The United States annexed the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico and Cuba as a result of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Spanish-American War in December, 1898. As with all treaties entered into by the United States, the Treaty of Paris had to be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the U.S. Senate. The treaty was hotly debated in the United States. Its ratification led to armed protest in the Philippines, which had declared independence from Spain six months before the Treaty of Paris was signed.
From Colonies to Colonialism
Many Americans were concerned that the annexation of the Philippines amounted to the type of colonialism that the United States had fought a revolution to escape. Vocal opponents of the annexation of the Philippines included author Mark Twain, Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, former U.S. President Grover Cleveland and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Despite opposition, the Senate ratified the Treaty of Paris by a vote of 57-27, thus approving the annexation of the Philippines and other formerly-Spanish territories in exchange for $20 million and the concession that Spanish ships could continue to use Philippine ports for the next decade.
- U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian: The Philippine-American War, 1899–1902
- PBS: January 1899: Senate Debate over Ratification of the Treaty of Paris
- Yale Law School: Treaty of Peace Between the United States and Spain; December 10, 1898
- The Charters of Freedom: Constitution of the United States
Dell Markey is a full-time journalist. When he isn't writing business spotlights for local community papers, he writes and has owned and operated a small business.