Filipino soldiers outside Manila, 1899
The Philippine-American War (sometimes called the Philippine Insurrection) was an armed conflict that took place between February 4, 1899, and July 2, 1902. The war would last three years and end with the Philippines under American control for decades.
During the Spanish-American War (April–August 1898), Filipino fighters helped the Americans defeat the Spanish in the Philippines. The Filipinos had been working to free themselves from Spanish rule since at least 1872 and saw this as their chance for independence.
However, as part of negotiations between the United States and Spain following the end of the war, the U.S. bought the Philippines from Spain in November 1898. So instead of gaining independence, the Filipinos felt they were simply trading one colonial power for another.
With U.S. forces controlling Manila and Filipino revolutionaries controlling the rest of the country, tensions were high between the two sides. Things finally came to a head on February 4, 1899, when shots were exchanged between a small number of American and Filipino forces in a Manila suburb. The Filipinos launched a general offensive the following day. Initially, the Filipino revolutionaries fought in the conventional style, but they eventually shifted to guerilla warfare toward the end of 1899.
Before the war was even over, the U.S. began a pacification campaign to win the support of Filipino civilians and undermine the revolutionaries. By the summer of 1902, things had calmed down enough for the U.S. to declare the war over, though smaller Filipino uprisings would occur for years to come.
Casualties & Aftermath
In total, there were 4,300 American deaths, 1,500 of them from battle and most of the rest from disease. The Filipino toll was much higher: 20,000 Filipino fighters were killed, and an estimated 200,000 Filipino civilians died from hunger, disease, and other effects of the war.
The Philippines would remain under various levels of American control until 1946, when it finally gained independence.
Learn more about the Philippine-American War through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about the Philippine-American War
U.S. newspaper front page coverage of the outbreak of the Philippine-American War in Feb 1899 Sun, Feb 5, 1899 – 1 · The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comBritish editorial calls Filipino attack on American troops at outbreak of the war "a fatal mistake" Mon, Feb 6, 1899 – 2 · The North-Eastern Daily Gazette (Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England) · Newspapers.comMap of Manila and surrounding area where Philippine-American War began in 1899 Mon, Feb 6, 1899 – 1 · The Brooklyn Citizen (Brooklyn, New York) · Newspapers.comNewspaper image of Emilio Aguinaldo, Philippine revolutionary leader Mon, Feb 6, 1899 – 1 · Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, New York) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from Canadian editorial says outbreak of war in the Philippines shows US expansionism Tue, Feb 7, 1899 – Page 4 · Vancouver Daily World (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.comU.S. political cartoon about the beginning of the Philippine-American War Tue, Feb 7, 1899 – Page 1 · The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) · Newspapers.comScottish editorial sympathizes with Filipinos but calls their declaration of war "foolhardy" Wed, Feb 8, 1899 – 4 · The Courier and Argus (Dundee, Tayside, Scotland) · Newspapers.comPerspective of Filipino revolutionaries on opening days of the Philippine-American War Sun, Feb 12, 1899 – Page 2 · Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York) · Newspapers.comNewspaper image of a town outside Manila during the Philippine-American War Sun, Feb 12, 1899 – Page 1 · The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) · Newspapers.comUnited States captures the city of Iloilo during the Philippine-American War Tue, Feb 14, 1899 – 1 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comOne Filipino expresses opinion that American withdrawal from Philippines would result in "race war" Fri, May 19, 1899 – Page 2 · El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) · Newspapers.comEditorial argues that US would have given Filipinos a "measure" of independence if given time Fri, May 19, 1899 – Page 2 · El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) · Newspapers.comEditorial argues that revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo does not represent all Filipinos Fri, Jul 7, 1899 – 4 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comNewspaper prints copy of a speech by Emilio Aguinaldo about Philippine independence Thu, Jul 13, 1899 – 7 · The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comAdmiral Dewey criticizes General Otis' strategy during the first months of Philippine-American War Fri, Sep 29, 1899 – 7 · The St. Joseph Weekly Gazette (St. Joseph, Missouri) · Newspapers.comU.S. Democratic senator argues that the United States should not retain power over the Philippines Fri, Feb 23, 1900 – 2 · Middlebury Register (Middlebury, Vermont) · Newspapers.comOpinion that if America gives up the Philippines, other world powers will occupy it instead Wed, Sep 12, 1900 – 7 · Sioux City Journal (Sioux City, Iowa) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from 1900 newspaper column gives opinion that Philippines are not ready for independence Sun, Oct 7, 1900 – 16 · The Semi-Weekly Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington) · Newspapers.comOne American perspective on General MacArthur placing the Philippines under martial law Fri, Dec 21, 1900 – Page 6 · The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comGeneral Frederick Funston captures Philippine leader Emilio Aguinaldo Thu, Mar 28, 1901 – 1 · The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) · Newspapers.comPhilippine leader Emilio Aguinaldo takes oath of allegiance to the United States Tue, Apr 2, 1901 – 1 · The Leaf-Chronicle (Clarksville, Tennessee) · Newspapers.comEmilio Aguinaldo issues proclamation to Filipinos after his capture by the United States Sat, Apr 20, 1901 – 1 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.comOklahoma soldier gives firsthand account of his experiences during Philippine-American War Sun, Apr 21, 1901 – 39 · St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.comPhilippine general Miguel Malvar surrenders to the Americans in April 1902 Thu, Apr 17, 1902 – 3 · The North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comEditorial argues that U.S. needs to be clear about its intentions for the Philippines Fri, Jun 27, 1902 – 7 · The Columbus Telegram (Columbus, Nebraska) · Newspapers.comPresident Theodore Roosevelt declares peace restored in the Philippines and grants amnesty Fri, Jul 4, 1902 – Page 1 · Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana) · Newspapers.com