|In January 1899, the US brought Emilio Aguinaldo, a Filipino independence leader, back to the Philippines from exile to undermine Spanish rule and declare Filipino independence.
The United States had reluctantly purchased the Philippines from Spain as part of the settlement of the Spanish–American War. President McKinley was said to have stated: "We could not leave them to themselves- they were unfit for self-government and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there, worse than Spain's was... [and] there was nothing left for us to do but take them all, and educate the Filipinos and uplift and Christianize them."
The Filipinos who were already in control of the islands, and had long been practicing Catholics, did not accept American reasoning. This sparked a long war, in which 70,000 American service men were needed to retake the Philippines from its inhabitants.