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Social Issues In the Philippines

Uploaded by Galaghard on Sep 24, 2002

Ever wonder what happens to a country when a group of politicians get together and decide to purchase land, to try and create a mirror image of their society in that new colony, and instill their culture? Surely, there have been numerous others. In this paper, the attempt is to provide nominal (as an extensive and exhaustive one goes beyond the parameters of this work’s purpose) insight into the inner workings of American reign in the Philippines from the late nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on those policies’ ramifications on the lives of the affected.

The story with the Americans really begins with the purchase of the Philippines for twenty million dollars accounted for in the Treaty of Paris of 1898 that “secured Cuban independence, the ceding of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam to the U.S. [from Spain]” (McDuffie, Piggrem, and Woodsworth, AP Exam: US History 123). During that time, according to Lena Mendoza Strobel, professor at Sonoma State University, the Americans belief that the masses (in the Philippines) would only be content under a firm patriarchy “helped shape a western policy that asserted political and socioeconomic dominance” (Coming Full Circle 41). What that meant and means for the natives of the country are Americanized processes of schooling, American military outposts, American-owned businesses, and an instilling of American norms and values that were and are detrimental to the preservation and development of the existing-prior-to-unwanted-influences, indigenous Filipino one. Because of such ludicrously imposed laws as the Sedition Law of 1901 that provided that

‘Every person who shall utter words or speeches, write, publish or circulate, scurrilous libels against the government of the United States or the insular government of the Philippine Island…’ shall be punished by a fine of not more than US $2000 or by imprisonment not exceeding two years or both

as noted by Leonard Davis in his book, The Philippines: People, Poverty & Politics, many Filipinos were forced into cooperation and obedience to this, their new colonizer’s way, of allowing them to live (38). The reality is that the “development of political consciousness and individual freedom, two of the cornerstones America presented to the world as its contribution to the Filipino people were, for the most part, superficial” because what they really did was, unlike the Spanish, was leave a legacy of economic exploitation through the entering of American goods free of duty, making the country the...

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Uploaded by:   Galaghard

Date:   09/24/2002

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   6 pages (1,359 words)

Views:   12320

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