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America's MissionThe United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy$
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Tony Smith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154923

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154923.001.0001

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Democracy in the Philippines

Democracy in the Philippines

(p.37) Chapter Two Democracy in the Philippines
America's Mission

Tony Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the dynamic of American imperialism in the Philippines since 1898 and the role played by the United States in determining the values, practices, and institutions that constitute democracy in the islands today. It first explains why the United States decided to sponsor democracy in the Philippines after defeating Spain in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. It then considers the political and socioeconomic dimensions of the United States' democratization of the Philippines, focusing on its introduction of the trappings of modern government such as political parties, elections, and the rise of a Filipino landed class whose wealth was based on the production of export commodities. It also discusses the negative effects of a landowning oligarchy on Philippine democracy and concludes with an assessment of the reasons why General Douglas MacArthur did not mandate land reform for the Philippines.

Keywords:   democracy, American imperialism, Philippines, United States, Spain, democratization, export commodities, oligarchy, Douglas MacArthur, land reform

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