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Comparison Of Philippine Insurrection And Vietnam War

1406 words - 6 pages

There are many similarities and differences between the Philippine Insurrection of the late nineteenth century and the Vietnam War of the late twentieth century. Types of warfare and atrocities committed during both conflicts are comparable, while factors such as war objectives and motivations differ greatly. I personally feel that the United States had a better cause for fighting the Vietnam War, even though it was our first major military defeat. Despite the American loss, it was more worthwhile to fight in the Vietnam War than in the Philippine Insurrection because the United States had a more laudable reason for involvement. American involvement in the Philippine crisis represented a brave new step for the country because it had emerged from its former state of isolation. However, by the time the Vietnam War began, America felt obligated to participate simply because it was the most powerful nation in the world militarily and had much experience in warfare and foreign relations.
Vietnam struggled for its independence from France in the First Indochina War. It was divided into North Vietnam, which fell under the control of Communists, and South Vietnam, which attempted to establish a republican form of government. The Northern Vietnamese were determined to reunite Vietnam under Communist rule. However, the United States subscribing to the “Domino Theory” was determined to prevent this from occurring (Encarta). Essentially, this theory stated that if one country fell under Communist rule, then many others would follow in a chain reaction, or domino effect (Encarta). The United States was resolute upon containing communism and spreading capitalism and democracy, and therefore supported South Vietnam’s resistance to attacks from the North. Ultimately, the North Vietnamese succeeded in uniting North and South Vietnam, and this was America’s first major military defeat.
A much different situation existed prior to the Philippine Insurrection of the late nineteenth century. Realizing that this was a war and not an insurrection is important. First, the United States was not in control of the Philippines at the outbreak of war, so the Filipinos were not rebelling against any established authority (Sumodobila). Secondly, the fighting was between two organized forces representing two different interests, the United States and the Philippine Republic (Sumodobila). Also, the connotation of the term insurrection takes away the dignity from those who fought in the war and is a humiliation to the Filipinos (Sumodobila). At this time, the United States was mainly an isolated country, partaking minimally in foreign affairs. However, the United States was beginning to become more involved in international problems, especially those occurring in its own hemisphere. According to the Monroe Doctrine, the United States would take action if any foreign power attempted to colonize lands that had already established independence or were seeking...

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