Philippine Annexation Dbq : A Primary Cause Of World War I Essay

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Sariah Smith
Gold 3
17 November 2016
Philippine Annexation DBQ
Scholars typically cite imperialism as a primary cause of World War I, and though controversial, America was no stranger to the practice. In 1898, the United States won the Spanish American War, resulting in the Paris Treaty. America gained several formerly Spanish colonies from their victory, and through the Treaty of Paris, they annexed the Philippines. Filipino insurgents, who had fought for the Philippines ' independence, rebelled against the annexation. This led to the Philippine-American War. However, not all Americans supported the annexation. In fact, the Paris Treaty passed by only one vote, and anti-imperialists such as Mark Twain contended with pro-imperialists like Theodore Roosevelt. Despite the debate, the United States should not have annexed the Philippines, because the decision was unnecessary, hypocritical, and tyrannical.
America 's annexation of the Philippines was not a necessary decision. Supporters of the annexation believed it would benefit America economically. However, Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan stated in a speech, "It is not necessary to own people in order to trade with them" (Document D). Trade with the Philippines could have been accomplished without occupying them. In addition, pro-imperialists exhibited a patronizing attitude toward the Filipinos; for instance, Albert J. Beveridge described the Philippines as "ours to save" (Document B). Many

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