Included among these were a series of "Broadsides" which made use of extensive quotations from founding fathers of America such as George Washington , Thomas Jefferson , and James Monroe , attempting to demonstrate a fundamental contradiction between the ideas upon which the American republic was founded and designs for colonial expansion being advanced by the nation's contemporary political leaders.
In his essay, Twain satirically portrayed the moral and cultural superiority of Americans compared to Filipinos to comment on what he believed to be the great irony of the Philippines annexation. Twain successfully gained popular support for the Anti-Imperialist League by claiming that America's international role was not to subjugate other nations for material gain, but to see "a nation of long harassed and persecuted slaves set free.
The Cuban rebels had formed relationships with small groups of Americans committed to their cause. Many of these Americans supported the filibusters who attempted to run military supplies to the insurrectionists on the island.
War had nearly erupted between the United States and Spain in when the Spanish captured the filibuster ship Virginius and executed most of the crew, including many American citizens. When the reforms promised by the treaty proved illusory, the insurrectionists and their American supporters prepared for a new round.
I'll tell you it is a terrible torture. George Kennan, the special investigator of the Outlook, wrote in The Spaniard used the torture of water, throughout the islands, as a means of obtaining information; but they used it sparingly, and only when it appeared evident that the victim was culpable.
Americans seldom do things by halves. We come from here and announce our intention of freeing the people from three or four hundred years of oppression, and say "We are strong and powerful and grand. It is painful and humiliating to have to confess that in some of our dealings with the Filipinos we seem to be following more or less closely the example of Spain.
We have established a penal colony; we have burned native villages near which there has been an ambush or an attack by insurgent guerillas; we kill the wounded; we resort to torture as a means of obtaining information. These were the kinds of things the anti-imperialists wanted to bring into the public eye. By and large, however, the American public was unmoved.
One anti-imperialist writer pondered the meaning of this indifference: What is the significance of such silence? Do we realize that amidst all the sunshine of our rich, prosperous life we are being weighed in the balance of a true civilization, of eternal justice — and are being found wanting? It is the product of arbitrary government authority without justice, force from which the lifeblood of righteousness and truth has run out.
Some were in fact quite hostile to the league and its mission. According to the commander of the New York chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic, all league members should have their citizenship stripped from them and be "denied the protection of the flag they dishonor.
Edward Atkinson, who had been involved in the league since the Faneuil Hall meeting, actually inquired with the War Department to get a list of soldiers serving in the Philippines in order to send them some of his antiwar writings. He wrote: In this morning's paper a correspondent of the Boston Herald states that the Departments are going to "expose" the Anti-Imperialist League and others who have as alleged stirred up discontent among the troops in Manila.
I do not think the Executive Committee of the Anti-Imperialist League has yet taken any active measures to inform the troops of the facts and conditions there. The suggestion is, however, a valuable one and I have sent to Washington today to get specific addresses of officers and soldiers to the number of five or six hundred so that I may send them my pamphlets, giving them my assurance of sympathy.
I shall place the same lists in charge of the Executive Committee of the League to keep up the supply. He never heard back. So he went ahead and sent some at least to a limited group of officers and American officials and others in the Philippines, as a start.
The Postmaster General ordered that all Atkinson pamphlets heading for Manila be seized from the mails. Atkinson then thanked the government for all the attention, pointing out that interest in his pamphlets had risen dramatically throughout the country.
He wrote, I think the members of the Cabinet have graduated from an asylum for the imbecile and feeble-minded. They have evidently found out their blunder because the Administration papers suddenly ceased their attacks on me all on the same day, and I miss the free advertisement.
I am now trying to stir them up again to provoke another attack. Some sectors of the league were reluctant to support Atkinson's activities, though some individual anti-imperialists did, as did the league's Chicago branch. But he continued his work, observing in that his latest pamphlet was his "strongest bid yet for a limited residence in Fort Warren. It is suggested that Senators of the United States shall be assigned to the position of general officers in this addition to the army upon the ground that their military capacity must certainly be equal to their political intelligence….
It is next suggested that Representatives in Congress shall be assigned to the command of brigades…. Of course, men who in high public position have … expressed such an earnest desire to assert and defend the honor of the country at any cost, would most enthusiastically vote for this enactment and would immediately enroll themselves for active service in the field. This proposal for the immediate enrollment of the Jingo army will at once develop the sincerity of purpose of the advocates of aggression and violence by their enlistment.
An indirect but great benefit would then ensue by the removal of these persons from the high positions in which they have proved their incapacity to deal with questions of peace, order and industry and to given them the opportunity to exert and prove their military prowess. Atkinson, like Storey, was for laissez faire — an important strain in anti-imperialist thought.
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Some sectors of the league were reluctant to support Atkinson's activities, though some individual anti-imperialists did, as did the league's Chicago branch.
Particularly controversial was the League's endorsement of William Jennings Bryan , a renowned anti-imperialist but also the leading critic of the gold standard , a position which alienated a substantial segment of the organization's leaders.
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Here was the old liberal tradition in all its wonderful consistency: in favor of private property and peace, and against looting and empire. Some were in fact quite hostile to the league and its mission. Stop abusing us!
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So he went ahead and sent some at least to a limited group of officers and American officials and others in the Philippines, as a start. We come from here and announce our intention of freeing the people from three or four hundred years of oppression, and say "We are strong and powerful and grand. Dissolution[ edit ] Despite its anti-war record, the League did not object to U.