Joseph Riggs (
Wed, 21 Feb 2001 23:46:10 -0800

Char Aznable wrote:

> independence from Spain. Spain and America staged a phony war at the Manila
> Bay with US warships bombarding an empty beach, just so Spain can save face.
> before that the US already bought the rights to the Philippines from Spain.
> its from one colonist to another.

Well... It was a little more than that. The whole thing started when an
American battleship blew up in Cuba, and a sensationalist journalist or two
happened to be present. Since Spain owned Cuba, all sorts of wild stories
started floating around about how Spain had supposedly blown it up (to this day,
no one knows for certain exactly what happened, but its widely believed it was
an accident of some sort on board the ship, the USS Maine, that caused the
explosion). Since Spain was pretty much the only colonial power that the US
could stomp on, and since Cuba and the Philippines were Spain's two possessions,
that's where the fighting took place, and that's where control was transferred.
While I'm pretty sure the combat in and around the Philippines was strictly
naval, there was some ground fighting in Cuba. Theodore Roosevelt and his
'Roughriders' (the nickname for his troops) got their reputation there (one
pundit commented later on that Roosevelt's autobiography about the war should
have been entitled 'Alone in Cuba' =P ).
In short, there was more to the war than the little bit you wrote above.
At any rate, from what I've heard from others who are more knowledgeable, Cuba
and the Philippines actually ended up better off due to their status as
'liberated colonies' (the official explanation given to the public of a nation
that officially had no colonies) than the numerous 'independent' banana
republics south of the US.
(And as to why we never dominated Canada like that? We tried to liberate the
Canadians from their evil British oppressors way back in 1812, but the cruel
British had apparently brainwashed the Canadians into fighting against their
liberators. Maybe we can correct this problem when Mel Gibson makes a movie
about it. ;) )
As they say, every cloud has a silver lining.


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