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  • Print publication year: 1996
  • Online publication date: July 2011

3 - The Philippines: “Molded in the image of American democracy”

Summary

I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way – I don't know how it was, but it came: (1) that we could not give them back to Spain – that would be cowardly and dishonorable; (2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany – our commercial rivals in the Orient – that would be bad business and discreditable; (3) that we could not leave them to themselves – they were unfit for self-government – and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace, do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died.

William McKinley, President of the United States, 1899

From a colony to a dependent nation in the periphery of the world system

It was with great irony that Ronald Reagan, after making his famed June 1982 speech before the British parliament at Westminster on a “worldwide campaign for democracy,” traveled on to the Philippine capital of Manila, where he announced in a public homage to the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, that “the Philippines has been molded in the image of American democracy.”

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Promoting Polyarchy
  • Online ISBN: 9780511559129
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511559129
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