“The White Man’s Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands” was first

“The White Man’s Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands” was first published in The Times (London) on 4 February 1899, and in The New York Sun on 5 February 1899.[6] On 7 February 1899, during senatorial debate to decide if the U.S. should retain control of the Philippine Islands and the ten million Filipinos conquered from the Spanish Empire, Senator Benjamin Tillman read aloud the first, the fourth, and the fifth stanzas of Kipling’s seven-stanza poem as arguments against ratification of the Treaty of Paris and in favor of the US formally renouncing claim of authority over the Philippine Islands. To that effect, Senator Tillman addressed the matter to President William McKinley:[7]As though coming at the most opportune time possible, you might say just before the treaty reached the Senate, or about the time it was sent to us, there appeared in one of our magazines a poem by Rudyard Kipling, the greatest poet of England at this time. This poem, unique, and in some places too deep for me, is a prophecy. I do not imagine that in the history of human events any poet has ever felt inspired so clearly to portray our danger and our duty. It is called “The White Man’s Burden.” With the permission of Senators I will read a stanza, and I beg Senators to listen to it, for it is well worth their attention. This man has lived in the Indies. In fact, he is a citizen of the world, and has been all over it, and knows whereof he speaks.[8]He quotes, inter alia, stanzas 1, 4, and 5 of “The White Man’s Burden”, noting:Those [Filipino] peoples are not suited to our institutions. They are not ready for liberty as we understand it. They do not want it. Why are we bent on forcing upon them a civilization not suited to them and which only means in their view degradation and a loss of self-respect, which is worse than the loss of life itself?[8]Senator Tillman’s eloquence was unpersuasive, and the U.S. Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris on 11 February 1899, formally ending the Spanish–American War. After paying a post-war indemnification of twenty million dollars to the Kingdom of Spain, on 11 April 1899 the US established geopolitical hegemony upon islands and peoples in two oceans and in two hemispheres: the Philippine Islands and Guam in the Pacific Ocean,[9][6] and Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Atlantic Ocean.[10]
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