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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Uncle Sam Teaches a Class In "Self-Government"

In this political cartoon from shortly after the conclusion of the Spanish-American War in 1898, "Uncle Sam" disciplines a class of unruly "children," representing Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. The mustachioed figure reading the [...]

Uncle Sam Finds "Something Lacking" In New Possessions

The outcome of the Spanish-American War had far-reaching consequences for several of Spain's former colonies. The United States annexed Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam, while Cuba became independent but subject to American influence. This [...]

"Showing the Light to the Filipinos"

From 1898 to 1902, the United States waged a bloody war in the Philippines. Filipinos wanted independence from centuries of Spanish colonial rule. U.S. leaders, however, saw the opportunity to control the Philippines and gain access to markets in [...]

A Senator Speaks in Support of Empire

In this speech, Republican Senator from Indiana Albert J. Beveridge strongly advocates the annexation of the Philippines.

African-American Democrats Speak Out Against U.S. Imperialism

In this statement during the 1900 presidential election, the Negro National Democratic League criticizes the Republican administration's expansionist foreign policy, and gives its endorsement to the Democratic candidate, William Jennings Bryan.

"The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands"

In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled "The White Man's Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands." In this poem, Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the "burden" of empire, as had Britain and [...]

"The 'White Man's Burden': Uncle Sam to Kipling"

"Droch" was the pen name of Robert Bridges, a critic and editor at Scribner's and Life magazines and a friend to both Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. In this response to Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden," he opens by sarcastically [...]

"The Belle of Manilla"

During the 1890s, popular songs and sensationalist news coverage played a large role in drumming up support for U.S. intervention and the Spanish-American War. "The Belle of Manila," written in 1898, was one of many pro-war songs that were played in [...]

"The Black KPs"

"The Black KPs" was written by Charles Hillman and Sidney L. Perrin in 1898 to bolster the domestic support for the war in the Philippines. While the sentiment behind the song was considered patriotic, the language in the lyrics are unmistakably [...]

President McKinley Puts the Philippines on the U.S. Map

In this account of an 1899 meeting with a delegation of Methodist church leaders, President William McKinley defends his decision to support the annexation of the Philippines in the wake of the U.S. war in that country.