hold that the policy known as imperialism is hostile to liberty
and tends toward militarism, an evil from which it has been our
glory to be free. We regret that it has become necessary in the
land of Washington and Lincoln to reaffirm that all men, of whatever
race or color, are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness. We maintain that governments derive their just powers
from the consent of the governed. We insist that the subjugation
of any people is "criminal aggression" and open disloyalty
to the distinctive principles of our government.
earnestly condemn the policy of the present national administration
in the Philippines. It seeks to extinguish the spirit of 1776
in those islands. We deplore the sacrifice of our soldiers and
sailors, whose bravery deserves admiration even in an unjust war.
We denounce the slaughter of the Filipinos as a needless horror.
We protest against the extension of American sovereignty by Spanish
demand the immediate cessation of the war against liberty, begun
by Spain and continued by us. We urge that Congress be promptly
convened to announce to the Filipinos our purpose to concede to
them the independence for which they have so long fought and which
of right is theirs.
United States have always protested against the doctrine of international
law which permits the subjugation of the weak by the strong. A
self-governing state cannot accept sovereignty over an unwilling
people. The United States cannot act upon the ancient heresy that
might makes right.
assume that with the destruction of self-government in the Philippines
by American hands, all opposition here will cease. This is a grievous
error. Much as we abhor the war of "criminal aggression"
in the Philippines, greatly as we regret that the blood of the
Filipinos is on American hands, we more deeply resent the betrayal
of American institutions at home. The real firing line is not
in the suburbs of Manila. The foe is of our own household. The
attempt of 1861 was to divide the country. That of 1899 is to
destroy its fundamental principles and noblest ideals.
the ruthless slaughter of the Filipinos shall end next month or
next year is but an incident in a contest that must go on until
the declaration of independence and the constitution of the United
States are rescued from the hands of their betrayers. Those who
dispute about standards of value while the foundation of the republic
is undermined will be listened to as little as those who would
wrangle about the small economies of the household while the house
is on fire. The training of a great people for a century, the
aspiration for liberty of a vast immigration are forces that will
hurl aside those who in the delirium of conquest seek to destroy
the character of our institutions.
deny that the obligation of all citizens to support their government
in times of grave national peril applies to the present situation.
If an administration may with impunity ignore the issues upon
which it was chosen, deliberately create a condition of war anywhere
on the face of the globe, debauch the civil service for spoils
to promote the adventure, organize a truth-suppressing censorship,
and demand of all citizens a suspension of judgement and their
unanimous support while it chooses to continue the fighting, representative
government itself is imperiled.
propose to contribute to the defeat of any person or party that
stands for the forcible subjugation of any people. We shall oppose
for re-election all who in the white house or in congress betray
American liberty in pursuit of un-American ends. We still hope
that both of our great political parties will support and defend
the declaration of independence in the closing campaign of the
hold with Abraham Lincoln, that "no man is good enough to
govern another man without that other's consent. When the white
man governs himself, that is self-government, but when he governs
himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government--that
is despotism." "Our reliance is in the love of liberty
which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which
prizes liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands. Those
who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and
under a just God cannot long retain it."
cordially invite the co-operation of all men and women who remain
loyal to the declaration of independence and the constitution
of the United States.
- American Anti-Imperialist League. "Platform of the American
Anti-Imperialist League." Text from Carl Schurz, The Policy
of Imperialism, Liberty Tract No. 4 (Chicago: American Anti-Imperialist