Moro Rebellion

Working Definition:

This term was originally used by American colonists to describe efforts by peoples living in the Moro Province who resisted colonization often through armed force. In 1903, the United States established the Moro Province as a distinct geopolitical region to be administered by the colonial government. Many of the peoples living in this region did not practice Christianity and opposed American colonization, though some peoples of the Moro Province collaborated with Americans. This religious demographic prompted an adjustment of U.S. colonial policy, which presupposed that Christian Filipino/as were more easily assimilable. As such, between 1903 and 1913, the United States characterized attempts to subvert colonial rule as “rebellions,” suppressing them through physical violence. In 1906, a particularly disturbing episode occurred in Bud Dajo, located in Jolo, when U.S. soldiers murdered at least 600 men, women, and children.

Related Terms:

Suggestions for Further Reading:

Michael Hawkins, Making Moros: Imperial Historicism and American Military Rule in the Philippines’ Muslim South (Dekalb: NIU Press, 2013); “The Philippines and the University of Michigan, 1870-1935: Creating the Moro Subject: Resistance and Pacification”