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American Phillipine War

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Chillest
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o The Americans used concentration camps to imprison the Filipinos. It became commonplace for entire villages to be burned and whole populations to be imprisoned in concentration camps.

o The concentration camps were labelled as reconcentrados, which were surrounded by free fire zones that were also known as “dead-zones”.

o Furthermore, these camps were overcrowded and filled with disease, causing the death rate to be extremely high. Conditions in these “reconcentrados” were inhumane. Between January and April 1902, 8,350 prisoners of approximately 298,000 died. Some camps incurred death rates as high as 20 percent. “One camp was two miles by one mile (3.2 by 1.6 km) in area and ‘home’ to some 8,000 Filipinos. Men were rounded up for questioning, tortured, and summarily executed.

o Between January and April 1902, 8,350 prisoners of approximately 298,000 died. Some camps incurred death rates as high as 20 percent. For example "One camp was two miles by one mile (3.2 by 1.6 km) in area and 'home' to some 8,000 Filipinos. Men were rounded up for questioning, tortured, and summarily executed."

o Marinduque was the first island to have American concentration camps. An American, Andrew Birtle, wrote in 1972: "The pacification of Marinduque was characterized by extensive devastation and marked one of the earliest employments of population concentration in the Philippine War, techniques that would eventually be used on a much larger scale in the two most famous campaigns of the war, those of Brigadier Generals J. Franklin Bell in Batangas and Jacob H. Smith in Samar."

Key Figures in setting up concentration camps

o General Jacob H. Smith carried out his mission by having U.S. troops concentrate the local population into camps and towns. Areas outside of these camps and towns were designated "dead zones" in which those who were found would be considered insurgents and summarily executed. Tens of thousands of people were herded into these concentration camps. Disease was the biggest killer in the camps, although precisely how many lives were lost during Smith's pacification operations is not known. For his part, Major Waller, who was an officer under Smiths command, reported that over eleven days between the end of October and the middle of November 1901 his men burned 255 dwellings and killed 39 people. With Other officers under Smith's command reported similar figures.

o In Batangas Province, where General Franklin Bell was responsible for setting up a concentration camp, a correspondent described the operation as “relentless.” General Bell ordered that by December 25, 1901, the entire population of both Batangas Province and Laguna Province had to gather into small areas within the “poblacion” of their respective towns. Barrio families had to bring everything they could carry because anything left behind—including houses, gardens, carts, poultry and animals—was to be burned by the U.S. Army. Anyone found outside the concentration camps was shot. General Bell insisted that he had built these camps to "protect friendly natives from the insurgents, assure them an adequate food supply" while teaching them "proper sanitary standards." The commandant of one of the camps referred to them as the "suburbs of Hell."

Marinduque was the first island to have American concentration camps. An American, Andrew Birtle, wrote in 1972: "The pacification of Marinduque was characterized by extensive devastation and marked one of the earliest employments of population concentration in the Philippine War, techniques that would eventually be used on a much larger scale in the two most famous campaigns of the war, those of Brigadier Generals J. Franklin Bell in Batangas and Jacob H. Smith in Samar."

Filipino villagers were forced into concentration camps called reconcentrados which were surrounded by free-fire zones, or in other words “dead zones.” Furthermore, these camps were overcrowded and filled with disease, causing the death rate to be extremely high. Conditions in these “reconcentrados” were inhumane. Between January and April 1902, 8,350 prisoners of approximately 298,000 died. Some camps incurred death rates as high as 20 percent. “One camp was two miles by one mile (3.2 by 1.6 km) in area and ‘home’ to some 8,000 Filipinos. Men were rounded up for questioning, tortured, and summarily executed.

Original caption: "Philippine Islands---A Harmless Method of Torture Alleged to Have Been Occasionally Used by Soldiers in the Philippines as one of the Necessary Accom- paniments of War." The men belonged to the 35th U.S. Volunteer Infantry Regiment commanded by Col. Edward H. Plummer, West Point Class 1877. The regiment, which mainly operated in Bulacan Province, Luzon Island, arrived in the Philippines on Nov. 6, 1899 and departed on March 15, 1901.

This source depicts a type of torture called “water cure” carried out by American soldiers on a Filipino victim. Water cure is a method in which the victim is forced to drink large quantities of water in a short time, resulting in gastric distension, water intoxication and possibly death. The source is a primary source as it a photo from the time of the event. The reliability of the source is high as it contains no bias and looks like it hasn’t been tampered with. The source is witting and was most likely produced for a large audience to see the acts of genocide during the war. The source demonstrates American Soldier torturing a Filipino soldier or civilian, which is a violation of the Hague Convention.

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