The Enemy in Our Hands: America's Treatment of Enemy Prisoners of War, from the Revolution to the War on Terror

By Robert C. Doyle | Go to book overview

SEVEN
Spaniards and Insurrectos
Spanish-American War (1898) and
War in the Philippines (1899–1905)

The courteous and sympathetic welcome given to all of us by the
distinguished families living in the Academy is one more title to
our gratitude, and Your Excellency may rest assured that it will
never be effaced from our memories.

—Rear Admiral Pascual Cervera

I proclaim solemnly that I have not recognized the sovereignty of
America over this beloved soil.

—Emilio Aguinaldo

According to Frederick Jackson Turner, the American continental frontier came to an end in 1893; the mid-nineteenth-century notion of Manifest Destiny was fulfilled; the native tribes all lived on reservations and were wards of the federal government, and the United States had no clear national mission. The “Lower Forty-eight,” as the remote Alaskan territorials called them, were soon to become forty-eight states, and it seemed that a powerful lobby advocated more movement to the west and south, even if it was outside the continental boundaries. To personalities such as Theodore Roosevelt, unless a country, like a physical organism, grew, it withered and died.

There is no doubt that the United States wanted colonies by the end of the nineteenth century. After all, the Europeans had colonized nearly all of Africa and the southern Pacific islands by 1890. If the Americans wanted to become a great power, they needed colonies too, if for no other reason than to provide military and naval bases around the world. Hawaii became an American colony in 1898 after its contentious annexation, certainly not because of the pineapple or sugar business but because of the vast naval reach that Pearl Harbor provided in the Pacific Ocean.1 Policy makers worldwide read Alfred Thayer Mahan’s The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783 (1890) with awe. Mahan argued that great powers needed colonies and large navies to defend them. England, France, and Imperial Germany understood that

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