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Posted by: Bryan (ID *****1058) Date: March 27, 2003 at 05:01:29
  of 13

Aloha Ron (et al),

As you may recall, when the US Navy defeated the antiquated Spanish Armada in the mock “Battle of Manila Bay,” in 1898, the Spanish government quickly sued for peace. As a concession (or war spoil), the former colonies of Spain--the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Cuba--were “sold” to the US government for the absurd sum of $20 million!

To control and guide her new colonies and territories, the US government sent in appointed officials and envoys to oversee her new (US) colonies. In the Philippines, the arrival of the “Thomasites” –some 1074 volunteer American teachers, the majority arriving on the USS Thomas in 23 August 1901-- heralded in a new era both for education, and the establishment of English as the new lingua franca or predominant language of the Philippines.

Amazingly, within a span of three years, the Philippine natives became proficient in their new colonial language. In short, American English superseded Spanish and Tagalog as the preferred medium for communication in public life. More, the US government felt that though compulsory education via the Thomasites proved beneficial, the future need for loyal citizens and leaders would ensure their legacy in the Philippines. A promising solution was voted and agreed upon: send young and promising students to study in the US, and after they graduate, expect these new leaders to impart and transplant those ideal American values of democracy and benevolence to their fellow countrymen.

We, of course, now know that this “experiment” worked and is still working today; albeit, Filipino style.

Oh well, hope this helps. If you have any questions--and I expect you will--do send your comments, so that we can have a healthy discussion.


For related issues (on-line):
“Battle of Manila Bay”
See Commodore /Admiral George Dewey or < >

The ‘Thomasites’
See < >

See < >
or < >

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