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The Philippine-American War
The 1898 Treaty of Paris

The 1898 Treaty of Paris between Spain and the United States discussed the terms ending the Spain-US war. This Treaty of Peace ceded the Philippines to the United States for $20,000,000.

The Treaty is a tale of three cities: Manila, Washington and Paris.

M a n i l a

Mr. Wilcox, in a report to Admiral Dewey:

They [ the Filipinos, led by Gen. Aguinaldo ] desire the protection of the United States at sea, but fear any interference on land...

On one point they seem united, viz., that whatever our government [ of the United States ] may have done for them, it had not gained the right to annex [ them ]

M a n i l a
June 23, 1898

Admiral Dewey, in a cable to the Navy Department, June 23, 1898.

The people [ of the Philippines ] are far superior in intelligence and capacity of self-government to the people of Cuba and I am familiar with both races.

W a s h i n g t o n

Article III of the Peace Protocol signed in Washington, August 12, 1898, provided:

The United States will occupy and hold the city, bay and harbor or Manila, pending the conclusion of a Treaty of Paris, which shall determine the control, disposition, and government of the Philippines.

W a s h i n g t o n
Sept 16, 1898
Instructions to the Peace Commissioners were dated Sept 16, 1898. The Commissioners were: William Day (Ohio, Republican) ... Whitelaw Reid, Republican, ... three members of the US Senate: Cushman K. Davis, of Minnesota, William P. Frye, of Maine, Republicans, and George Gray, of Delaware, Democrat. ... Among other things, the President's instructions to the Commissioners said:

It is my earnest with that the United States in making peace should follow the same high rule of conduct which guided it in facing war. * * * The lustre and the moral strength attaching to a cause which can be confidently tested upon the considerate judgment of the world should not under illusion of the hour be dimmed by ulterior designs which might tempt us * * * into an adventurous departure on untried paths.

By elaborate rhetorical gradations, the instructions finally get down to this:

Incidental to our tenure in the Philippines is the commercial opportunity * * * The United States cannot accept less than the cession in full right and sovereignity of the island of Luzon.

P a r i s
October 1, 1898

The first meeting with the Spanish Commissioners took place at Paris, October 1st.

"Spanish communication represents," says Judge Day's cablegram to the President, "that status quo has been altered and continues to be altered to the prejudice of Spain by Tagalo rebels, whom it describes as an auxiliary force to the regular American troops."

P a r i s
October 7, 1898

On October 7th, the Commission telegraphed Washington that General Merritt attaches much weight to the opinion of the Belgian consul at Manila, M. Andre, and that "Consul says United States must take all or nothing"; that "if southern islands remained with Spain they would be in constant revolt and United States would have a second Cube"; that "Spanish government would not improve" and "would still protect monks in their extortion."
* * * * *
General Anderson in correspondence with Aguinaldo in June and July seemed to treat him and his forces as allies and native authorities, but subsequently changed his tone. Merritt and Dewey both kept clear of any compromising communications.
P a r i s
October 25, 1898

In the memorandum of their views telegraphed to Washington on October 25th, Messrs. Davis, Frye and Reid also say:

Public opinion in Europe, including that of Rome, expects us to retain the whole Philippine Islands.

The Government of the Unites States is unable to modify the proposal heretofore made for the cession of the entire archipelago of the Philippine Islands, but the American Commissioners are authorized to offer to Spain, in case the cession should be agreed to , the sum of $20,000,000.

This alluring offer was accompanied with the stern announcement that

Upon the acceptance * * * of the proposals herein made * * * but not otherwise, it will be possible * * * to proceed to the consideration * * * of other matters.

Also, the US Commissioners wired Washington:

If the Spanish Commissioners refuse our proposition, * * * , nothing remains except to close the negotiations.

W a s h i n g t o n
Your proposed action approved.

P a r i s
December 10,1898
Mr. Day to Mr. Hay. Paris, December 10, 1898: Treaty signed at 8:50 this evening.

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