I have studied Filipino history with a focus on the period of the Filipino-American war and American occupation. I have seen several social media posts that cite a few generalizations about this history and declare the United States was malevolent and exploited the Philippines. The Philippines was a United States Territory during most of this time, similar to Puerto Rico and Guam today. The people of Puerto Rico and Guam are not seeking to break from the United States, and neither were Filipinos who could read and know the facts during the American occupation. The Filipino leader, Emilio Aguinaldo, himself asked the United States not to leave the Philippines, but to remain and protect the Philippines from foreign powers while allowing him to be the dictator of the Philippines. This is known as a protectorate, and would have American soldiers and sailors risking or sacrificing their lives with the only gain being the knowledge that Emilio Aguinaldo, the assassin of competing leaders like Bonifacio and General Luna, gets to enjoy the spoils of plunder. This absurd and offensive point of view is contracited by the facts if they are viewed in total and not in a vaccuum.
I wrote the timeline below primarily as a reference for myself. I did not cite sources but it should be easy to find many, corroborating sources as I only included facts that are not in dispute. This timeline is not yet complete.
- May 1st, 1898 - US Admiral Dewey destroys the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay.
- May 19th, 1898 - Emilio Aguinaldo arrived at Cavite via US ship McCulloch.
- May 24th, 1898 - Aguinaldo proclaims dictatorial revolutionary government in Cavite.
- June 9, 1898 - members of the consultive assembly were appointed, including Ambrosio Bautista. The Spanish governor-general organized a Philippine Militia, which drew some insurgent leaders, and a consultive assembly.
- June 10, 1898 - Aguinaldo wrote to McKinley a letter asking that the Philippines be left "free and independent" after the war.
- June 12th, 1898 - Aguinaldo declared the Philippines independent (from SPain) in Kawit, Cavite, under the protection of North America, and in the name of all the inhabitants of the Philippines...that they have all the rights of an independent state. Signed by 98.
- June 18th, 1898 - Aguinaldo signs decree to establish local governments. People of high standing were considered "electors", who elected one chief, three officials, and barangay captains. These elected a representative to the Revolutionary Congress.
- June 23rd, 1898 - Aguinaldo changed the dictatorial government to a revolutionary government, proclaimed over the Philippines (drafted by Mabini). The revolutionary government "whose object is to struggle for the independence of the Philippines until she is recognized by the free nations of the Earth." The congress was to be composed of members elected by the June 18th decree, with members appointed where elections were not held. Aguinaldo moved his HQ to Bacoor, between Cavite and Manila.
- June 30th, 1898 - first US land forces arrived at Cavite (General Anderson).
- July 15th, 1898 - US First California landed five miles south of insurgent lines around Manila. More followed under Genernal Greene.
- July 22nd, 1898 - Dewey related the following message from General Anderson to Washington: "Aguinaldo declared dictator (ship) and martial law over all the islands. The people expect independence..."
- July 24th, 1898 - Aguinaldo writes to Anderson that while his government has not been acknowledged by any other nations, he expected that "the Great North American nation, which struggled first for it's independence,...would look upon it with greater benevolence than any other nation."
- July 25th, 1898 - General Merritt arrived with reinforcements and assumed command.
- July 29th, 1898 - Gen. Greene effected evacuation of insurgent forces in front of him, replacing them.
- July 30th, 1898 - General MacArthur arrived with the remainder of the expedition.
- __________, 1898 - Manila was attacked from the south by MacArthur and Greene.
- August 1st, 1898 - All the village chiefs took an oath in Bacoor, Cavite. There was later word that disorder reigned in Tarlac, Pangasinan, Neuva Ecija, and commissioners were appointed and sent there.
- August 13th, 1898 - Manila capitulated to General Merritt.
- South portion of Manila held by join forces.
- August 14th, 1898 - Peace protocol signed in Washington. One article granted the US control of Manila Bay, harbor, and city.
- Aguinaldo requested joint occupation of the city. The US government was consulted, and replied there could be no joint occupation. Aguinaldo requested to be returned to Manila if the peace treaty put Manila in the hands of the Spanish.
- August 29th, 1898 - General Otis succeeded general Merritt.
- September 15th, 1898 - the insurgents evacuated Manila, holding line outside the city. There was friction over the Manila boundary between parties.
- September 15th, 1898 - the Revolutionary Congress meet at a church at Barasoain, outside Mololos, Bulacan. 1/2 to 1/4 of the members were elected by village officials, the rest were appointed.
- September 29th, 1898 - Malolo (revolutionary) congress ratifies the June 12th declaration of independence (made in Kawit, Cavite). Members of the congress, in conflict with Mabini, wanted to draft a constitution. "...In order to secure recognition of Philippine independence by other powers, they must produce a fairly up-to-date constitution".
- December 10th, 1898 - treaty of Paris was signed.
- January 2nd, 1899 - Mabini is head of the cabinet of the Revolutionary government.
- January 8th, 1899 - Aguinaldo proclaims ___.
- January 23rd, 1899 - Mololos constitution adopted. (the revolutionary government still not established, stable, recognized, functioning, or singular).
- February 4th, 1899 - hostilities erupted between soldiers in Manila.
- February 4th, 1899 - Aguinaldo declares American forces to be enemies.
- June 12th, 1899 - Mololos Congress declares war on the United States.
- November 2, 1900 - Mr. Schurman, of the US "First Philippine
comission", signed the following statement:
"Should our power by any fatality be withdrawn, the commission believe that the government of the Philippines would speedily lapse into anarchy, which would excuse, if it did not necessitate, the intervention of other powers and the eventual division of the islands among them. Only through American occupation, therefore, is the idea of a free, self-governing, and united Philippine commonwealth at all conceivable. And the indispensable need from the Filipino point of view of maintaining American sovereignty over the archipelago is recognized by all intelligent Filipinos and even by those insurgents who desire an American protectorate. The latter, it is true, would take the revenues and leave us the responsibilities. Nevertheless, they recognize the indubitable fact that the Filipinos cannot stand alone. Thus the welfare of the Filipinos coincides with the dictates of national honour in forbidding our abandonment of the archipelago. We cannot from any point of view escape the responsibilities of government which our sovereignty entails; and the commission is strongly persuaded that the performance of our national duty will prove the greatest blessing to the peoples of the Philippine Islands."
This page last modified 2023-04-30