Philippine-American War

February 17, 1901


April 5, 1901




First Philippine Republic victory

Major battles:

Battle of Manila, Second Battle of Caloocan, Battle of Legazpi


First Philippine Republic

United States


Emilio Aguinaldo
Antonio Luna

William McKinley
William Jennings Bryan
Elwell Stephen Otis


110,000 - 150,000

125,000 total
24,000 to 44,000 field strength

Casualties and Losses

7,000 killed, 5,000 wounded

6,000-7,000 killed, around 4,000 wounded

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The Philippine-American War was an armed conflict between the First Philippine Republic and the United States that lasted from February 4, 1899 to April 5, 1901. The war was a continuation of the Philippine struggle for independence that began in 1896 with the Philippine Revolution. The conflict arose when the First Philippine Republic objected to the terms of the Treaty of Paris under which the United States took possession of the Philippines from Spain, ending the Spanish–American War.

Fighting erupted between forces of the United States and those of the Philippine Republic on February 4, 1899, in what became known as the Second Battle of Manila. On June 2, 1899, the First Philippine Republic officially declared war against the United States. The war officially ended on April 5, 1901, with William Jennings Bryan issuing the surrender of the United States.


Philippine Revolution

Prior to the Philippine-American War was the Philippine War for Independence, against the Spanish Empire. The Katipunan, a revolutionary movement to gain the Philippines' independence, was able to win early victories, until the Spanish Empire started taking back territories in 1897. In 1897, the Spanish offered Emilio Aguinaldo, the leader of the Katipunan, an armistice agreement, in which the Spanish would give him 800,000 Mexican pesos (around 400,000 U.S. Dollars) if Aguinaldo would go into exile.

On April of 1898, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines. Within three months, the Philippine Revolutionary Army had control over most of the Philippines, and independence was signed in June 12, 1898.

Treaty of Paris

The Philippine Declaration of Independence was not recognized by either the United States or Spain, and the Spanish government ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, which was signed on December 10, 1898, in consideration for an indemnity for Spanish expenses and assets lost.


Outbreak of war

On the evening of February 4, Private William W. Grayson, a sentry of the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment, fired the first shots of the war at the corner of Sociego and Silencio Streets, near the San Juan River Bridge in Santa Mesa.

June 1899


August 1899: The Philippine Counterattack

As the war dragged on for 6 months, Aguinaldo and Luna prepared a counter-offensive to reclaim Manila. The two decided to attack the American fort at Manila in two directions. The Second Battle of Manila (August 16, 1899 - August 18, 1899), which the Philippine soldiers won after Otis commanded retreat. Conflict was

December 1899: Battle of Legazpi

By October 1899, Otis has retreated his army to Legazpi. He asked President McKinley for more troops. On November 28th, 1899, the Philippine troops have arrived in Legazpi. He commanded the American troops to hold Legazpi at all costs, until reinforcements arrive. This led to the Battle of Legazpi (December 2, 1899 - December 8, 1899), which led to an American victory. Later battles saw the American forces attempting to retake major cities, which was mainly successful, but were not able to recapture Manila. The war would go back and forth until November of 1900.

Guerrilla warfare

Guerrilla war was present during the war, during the American attempt of a counterattack. The Americans were mostly ambushed during the battles of 1900.

United States Election of 1900

On November 6th, 1900, the 29th presidential elections of the United States was held between the incumbent McKinley and the anti-imperialist William Jennings Bryan. With casualties in the Philippines growing, people were looking for a quick way to end the war to stop the casualties from increasing even more. Due to this, the election went to favor of the Democratic William Jennings Bryan, who was inaugurated on March the next year.

Armistice Agreement

On December 15th, 1900, the two sides agreed on an armistice. The American forces would stay in Leyte until peace treaty is signed, and a chance to rebuild infrastructures destroyed during the war.

Treaty of New York (1901)

Immediately after the inauguration of William Jennings Bryan, he began to call for peace and give the Filipinos their independence. On April 5, 1901, leaders of the Philippine Republic and the United States government met up in New York to sign the peace treaty, with the United States officially recognizing the independence of the Philippines. Bryan agreed to help the Philippines with their new independent government and create diplomatic ties between the two countries.


The Philippine government improved its relations with Sun Yat-sen and the Tongmenghui, and an alliance between the two was created to overthrow the Qing Dynasty following the war.

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