Insurrection, Insurrecto(s)

Working Definition:

This term used by American colonial officials and historians to describe the Philippine-American War and Filipino revolutionaries has been replicated in finding aids at U-M. The use of this phrase is often considered pejorative among Filipino communities and reflects U.S. colonial attitudes towards the conflict. David Sibley writes, “Filipino historians starting in the 1950s saw the conflict as one of a nascent nation coming into its own, cruelly subjugated by the Spanish and then by the United States…. This Filipino nation had become unified under the lash of war, and had fought—if unsuccessfully—against its conquerors. The war was a war. To reduce it to an ‘insurgency,’ these historians believed, was to betray that nation, and was to take part in a larger effort to subjugate Filipinos and their past.” Insurrection and its related, Spanish-language term, insurrecto, suggests that the American colonial government was the legitimate governing power in the Philippines and that revolutionaries partaking in an “insurrection” were in rebellion against it.

Related Terms:

Suggestions for Further Reading:

Sonia M. Zadie, “Philippine American War,” in History Lessons: How Textbooks from Around the World Portray U.S. History, eds. Dana Lindaman and Kyle Ward (New York: The New Press, 2004), 124-125; David J. Sibley, A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902 (New York: Hill and Wang, 2007); Salvador Araneta, America’s Double-Cross of the Philippines: A Democratic Ally in 1899 and 1946 (Sahara Heritage Foundation, 1999 [1978])