Talk:Spanish–American War

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Removed assertion that the U.S. "backed" the Philippine Revolution.[edit]

Here, I've removed ", which the U.S. later backed upon entering the Spanish-American War", re the Philippine Revolution, and have rearranged the text a bit. This has been in the article for a long time ([1]). Commodore Dewey certainly facilitated the resumption of the revolution (which had been suspended in 1897 by the Pact of Biak-na-Bato) by returning Emil Aguinaldo to Manila from exile in Hong Kong, and this is explained a bit further down in this same section of the article. Asserting that the U.S. "backed" the revolution, though, overstates the extent and the depth of U.S. commitment in that regard. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill)

Errors in Photographic Editing[edit]

The photographic editing is wrong.

Please check the masts and crows nests in each image.

KJC1973 (talk) 23:53, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Cession of the Philippines and $20 million payment by the U.S.[edit]

This edit caught my eye. I don't have a problem with the edit but I don't follow the edit summary ("No mention of $20 million-payout for ceding Spanish imperial territory. Hence the term, 'cede'") and I'm concerned that confusion might develop in the absence of clarifying information. Some points:

  • Spain did cede the Philippines to the U.S. -- the word "cedes" appears explicitly in Article III of the Treaty of Paris (1898) (later TofP) which ended the war.[1]
  • In a paragraph of that treaty article separate from the paragraph re the cession, the U.S. agreed to pay Spain $20M. The TofP does not spell out the reason for the paymant.[1]
  • Many sources (e.g., [2], [3]) support this without drawing conclusions about the connectedness or lack thereof between the cession and the payment.
  • Some sources (e.g., [4], [5], [6] characterize this as Spain selling the Philippines to the U.S.; generally without explaining this characterization.
  • One source [7] explains, "The nature of this payment is rather difficult to define; it was paid neither to purchase Spanish territories nor as a war indemnity. In the words of Historian Leon Wolff, 'It was ... a gift. Spain accepted it. ...". (see Wolff, Leon (1961). Little Brown Brother: How the United States Purchased and Pacified the Philippine Islands at the Century's Turn. Wolff Productions. pp. 172–173. ISBN 978-1-58288-209-3. )
  • (added) Another source ([8]) says that cession of the Philippines involved payment of $20 million ($575,760,000 today) to Spain by the US to cover infrastructure owned by Spain.

WP:NPOV should be exercised by WP editors in asserting any connectedness or lack of connectedness between the cession and the payment. If assertions about this appear in WP articles, WP:DUE should be the guiding policy point. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

If the payment were unrelated to the rest of article III, one would suppose it would be a separate article. As worded, it concludes article III, and is part of that article. The unsuspecting reader of the Treaty is left unaware of diverse interpretations, and left to assume that it is related. TEDickey (talk) 00:45, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The treaty is a primary source. Your argument above grows from your interpretation of that primary source. WP:PRIMARY, part of the WP:NOR policy, says in part, "Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation." Secondary sources which provide interpretations re the connectedness or lack thereof between the cession and the payment differ in the viewpoints they express. WP:DUE, part of the WP:NPOV policy describes how a situation with separate reliable sources expressing differing viewpoints should be handled. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 01:18, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The discussion is pointless: you are free to add the sources of your choice, with whatever interpretation you find interesting to the TofP topic. bye. TEDickey (talk) 01:30, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
There's good brief coverage of what happened at Benjamin R. Beede (2013). The War of 1898 and U.S. Interventions, 1898T1934: An Encyclopedia. p. 289. . The $20 million was part of the negotiating process and nominally was given to cover the cost of infrastructure that Spain owned, such as buildings and port facilities. Rjensen (talk) 09:14, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I see that you have WP:BOLDly edited the article to reflect the viewpoint of that source, and only that viewpoint. I have seen that viewpoint mentioned elsewhere, and it sounds reasonable to me. I've added it to my list of sourced viewpoints above -- I would have listed it previously but it didn't come up in the quick googling I did to put the list together. I wasn't able to find that book at your provided link ([9]) but did find it at [10], and page 289 there does say that the US peace commissioners recommended to Washington that the $20M be presented as covering the cost of public improvements which had been made by Spain.
I acknowledge that you are a credentialed historian, and that I am not (though I am fairly well read up on Philippine history in Spanish and American colonial times).
However, that said, it is not Wikipedia's policy to reflect the viewpoint which is put forth by a source favored by a particular WP editor or by a group of WP editors if that viewpoint is at variance with viewpoints put forth by other sources considered to be RSs. WP:DUE sets out Wikipedia policy (shouting -- sorry) regarding this, saying, "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:55, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
What we have here is one source (Beede's 1898 encyclopedia) That explicitly explains what happened. With multiple other sources that do not offer a a viewpoint or alternative analysis or explanation, but which seem to be puzzled or befuddled. in a nutshell We have only one explanation, and that is what we should report. Rjensen (talk) 09:21, 25 May 2015 (UTC)


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Anachronisms re the First Philippine Republic[edit]

I want to observe here that wikilinks to the First Philippine Republic article (as e.g., {{flagicon|First Philippine Republic}} [[First Philippine Republic|Philippine Republic]], {{flagicon|First Philippine Republic}} [[Emilio Aguinaldo]], etc.) in this article are anachronistic. The Spanish-American War ran from April 24 or 25 to December 10, 1898. The First Philippine Republic was was proclaimed on January 22, 1899. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:37, 14 December 2016 (UTC)