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TYPICAL NEW-STYLE COUNTRY ROAD. Note the deposit of surfacing material. Also the caminero, or road tender, at
work. During the rainy season, one man looks after each kilometer of road, keeping it constantly in repair. During the dry season one man cares for two kilometers.
of reasonable probability. They had fought well against the Spaniards, but they had shown no special military capacity. The general feeling of the army and navy toward them was that of condescending tolerance. Their qualities and characteristics were misjudged even by those who were presumably best qualified to judge. The American military leaders were without experience with Malays, but in one respect their instincts were more nearly correct than the reasoned theories of the civilians. They knew the value of firmness and decisiveness in dealing with such people. But all equally misjudged the resisting qualities of the Filipinos and attached excessive importance to the efficacy of fine phrases and fervid assurances of good intentions. Mr. John Foreman, an Englishman who had lived in the Philippines for many years, informed the Peace Commission at Paris that the Tagalogs were of an easy plastic nature and could easily be induced to accept a new system of government. The Visayans, he thought, would require more pressure. General Merritt advised the Peace Commission that the Filipinos would submit to American government without serious opposition. The reverse of all this proved to be the truth. The Tagalogs were not plastic; they refused to accept American sovereignty, and the Visayans required the least pressure.
While the Americans were pursuing a policy of patience, conciliation and abnegation, the Filipino leaders were busily engaged in consolidating their power and extending the scope of their influence. The government which they erected on paper was designed for effect and for use in the future rather than the immediate present, when military considerations were all-important. Aguinaldo was at the zenith of his power. Attempts at rebellion against his authority had been ruthlessly suppressed. The Congress of Malolos was ready to make him dictator. Manila, although governed by the Amereral satisfaction of most of the civilized and semi-civilized inhabitants of the islands." American and English Studies, I, p. 180.
iscans, was so completely under his influence that on the days named by him for celebrations and fiestas, all doors were closed and business was suspended. His governors ruled in most of the provinces. Even to the south the Visayans, after some hesitation, had very generally accepted his authority. From enthusiastic individuals in Europe there came to Aguinaldo greetings and assurances of the "sympathy of all liberal and noble nations.”
It is idle to assert that the mass of the people of Luzon and the central islands were not at that time in sympathy with the attempt to drive the Americans from the country and establish an independent government. How and by what methods they had been brought to that way of thinking is not at present very important. During such social upheavals majorities are often less important than minorities. In fact, revolutions are generally the work of able, active and energetic minorities, and in the beginning the revolt against American power in the Philippines was no exception to this general rule.
The Filipino leaders were probably as patriotic and disinterested as are most revolutionary leaders, and among them were about the same proportion of demagogues, selfservers and ambitious upstarts as are connected with all popular uprisings. Very little that is complimentary can be said of the political judgment and good sense of the Filipino leaders. They were shrewd, skilful politicians who took advantage of the presence of the Americans in the Philippines, but they misjudged the magnitude of the enterprise in which they engaged. They were inexperienced, and generally ignorant and they overestimated the part they were playing in the history of the world. They believed that European nations were greatly agitated by the contest in the Philippines and that the great Powers would certainly come to their assistance. They thought that the eyes of the world were upon them, and Aguinaldo and his group of impromptu statesmen and generals for their brief day strutted about the remote islands believing that they were actors upon a