The Treaty of Paris In the late nineteenth century, America was involved in an insurrection called the Spanish American War. Trying to end the fghting, a small group was sent to negotiate a treaty with Spain. The treaty called for the surrender of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines to the United States. However, not everyone advocated this treaty. There were many factors that were debated during the ratification of the Treaty of Paris. The deciding factors of ratification were McKinley’s unsuccessful attempts at revising the treaty, the upholding of the constitution and McKinleys
President McKinley weighed many alternatives to campaign in America. annexation, but none were deemed as excellent ideas. First he proposed that he simply give them to another nation. Many nations including: Germany, Great Britain, Japan and Russia expressed interest in the area, but McKinley knew that the Philippines would fall if placed in their hands. He thought about independence, but was quickly persuaded out of the idea by Christian groups and the instability of the country. Many people, including Theodore Roosevelt, thought that it was “the white man’s burden” to Christianize the Filipinos, as stated in Kiplings’s poem.
Take up the White Man’s burden–Send forth the best ye breed–Go bind your sons to exile, To serve your captives’ need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild–Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child. ” (Doc l). This poem shows how these people wanted to annex the Philippines Just to convert the natives. William Jenning Bryant stated to the New York Times that “it will be easier to end the war at once by ratifying the treaty and then deal with the subject in our own way’ (Doc C).
There were many different opinions on what to do with the Philippines, but he saw his was the best way to put an end to the conflicts. With the war over, he thought it would be easier to decide what to do with them. The opponents of the Treaty of Paris had only one thing in mind, the constitution. They thought that annexing any country was unconstitutional. Senator George F. Hoar stated “When you raise the flag over the Philippine Islands as an emblem of dominion and acquisition, you take it down from Independence Hall… The power to conquer alien peoples and hold them in subjection is nowhere expressly granted” (Doc.
F). Hoar, like many others, did not ee the profits of annexing these countries, and thought the government was stretching the limits on their expressed powers. These views were headed by the Anti-lmperialist League, which was centered in New England. They were weakened primarily because they lacked a coherent program. Some called for annexation of Puerto Rico and Hawaii, but not the Philippines. Some wanted to use them as naval bases, and some wanted nothing to do with any of these countries. This was the primary opposition to the Treaty of Paris. With all of this opposition, McKinley tried to rally for ratification.
He began touring the South and consulted closely with the senators. Many people were appalled at how McKinley and other members of working this treaty through the senate… but all the railroad influence, which is being worked through Elk’s, all the commercial interest which can be reached are bringing pressure on Senators in the most shameful manner” (Doc. L). This quote from Senator Arthur P. Gorman shows how there were many outside influences on the voting. People were also not voting with their beliefs, they were voting with their pocketbooks. Arthur P.
Dunn discovered that people were being bribed into voting or the legislation. “McEnery was promised the appointment of US Judge of his choice, McLaurin was won over by being allowed to name postmasters in the state, Kennet was squeezed by some sort of court proceeding in his state and had to vote for the treaty’ (Doc. Q). These acts eventually led to the ratification of the Treaty of Paris. The Treaty of Paris was not popular with some people in the country. The Anti- Imperialist League tried their best to stop it from being passed. There were many factors that were debated during the ratification of the Treaty of Paris.
The deciding actors of ratification were McKinley’s unsuccessful attempts at revising the treaty, the upholding of the constitution and McKinley’s campaign in America. McKinley tried proposing other options to annexation, but none seemed like they would deliver positive outcomes. The Treaty of Paris was not popular with some people in the country. The Anti-lmperialist League tried their best to stop it from being passed, but they could not organize well enough to fight the legislation. McKinley eventually toured the country, trying to gain support, and it was this act which led to the ratification of the Treaty of Paris.