourselves as a power in the far East and possess the Philippines for glory? The glory we already have, in Dewey’s victory overcoming the power of Spain in a manner which adds one more to the many laurels of the American navy, which, from its infancy till now, has divided the laurels with Britain upon the sea. The Philippines have about seven and a half millions of people, composed of races bitterly hostile to one another, alien races, ignorant of our language and institutions. Americans cannot be grown there. The islands have been exploited for the benefit of Spain, against whom they have twice rebelled, like the Cubans. But even Spain has received little pecuniary benefit from them. The estimated revenue of the Philippines in 1894-95 was £2,715,980, the expenditure being £2,656,026, leaving a net result of about $300,000. The United States could obtain even this trifling sum from the inhabitants only by oppressing them as Spain has done. But, if we take the Philippines, we shall be forced to govern them as generously as Britain governs her dependencies, which means that they will yield us nothing, and probably be a source of annual expense. Certainly they will be a grievous drain upon revenue if we consider the enormous army and navy which we shall be forced to maintain upon their account.
Let another phase of the question be carefully weighed. Europe is to-day an armed camp, not chiefly because the home territories of its various nations are threatened, but because of fear of aggressive action upon the part of other nations touching outlying “possessions.” France resents British control of Egypt, and is fearful of its West African possessions; Russia seeks Chinese territory, with a view to expansion to the Pacific; Germany also seeks distant possessions; Britain, who has acquired so many dependencies, is so fearful of an attack upon them that this year she is spending nearly eighty millions of dollars upon additional war-ships, and Russia, Germany, and France follow suit. Japan is a new element of anxiety; and by the end of the year it is computed she will have sixty-seven formidable ships of war. The naval powers of Europe, and Japan also, are apparently determined to be prepared for a terrific struggle for possessions in the far East, close to the Philippines — and why not for these islands themselves? Into this vortex the Republic is cordially invited to enter by those powers who expect her policy to be of benefit to them, but her action is jealously watched by those who fear that her power might be used against them.
It has never been considered the part of wisdom to thrust one’s hand into the hornet’s nest, and it does seem as if the United States must lose all claim to ordinary prudence and good sense if she enter this arena and become involved in the intrigues and threats of war which make Europe an armed camp….
This drain upon the resources of these countries has become a necessity from their respective positions, largely as graspers for foreign possessions. The United States to-day, happily, has no such necessity, her neighbors being powerless against her, since her possessions are concentrated and her power is one solid mass…..
Whether the United States maintain its present unique position of safety, or forfeit it through acquiring foreign possessions, is to be decided by its action in regard to the Philippines….