America's Road to Becoming a Term Paper

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Argument against colonization

While the American government pursued this expansionist policy, many citizens expressed concerns and dissent, for many disparate reasons. Ironically, while expansionism was based on ideas of racial superiority, so did the counter-arguments. For example, labor leader Samuel Gompers argued against the acquisition of colonies, for fear of being swarmed by "the Negritos, the Chinese, the Malays" and the other "semi-savage races" from coming to the United States? Similar racist arguments were put forth by William Graham Sumner, a prominent Social Darwinist. While Sumber agrees with the argument that Anglo Saxons are a superior race, he also believed that colonization would interfere with the progress of the lesser race and may even disrupt the development of the Anglo Saxon civilization.

However, many prominent Americans also opposed American expansionism based on more lawful and humanitarian reasons. Republican Senator George F. Hoar, for example, argued that the acquisition of the Philippines based on Constitutional grounds. Hoar begins his argument by declaring that the Monroe Doctrine is no longer relevant, given the waning superiority of Europe. The senator stated that governing a people against their will was "expressly forbidden by the Constitution." Furthermore, he was critical of the warmongers in Congress, who proposed turning guns and cannons on another country, simply because "we think that our notion of government is better than the notion you have got yourselves.
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The argument acquires more resonance upon proof of grave abuses committed by Americans, with the full sanction of leaders like Presidents McKinley and then Philippine Governor Taft. Army Sergeant Leroy E. Hallock, a soldier stationed in the Philippines during the war, testified in Congress regarding the torture that soldiers were instructed to commit. According to the report of the proceedings, "if the soldiers wanted to get any information out of the natives, they gave them the water cure." Any town that was suspected of harboring militia or insurgents was burned.

Conclusion

In summary, American colonization of the Philippines was built on ideas of Anglo-Saxon superiority and the strengthening of the American market. However, as Hoar pointed out, these reasons for expansion violated those specified in the United States Constitution. Furthermore, the expansionism was carried out with vicious violations of human rights, resulting in great casualties among the Filipino people.

Perhaps the most eloquent argument against expansionism can be summed up in the words of Mark Twain, who noted the irony in the way Americans savaged the rights of the people they were supposed to "lift up" to civilization. Thus, the United States sent an army "ostensibly to help the native patriots put the finishing tough on their long and plucky struggle for independence, but really to take their land away from….....

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