American Anti-Imperialist League

American Anti-Imperialist League

American Anti-Imperialist League

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The American Anti-Imperialist League was an organization established in the United States on June 15, 1898 to battle the American annexation of the Philippines as an insular area. The anti-imperialists opposed the expansion because they believed imperialism violated the credo of republicanism, especially the need for "consent of the governed." They did not oppose expansion on commercial, constitutional, religious, or humanitarian grounds; rather they believed that annexation and administration of backward tropical areas would mean the abandonment of American ideals of self-government and isolation - ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence, Washington's Farewell Address and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.


The original organization was founded in New England and was absorbed by a new national Anti-Imperialist League. Prominent statesman George S. Boutwell served as president from the League's inception in 1898 until his death in 1905. Lawyer and civil rights activist Moorfield Storey was president from 1905 until the League dissolved in 1921.

Many of the League's...
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