The Spanish American War (1898-1901)

Effects of the Treaty of Paris: 1899

The pro-Imperialist viewpoint succeeded because it appealed to the American public's sense of national honor and pride, as well as the jingoism taking hold in the period. From a business perspective, imperialists felt strongly that there were many opportunities for profit inherent in American possession of the Philippines. And of course, the imperialists proudly promised to "uplift" the "poor" Filipinos and satisfy the "white man's burden". (If only to simultaneously get something out of the bargain.)

The conflict with Aguinaldo and his guerrilla fighters in the Philippines seems to offer some foreshadowing of the Vietnam War. In Vietnam, the US became so caught up in a large, geopolitical goal (fighting Communism) it failed to realize that in the pursuit of this larger goal it was harming a smaller country full of proud people who desperately wanted to govern themselves and who were willing to fight a long war to set up a unified, independent Vietnam. In annexing the Philippines, the US did much the same thing: looking towards large geopolitical goals like increasing the US commercial presence in East Asia, the US stopped the nationalist Philippines from pursuing its own independence. Not surprisingly, the Filipinos fought back. In fact, just as the Vietnam War became a subject of intense public dissent against illegal US infringement upon the sovereignty of a foreign nation, so too did the struggle in the Philippines have its Anti-Imperialists, who argued along similar lines.