Philippine American War

Background of the War

By the end of the 19th century, Philippines was under the control of Spanish colonial rule. In 1898, war broke out between Spain and USA, known as the Spanish-American War of 1898. This war initially started over Spanish colonial rule in Cuba but soon spread to other Spanish colonies as well, including the Philippines.

A fleet of American ships destroyed the Spanish fleet stationed at Manila Bay in Philippines in mid 1898. American land forces then arrived in Philippines and by August, 1898, American forces had effectively taken control of the Philippines from Spain. Once the war was over, Spain agreed to hand over the rule of the Philippines to America in return for $20 million.

Battle of Bayan 1902

Philippine-American War began in 1899, It was a battle between Filipino revolutionaries and the U.S. army Read more about the Battle of Bayan 1902 >>

Battle of Bud Bagsak 1913

Battle of Bug Bagsak at Bud Bagsak in the Philippines, was fought from June 11, 1913 to June 15, 1913. Read more about the Battle of Bud Bagsak 1913 >>

Battle of Mabitac 1900

The Battle of Mabitac was fought around the town of Mabitac in Laguna, Philippines Read more about the Battle of Mabitac 1900 >>

Battle of Makahambus Hill

Battle of Makahambus Hill, was fought Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao. It was fought on July 4, 1900. Read more about the Battle of Makahambus Hill >>

Battle of Manila 1899

Battle of Manila was fought around the city of Manila in Philippines. It was fought on February 4, 1899 Read more about the Battle of Manila 1899 >>

Battle of Paye 1899

Battle of Paye took place on December 19, 1899. fought at a place called Paye located near San Mateo Read more about the Battle of Paye 1899 >>

Battle of Pulang Lupa 1900

The Battle of Pulang Lupa took place in Marinduque, Philippines. It was fought on September 13, 1900. Read more about the Battle of Pulang Lupa 1900 >>

Battle of Santo Tomas 1899

Battle of Santo Tomas of May 4, 1899. It was fought in and around Santo Tomas in Pampanga, Philippine Read more about the Battle of Santo Tomas 1899 >>

Battle of Tirad Pass 1899

Battle of Tirad Pass, December 2, 1899. fought around the Tirad Pass, Ilocos Sur region of Philippines. Read more about the Battle of Tirad Pass 1899 >>

Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo the Filipino leader led revolutionary efforts against Spanish and American troops Read more about the Emilio Aguinaldo >>

First Battle of Bud Dajo 1906

The Battle of Bud Dajo took place at Bud Dajo on the Jolo Island of the Philippines. Read more about the First Battle of Bud Dajo 1906 >>

Moro Rebellion 1899

The Moro Rebellion began in 1899, soon after the Philippine-American War began Read more about the Moro Rebellion 1899 >>

Siege of Catubig 1900

Siege of Catubig took place in Catubig town, Philippines. It lasted from April 15, 1900 to April 19, 1900. Read more about the Siege of Catubig 1900 >>

The Balangiga Massacre 1901

The Balangiga Massacre is the name given to an incident in which 48 American soldiers were killed Read more about the The Balangiga Massacre 1901 >>


Start of Philippine-American War

When USA was fighting Spain in Philippines, it was helped by the Filipino revolutionaries. These revolutionaries wanted to end Spanish rule and declare independence for Philippines. But after Spain was defeated, USA became the new colonial ruler of Philippines and these revolutionaries felt that they had been betrayed.

This led to tensions between the American soldiers present in Philippines and the Filipino soldiers. Finally, on February 4, 1899, an American soldier fired at a Filipino soldier and killed him. Even then, the head of the Filipino revolutionaries, Emilio Aguinaldo, tried to call for a truce between both sides. The American military rejected this proposal and decided to fight the revolutionaries.

The Fighting

The American army present in Philippines was better armed and better trained. But the Filipino revolutionaries had a key advantage that they knew their country terrain well. So while they couldn’t effectively fight the American army directly, they used guerrilla tactics.

Eventually, the American government sent more than 100,000 soldiers to defeat the Filipino revolutionaries, while also using a large number of local recruits in Philippines. The war, which had started in 1899, continued all the way until 1902. The head of the Filipino revolutionaries, Emilio Aguinaldo, was arrested in 1901. By 1907, all major Filipino revolutionary groups had been defeated.

Start and end of war

The Philippine-American War began on February 4, 1899. It came to an end on July 2, 1902.

Size of Armies

During the Philippine-American War, the U.S. military had nearly 126,000 soldiers present in Philippines. Out of these, around 5,000 to 6,000 died during the war and another 3,000 were wounded.

The Philippine Republic had strength of around 100,000 fighters, many of which were irregular soldiers. Out of these, around 20,000 died in the war.

Result and Aftermath

The Philippine-American War resulted in an American victory. After the end of Spanish rule, the people of Philippines had hoped for independence and self-rule. But with the American victory, they remained under the direct or indirect rule of the American government until 1946.

During the long war, nearly 250,000 Filipino civilians died due to disease and famine. The American army also burned many villages and forced millions of Filipino civilians into ‘protected zones’ so that the revolutionary may not use them as shields. Once the war was over, the U.S. government disestablished the Catholic Church in Philippines and English became the official language.

Learn More about the Philippine-American War 1900 at Wikipedia