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Bryan and his followers who voted in the Senate for the treaty, are responsible for the results.":29
On February 10, 1899, a few days after the attack by the Filipinos upon the American troops, the treaty was ratified by a vote of fifty-seven to twenty-seven. Three Democratic senators, who had been understood to be in opposition, voted in the affirmative and saved the treaty.30
Mr. Bryan and his followers thus consented to the acquisition of the Philippines by the United States. As conditions then were it was the proper thing for them to do. They could very properly support the treaty and yet oppose the permanent retention of the islands. But on the questions of the propriety or morality of the acquisition it was incumbent on them thereafter to maintain silence.
On the motion of one of the Democratic senators who had voted for ratification, the Senate, by a majority vote only, then passed a resolution similar to the one which previously had been offered by Senator Bacon, declaring that the ratification of the treaty was not to be deemed a determination that the United States would permanently hold the islands. This was merely
29 Autobiography, II, p. 323.
In a letter to the author dated November 9, 1915, Mr. Bryan says: "Senator Hoar's criticism of my position is unjust. He looks at the matter from the standpoint of a Republican, I from the standpoint of a Democrat. The situation was this: It might have been possible to defeat the ratification of the treaty, but it was impossible to instruct the commission and, of course, it was not proper according to the theory of our institutions that a minority should dictate to the majority how the treaty should be made. ... The Democratic party, however, was to furnish the bulk of the votes to defeat the treaty and our party would have had to bear the responsibility for anything that might have happened as a result of the rejection of the treaty. ... Then, too, a great pressure was being brought to bear upon the government by parents to get their boys out of the army, the actual fighting being over, and this blame, too, would have been thrown upon the Democratic party, the few Republicans being unable to commit their party or fasten the responsibility upon it..... My advice was to ratify the treaty and at the same time promise independence by resolution. . . . As the leader of the Democratic party I was interested in having it pursue a course which would give it the largest possibility of doing good with the least risk of being held responsible for things which it could not prevent." In the light of this statement, it is difficult to see wherein Senator Hoar's criticism is unjust.
30 Senate Journal, 55 Cong., 3d Sess., p. 216; 40 Republicans, 10 Democrats, 3 Populists, 2 Silverites and 2 Independents voted for ratification, and 22 Democrats, 3 Republicans and 2 Populists voted against it. Sen. Doc. 182, 57 Cong., Ist Sess.
a formal expression of the sentiments of individual senators. The resolution was never presented to the House of Representatives, and it had no legal force. 31
In Spain the treaty encountered even greater opposition than in the United States. The Cortes refused to ratify it, and on March 19 the queen regent, in the exercise of a constitutional alternative power, ratified it in her own name. The ratifications were exchanged on April 11, 1899, and on that date the SpanishAmerican War came legally to an end and the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippine Archipelago became an established fact. Thereafter the question was as to the manner of governing the people and the ultimate disposition of the country. After the lapse of nearly two decades it is clear that the fears of the Anti-Imperialists were groundless. The United States has not become embroiled in the affairs of Europe; neither has it become wedded to militarism, nor have the principles of the fathers suffered to any appreciable extent. The Pax Americana envelopes the Philippine Archipelago and the natives enjoy a civil and political liberty and a general material prosperity such as they never before experienced.
31 Cong. Rec., Vol. XXXII, pt. 2, Feb. 14, 1899, pp. 1845-7; The Diamond Rings, 183 U. S. Rep. 176. Brown, J.
The rejection of the treaty would have placed the country in a serious situation. "The President,” said Senator Lodge, "can not be sent back across the Atlantic in the person of his Commissioners, hat in hand to say to Spain, with bated breath, 'I am here in obedience to the mandate of a minority of one-third of the Senate to tell you that we have been too victorious, and that you have yielded us too much, and that I am sorry that I took the Philippines from you.' I do not think that any American President would do that, or that any American would wish him to." Olcott's Life of William McKinley, II, p. 138.
The Diplomacy of the Consulates
EARLY RELATIONS WITH THE INSURGENTS
Charges of Bad Faith-Consular Activities_Wildman's Relations with Hong Kong Junta-Forbidden to Discuss Policies—Aguinaldo at Singapore-The Pratt-Dewey Cables-No Reference to Independence-Aguinaldo at Hong Kong-Minutes of Meeting of Junta-Aguinaldo Meets Dewey—Is Assisted with Arms-Organizes Army and Government-Dewey's StatementProclaims Independence-Origin of the Promise Myth-Filipino Claims --Bray and St. Clair--Aguinaldo's Report to the Junta--Summary--Filipino Plans and Policies--American Policy Unknown-No Promise Made and No Bad Faith.
According to Carl Schurz and other radical Anti-Imperialists, America's early relations with the Filipino insurgents make “a story of deceit, false pretense and brutal treachery to friends without parallel in the history of republics."1 The constant repetition of such charges has left a vague impression on the public mind that the government of the United States, President McKinley, President Roosevelt, Admiral Dewey and their subordinates in the Far East were guilty of acts of bad faith in their relations with the Filipino leaders and that there is a sort of moral cloud on our title to the Philippines.
Aguinaldo and his advisers claimed that the American government, through its authorized representatives, promised expressly and by implication, in return for his military cooperation, to assist in establishing an independent state in the Philippines. Their supporters in the United States have placed the stress on the implications said to result from a de facto alliance with the Filipino organization. The records of the American and Filipino governments and armies are now accessible and there is no
1 Bancroft, Reminiscences of Carl Schurz, III, p. 446. See Chap. XVII, infra.
reason for any further misunderstanding as to what actually occurred. The facts are no longer in doubt.2
The early relations with Aguinaldo had more effect upon sentiment in the United States than upon the actual military conditions in the Philippines. The importance and extent of the assistance rendered the United States by the insurgents have been greatly exaggerated. They were merely such as were incidental to their own operations. Manila lay defenseless under the guns of the fleet. All Dewey needed was men to garrison it. The city would have fallen had there been no insurgents and the Spanish troops would have become prisoners of war whether they were in Manila or in the provinces.S
! 2 The captured records of the insurgent government and army were deposited in the archives of the War Department at Washington. Captain (now Major) John R. M. Taylor was detailed to prepare an official history of the insurrection based upon these records. One volume of narrative and two supplementary volumes of documents were prepared by him and printed, but Mr. Taft, then secretary of war, after reading the proofs, decided that while the government was cultivating friendly relations with the Filipinos, it would be contrary to public policy to publish the record of their cruelties and treachery. The type was therefore thrown down. Two copies of the galley-proofs were preserved and deposited, one in the War Department at Washington, and the other in the Department of Commerce and Police at Manila. I have made use of the Manila copy in preparing this chapter, but the references are to the War Department records. Major Taylor's text is cited under his name, followed by the numbers of the proof sheets. The documents are cited as Philippine Insurgent Records, with the file number or the exhibit number in the matter prepared by Captain Taylor.
A pamphlet edited by Captain Taylor entitled Telegraphic Correspondence of Emilio Aguinaldo, July 15, 1898, to November 28, 1899, annotated, was published in 1903.
A few of the insurgent records were printed in Taylor's Report on the Organization for the Administration of Civil Government Instituted by Emilio Aguinaldo and His followers (Washington, 1903).
3 For various opinions as to the value of the services rendered to the Americans by the Filipino army, see Century Magazine for May, 1899 (Gen. F. V. Greene); Sen. Doc. 62, p. 375 (Gen. Merritt).
Admiral Dewey in his testimony in 1902 was inclined to belittle the value of such services. In reply to questions he said: “I would like to say now, that Aguinaldo and his people were forced on me by Consul Pratt and Consul Williams.... I did not think they would do anything. I would not have taken them. I did not want them, I did not believe in them. ... They were assisting us. ... They were assisting us, but incidentally they were fighting their own enemies. . . . It was their own idea coming over there. We could have taken the city on any moment we had the troops to occupy it." Sen. Doc. 25, pp. 37–31.
In his proclamations to the people Aguinaldo generally claimed to have an alliance with the Americans but in his reply to Paterno's Manifesto in favor of an alliance with Spain instead of the United States, Aguinaldo said: "Remember, Señor Paterno, that we make war without the help of any one
Although the Spanish "policy of attraction” was making some headway among the Tagalogs, the Filipinos generally were no more loyal to Spain than they had been before the pact of Biakna-bató. The reforms which they had been told were to result from the banishment of their leaders had not materialized and in certain parts of the country the fires of revolt had again been lighted. But the leaders were discouraged and hopeless. It was inevitable that a declaration of war against Spain by the great Republic of the West, the traditional friend of the South American colonies and the champion of Cuba Libre, would revive the hopes of the insurgents. But Aguinaldo failed to grasp the situation and left Hong Kong at the time when it was most important for the Philippine leaders to be within reach of Manila. What the insurgents could have accomplished without Aguinaldo is, of course, mere conjecture. Some inspiration came from the widely advertised claim that there was an “alliance” with the Americans. Without Aguinaldo, Luna the soldier, and Mabini the politician, might have organized a formidable movement against Spain, but the probabilities are that Aguinaldo was the only Filipino then capable of consolidating the factions. He showed no particular capacity as a general or as a constructive politician. Other men planned his campaigns, fought his battles, wrote his proclamations and organized his government. He was at that time only twenty-nine years old and almost pathetically
not even the North Americans ; but no! We have the help of God, who is eternally allied with great and just causes such as that which we defend against Spain, our own beloved independence." Paterno's Manifesto and Aguinaldo's reply are published in full in Foreman's The Philippine Islands, pp. 438_445 (1906). The insurgent newspaper, La Independencia, for November 22, 1899, concedes that "America has aided us indirectly by the blockade of Manila,” but does not claim that the Filipinos had in any way assisted the United States.
4 Major Taylor says (Taylor, I, 42, F.Z.): "In fact, Aguinaldo had no jusť conception of the conditions and opportunities which were about to open before the Hong Kong junta for, although war between Spain and the United States was imminent and the United States squadron was at Hong Kong threatening Manila, Aguinaldo was chiefly concerned in finding how to avoid losing the money which had been received from the Spanish Government as the price of his surrender. The importance of his presence near the Philippines in case of war did not occur to him or, if it did occur to him, anything which he could obtain there from the United States seemed for the moment of little consequence compared with escaping from his wrangling companions with enough money to live on in Paris."