rol of Spanish possessions in the Caribbean such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other islands, but as the war expanded so would the remit of the Monroe Doctrine. The United States would gain control of the Philippines, far from its own shore, and attempt to remake the Spanish colonialism political system in its own image. The result would be a bloody conflict fought with Filipino insurgents that would take America many years to quell. As the decades went by and American became more involved in its own neighbourhood, this conflict would play a very influential role. America would not focus on building local capacity and democracy, but would instead treat Puerto Rico and Cuba effectively as colonies.
Following the American victory over Spain and the taking of the Philippines, there was a great deal of tension between the U.S. and the locals. This came to a head in 1899 when American soldiers shot some Filipinos. Things quickly got out of hand with both sides raising armies and fighting conventional wars. The Americans rapidly defeated the conventional Filipino forces, killing two of their best generals and pacifying many of the urban areas. During this period, the President appointed distinguished Americans to investigate conditions in the Philippines and report back on ways to improve the administration of the country. This report would have a significant impact on the way America viewed Puerto Rico and Cuba in turn. The first Commission’s report was a rejoinder to those who argued America had no place in the world:
Should our power by any fatality be withdrawn, the commission believe that the government of the Philippines would speedily lapse into anarchy, which would excuse, if it did not necessitate, the intervention of other powers and the eventual division of the islands among them. Only through American occupation, therefore, is the idea of a free, self-governing, and united Philippine commonwealth at all conceivable. And the indispensable need from the