AMERICAN EDUCATION AND THE COUNTER INSURGENCY EFFORTS DURING THE PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN WAR
Hasal, Orrin How
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During the Philippine-American War, the Filipino insurrectionists waged an insurgency against the American colonial government. Though, the US military was clearly stronger, it took more than military might to win the war. The American forces used civil services to gain the support of the population, a critical objective of a successful counter-insurgency (COIN) campaign. One civil service program that contributed successfully during the war was education. Initially, the military leadership used education to pacify the population. Later, it was used by the civilian leadership to help Filipinos towards self-governance and economic prosperity. This dichotomy on the application of education seemed contradictory. Whether the Americans were aware of its effect, it created a wedge between the insurrectionists and the Filipino population. Unlike the recent COIN efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq where the US did not influence the curriculum of schools, the Filipino school system was controlled by the Americans. This helped shape the Filipino perception of the colonial government and ultimately led to its acceptance. It is interesting to note that in its quest to colonize the Philippines, Spain also instituted an education program, but with notable differences. The purpose and applications were dissimilar. For instance, Spain dedicated limited educational resources and did not see the importance of a common language. The Americans however, did see the efficacy of a common language, and made it compulsory to use English as the medium for instruction. This facilitated the success of education, binding the population to the colonial government. The enduring effects are reflected in today’s Filipino population and school system. This research study was undertaken to determine if education contributed in any way to America’s fight against the Filipino insurrection. This would include COIN efforts such as separating the population from the insurgency, achieving acceptance from the population through participation in self-governance, etc. A Within-case analysis was conducted to determine if American-led education contributed to the American COIN efforts during the Philippine-American War.