History Optional Paper-2 Solution – 2011: Q.7 (a)

7. (a) Explain how American imperialism in Philippines differed with European imperialism in Indonesia and Indo-China.


Philippines, Indonesia and Indo-China, all are situated in South East Asia. During nineteenth and early twentieth century, a new phase of imperialism had started. Whereas Philippines suffered American imperialism, Indonesia and Indo-China was under European imperialism. America, as a late entry into imperialism outside its own continent, had different motives, methods and form of imperialism compared to Europe.

American imperialism in Philippines differed with European imperialism in the following ways:

(1) European imperialism in Indonesia and Indo- China had started much earlier than  the American imperialism in Philippines.

(2) Europeans captured these nations from the Local rulers of the countries and were first Western power to conquer those countries. On the other hand, America captured Philippines from Spain, another European power, which had earlier colonised Philippines.

(3) European powers were interested in the spice trade of south-east Asia. They wanted to utilise the raw materials of the colonies to feed their industries to produce finished goods. Whereas American interest in the Philippines was the result of a desire to expand its economic and strategic influence into the Pacific and Asia. America wanted favourable balance of trade and places to export.
Also, America had pursued a policy of imperialism in the Philippines under the guise of protecting the world from the oppression of Spanish rule.

(4) US imperialism was also not nearly as systematic or accepted as European imperialism. The US was able to only partially control the Philippines whereas Euro­pean rule in their colonies was all pervasive.
US Administra­tion of the Philippines was always declared to be temporary and aimed to develop a free and democratic government at least in theory. This was not the case with Indonesia and Indo-China.

(5) Europeans introduced into the colonies and tried to expand it by converting the local population to Christianity but there was no such in Philippines because the majority of the population was already Christian.

(6) US ran the administration of Philippines with the help of military government whereas there were civil governments in Indonesia and Indo-China.

(7) America supported Philippines to defeat Japanese forces in Philippines. America eventually followed through with its promise to grant the Philippines full independence in 1946 after almost half a century of U.S. colonial rule.
In Indo-China and Indonesia, European colonist, France and Holland did not grant the independence immediately which led to freedom struggle movements in those colonies.


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