"The white man's burden"
: suppression of indigeneous [i.e. indigenous] nationalism in the Philippines, 1899-1912

  • Maurice John Philip White

    Student thesis: Other thesis - CDU


    This Thesis is in tended to examine how development of the Philippines was suppressed by the repression of Filipino nationalism by the American colonial regime from 1898 to the end of the Republican Administration in 1912. The first Chapter describes the American motivation for empire, from McKinley's decision to go to war with Spain and the debate over acquisition of an American colonial empire, to the various architects and engineers of American colonial policy, in an attempt to understand their motivations and influence, and how they affected colonial policy.

    The second Chapter examines the end of miltary conflict between the Americans and the Nationalists, and the fostering of an elite oligarchy by the Americans, against their own philosophy of government they were supposedly attempting to teach Filipinos. The role of this indigeneous elite, with consequent effects of their false nationalism and monopoly of the political process as suppression of indigeneous nationalism is outlined.

    American attempts to foster universal education, the use of education as a means of political and cultural indoctrination, and the effects of an often inappropriate education, in the English language and American culture, are examined in Chapter Three, together with the role played by American Protestant missionaries in the colonial experiment. The more liberal colonial policy exercised by Governor - General Taft to placate American domestic criticism is contrasted with the harsher measures of the military. Taft's policy highlighted genuine indigeneous demand and potential for political participation. Dean Worcester's role in misreprenting Philippine nationalist aspirations is mentioned, as typical of American colonial engineers' attitude.

    Chapter Four details effects on that development of imposed trade and tariff arrangements with America, why these were so designed and who they most benefited. This chapter examines the influence of American commercial policy and American capital. Effects of free trade arrangements, and economic exploitation favoured by a colonial regime operated in the interests of American capital and a fostered economic elite worked to deny potential relevant economic development and kept the Philippines an unindustrialized agricultural economy, with an inappropriately educated people.

    Chapter Five is a summary of the arguments of the Thesis, and a Conclusion. Chapter Six is an Afterword intended to give historical context .

    Date of Award1992
    Original languageEnglish

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