The Pearl of the Orient was used by a Spanish Jesuit missionary to describe the Philippines in 1751. It is unfortunate for the Philippines that the Spanish hadn’t treated the colony properly, instead, permitting it to fall into corruption and abuse which littered their colonies throughout the world. The Philippines alone could’ve been used to help resurrect the Spanish Empire yet instead it was relegated to yet another Spaniard backwater colony, permitting many of the British colonies in Asia to take over.

As the Spanish Empire aged, consistently decaying, especially after the invasion of Spain by Napoleon, its colonies began to fracture. Simon Bolivar famously traveled around South America using his fame and ability to split former colonies from the Spanish Empire. As the decades continued on, Spain had to continue fighting rebellions throughout those colonies which had yet to separate from Spain. Rebellions continued even in colonies the Spanish prized, such as Cuba. And by the 1890s the Spanish were on the verge of losing virtually everything.

The reasoning behind America’s steering toward Cuba is many. Cuba, along with the rest of the Caribbean had been leered upon for over a century by the time the 1890s had arrived. Whether it was Democrat’s interest to carve out more possible slave states, a hope to encourage a few island-states into the revolution (although only one even came close to considering the idea), buying islands and/or ports or to grow America in the age of Empire, expansion into the Caribbean was a serious possibility. And Cuba being just off the cuff of Florida had interested the United States greatly. It just so happened that by the mid 1890s Cuba was in revolt yet again and the Americans had found a reason to intervene.

The excuse for the beginning of the Spanish-American War isn’t necessarily the explosion of the Maine, a ship the United States had stationed off the coast of Cuba which exploded, killing many and sinking the ship. There was also plenty of emotions in the age of Nationalism aided by Yellow Journalism, inching the nation closer to war, encouraging Empire and pushing the United States to paint a bit of the colonial map. It is part of this reason why some had claimed that the entire reason for the Spanish-American war was for economics but there was far more excuses for the war than these few reasons.

The idea that the Spanish-American War had been fought solely over economics had been spouted out about as early as 1902 by non-American Englishman, John Hobson.1 In his statement, he had claimed that imperialism was due to “moneylenders’ efforts to find profitable new regions for investing surplus capital.” But at the time, the Philippines wasn’t on the radar of most Americans, let alone the capitalists of the Eastern United States. To assume that oil barons, railroad tycoons and the like were looking to Manila, which was a decrepit old colony which few could point out on a map at the time, is searching for an economic reason where there wasn’t one. In fact, it would make much more sense to claim, instead, that the United States was looking for overseas possessions, ports and natural expansion of the time. Naturally some money would be found along with the way as trade expanded, however, this was hardly the sole reason.

Only a few years before the Spanish-American War, the Japanese and China went to war in 1894-1895 which secured Japan’s rise as a naval power. The British Empire was nearing its sunset as the Boer War was just on the horizon, the Spanish Empire was splitting apart and Asia was beginning to offer new opportunities. There was true fear about whether it would be the Chinese or the Japanese navy continuing pace and expanding further. Military leaders saw this expansion and it could be claimed that more overseas colonies, bases or the like were the real cause for the war. There were weak political leaders in the United States who could not or would not reign in the military or renegade expansionists like Teddy Roosevelt.

To further lambast the economic theory for American expansion, it can be cut down further. Between the years 1869-1897 only 1 percent of American investment went overseas.2 When revisionists, or those who didn’t understand American economics at the time, claim that the overseas expansion was simply for industrialists to further color their golden-plated portrait frames is a silly idea. Furthermore, by 1899, the United States was responsible for only 9.8 percent of the worlds’ exports of manufactured goods.3 While that number had more than doubled in the 1890s, this, of course, was not due to the occupation of the Philippines, Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico or the war. Half of American cotton textile exports, for example, went to China.4

Aside from Japan, Germany was also becoming a serious threat in the Far East. Germany was playing catch-up in the colonization game, expanding into East Africa and soon creating a crisis off of Samoa in 1889. Captain Mahan reported that the action had “roused [Americans] from sleep…”5 Shortly after, Alfred Thayer Mahan’s naval philosophy, which spoke of the importance of the navy became even more popular. Meanwhile foreign powers’ navies in both Europe and Asia were growing rapidly as the United States was languishing behind. Spain’s Caribbean holdings were ripe to be plucked and America was finally building up its fleet in order to take advantage of the quickly shifting world. While Samoa may have been the thing that woke up Americans, it was also the philosophy of Alfred Thayer Mahan, and the age of colonization for the sake of prestige and overseas power along with politicians like Theodore Roosevelt, that finally shoved America to begin growing its navy.

But the entirety of the United States wasn’t interested in annexation. There were rumblings against the annexation of Hawaii and those who saw the upcoming war against Spain were also in verbal revolt against the idea of further overseas expansion. We can see some of these notes even from a self-proclaimed anti-imperialist, “You know I am not much of an annexationist though I do feel that in some directions, as to naval stations in points of influence, we must look foward to a departure from the too conservative opinions which have been held heretofore.”6 The United States, as the interaction with Germany clearly pointed out, was sorely behind much of the world.

The Spanish-American War ended shortly after a few battles and the peace terms had been handed down. Initially the United States wasn’t sure what, if anything, to do with the Philippines. It had been considered taking only part, but even Philippine nationalists said either everything should be taken or nothing. And indeed, the United States occupied the entirety of the Philippines after discovering that artillery could be fired from one island to another, particularly the parts of the Philippines they had wanted. For good measure, and potential coaling reasons, Guam was added to the list in Asia.

As in the featured image above: William Howard Taft, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front. Mar. 11. Photograph retrieved from the Library of Congress. <>.

William Howard Taft, who had often been talked about in the higher circles in the 1890s and whose prime desire was to become a member of the Supreme Court, wasn’t paying any attention to the Philippines before the Spanish-American War, as hadn’t most Americans. But in President Harrison’s administration Filipino and Taft history would take a sharp turn when Harrison began to consider Taft for a Federal position which could lead to the Supreme Court. Taft was so incredibly excited that even his wife told him to be careful, “I wish you would not be so expansive to reporters. You always think they won’t tell and they always do.”7 Nellie, however, was best described during these times as a domineering socialite; perhaps she could be said as always being such a thing. She rarely cared what William Howard Taft had wanted; she only cared what Nellie wanted and what Nellie could get and she saw the life of a wife of a judge as ending all of her opportunities.

Due to the possibility of the Supreme Court, Taft was surprised in early 1900 when President McKinley summoned him to Washington. At the time there wasn’t an open seat on the Supreme Court, and so, Taft wasn’t sure what the president had wanted. It was in this instance that it was suggested to Taft that he should oversee the development of the newly acquired Philippines.8 Taft would be in charge of the new civil government of which Taft was likely to lead.

Taft took his wife and their three children out from San Francisco and to the Philippines on 17 April 1900 aboard the USS Hancock. One of their first stops however would be in Japan before continuing on to the Philippines where Taft was received coldly by General Arthur MacArthur who was the military governor of the islands. At the time he was in charge of 65,000 men to put down the guerrilla insurrection which was predominantly in the Philippine southernmost island, Mindanao where Islam and slavery remained rampant.9

The insurrection was declared over before it really was but this allowed Taft to assume total civilian control as civil governor of the Philippines by 21 June 1901 before being sworn in on 4 July 1901 with the ceremony taking place across from the building which housed the Philippine Commission. The Tafts would remain in the Malacañan Palace, of which Nellie naturally approved.10

Taft didn’t care so much for the Palace as he had being able to manage, run and essentially create a country. Taft was a man of the law and by the law. One could simply read the law books and understand Taft’s opinion on virtually any topic with very few exceptions. He absolutely loved the law throughout his entire life and if he couldn’t become a member of the Supreme Court, being able to have such control over a country and to create democratic reforms had certainly appealed to him.

Taft and MacArthur continued butting heads in the meanwhile. Taft complained that MacArthur didn’t respect the civilian government and would ignore his suggestions.11 However, it does seem that Taft had approved of MacArthur’s deportation of problematic Filipinos to Guam and arresting other insurgents who aided the rebellion indirectly. Along these lines, Taft wrote to his brother, “The bottom of the insurrection is dropping out.”12 At the same time Taft and the Civil Commission had noted the military’s resentment of the civil government’s mere existence.

It didn’t take William Howard Taft long before he began to reform the colony. By 1902 he put forward the Philippine Organic Act of 1902 which permitted the Filipino people have have many of the same rights that Americans had with two notable exceptions: the right to bear arms and the right to trial by jury.13 The first is likely due to the ongoing insurrection and the second was, because Taft didn’t believe that the Filipinos were yet ready for a democracy, and if they were not ready, then how could they also judge their peers in the same way? In a way, Taft was right to suspect both of these reasons. Weapons were a serious problem in quelling the insurrection and secondly, it can take generations before the idea of democracy or republican ideas enter the spirit of a culture. As a Spanish colony, the Philippines certainly didn’t have this ingrained within them.

While the acquisition of the Philippines wasn’t pushed forth due to industrialist desires, as previously mentioned, the acquisition of the Philippines was seen as a possible commercial opportunity. A stable Philippines under American control would naturally aid the United States in furthering its trade with China, as mentioned the influence of cotton textiles earlier. But Taft had more to do than simply manage the country. He also had to be a diplomat and contend with rancorous opponents who wanted to disrupt what he was trying to accomplish.

The Philippines Commission with William Howard Taft as President. From left to right: Jose Luzuriaga, Senor Tavera, Luke E. Wright, H.C. Ide, WM H Taft, Benito Legarda, Brig. Gen. J.F. Smith
The World’s Work published 1907; Photo by H.L. Knight

Taft took on what he called a role of “benevolent judge.” He was able to create and enact legislation; according to a conversation with his wife his prime duty would be “the preparation of extensive legislative enactments to change cumbrous Spanish laws.”14 Taft was in his comfort zone. He was surrounded by law and reveled in it. And he was rewarded by the Filipino people. As the insurrection died down and the Filipinos north of Mindanao saw how different America and Taft was compared to the Spanish, Taft was virtually adopted as a favorite son. This was all in spite of made up stories about the Philippines, supposed atrocities (while some undoubtedly had happened) were also greatly expanded upon by the anti-colonialists and anti-annexationists. Taft contended with these people and he was able to get out the word that most of the fabled accounts were dishonest. As for those which were true, he recorded that the guerrilla warfare some Filipino were carrying out was a war of “ambush, deceit and cruelty” and that soldiering Americans would be likely to respond in kind.15 Taft noted that these events were so rare and even the benevolent judge had thought that “…[Americans] have been too mild as a general policy [in the guerrilla war.]”

It is also important to note that Taft had decided that the Constitution didn’t cover everywhere the United States touched. And the Supreme Court of the United States would essentially agree with him in 1901 with the Insular Cases. 16 17 This would be noteworthy for the newly acquired possessions taken from Spain. Although this isn’t to say that Taft was a brute, but he saw democratization of a people as taking time. He knew the importance of education and through this education the people would eventually come to understand democracy, republicanism and what rights they should and ought to have. Taft was a strong supporter of the Philippines and saw it as his duty to bring it up correctly after the disastrous treatment by the Spanish or the attempted seizure of power by Aguinaldo. This belief is furthered when he praised the Insular Cases which exempted the Philippines from the Dingley Tariff and other possible tariffs enacted on Americans which would’ve raised the Filipino cost of living.

While Taft had respected the Filipino, he’s often admonished for a term had had once flippantly used. The more flamboyant historians often use his phrasing of “our little brown brothers” as being a derogatory remark that he had always believed, and that his reasoning behind the Filipino’s inability to understand democracy as soon as the United States had overtaken the Spaniards, as being of a racist mind. However, once Taft had been told that he had offended the people, he no longer used this term and, in fact, further opened his home to the Filipino.18 And Taft’s view that if the United States were to suddenly leave that “…[should] the guiding hand of the United States be withdrawn, chaos, conscription and corruption would follow inevitably.”19 And this is true. Aguinaldo attempted a military takeover between the Spanish and American occupations and the insurrection was continuing. It isn’t a racist opinion. It is merely a factual one especially if we observe former Spanish colonies and their multitudes of revolutions after attaining independence.

Taft would rectify his error of the ‘little brown brothers’ remark soon. He’d host public receptions every Wednesday in the governor’s palace and invite Filipinos. Eventually, there would be a mix of Filipino and whites every Wednesday evening.20

If Taft had been wrong about democracy in the Philippines, creating a slow, gradual and correct process to integrate the idea into the culture of the people, he probably wouldn’t have been so beloved by the Filipino people. Taft did more than provide them with more rights and hope for economic liberties but also encouraged and created initiatives to revise the tax code, construct infrastructure with roads and neglected harbors, the creation of health departments, police forces, a judicial system and forming and furthering a public school system. This judicial system would at first be divided between both Filipino and Americans to “…enable the Filipinos to learn and administer justice.”21 To charge Taft with the epithet of racist is academically dishonest and untrue. Not once did he claim the Filipino couldn’t adopt these ideas because they were largely brown, but rather, because they never had a history of doing so.

The town of Jaro preparing for the arrival of William Howard Taft.
Ohio woman in the Philippines; Akron, Ohio 1904 (Leighton); Emily Bronson Conger

Even Nellie took a break from her socializing to praise her husband. About the advancing school system she claimed that his created school system in the Philippines had “enthusiastic support and co-operation” from the Filipino people, by far more than any of his other initiatives.22 A racist, or a man who believed the Filipino to be nothing but “brown brothers” who were incapable of anything probably wouldn’t have tried to go so far as to create such institutions. In fact, a man of that type likely would’ve continued on with a Spanish-esque business as usual management philosophy. We cannot know exactly what Taft thought but we can surmise based on his actions and his writings that he wanted to raise up the Filipino to eventually administer themselves and, likely, wanted to prevent their falling back into the decaying habits of the Spanish Empire which plagues many former Spanish colonies even today.

Oddly, it was during these times that Theodore Roosevelt’s and Taft’s friendship seemed to grow stronger. Roosevelt for a time even admitted his jealousy over Taft, for Taft was able to administer a large region while Theodore Roosevelt was still languishing in the seat of the Vice Presidency. Through 1901 they congratulated one another with Roosevelt claiming that only Taft had all the “…qualities which would make a first-class Chief Justice of the United States” while Taft replied that Roosevelt was sure to be the next [presidential] nominee in 1904. Coincidentally, not long after the previous remark, Roosevelt would soon be President of the United States after the assassination of William McKinley.23

While Taft had presided over the Philippines, he didn’t eternally remain there. In late 1901 he was sent to testify to the Senate Committee on the Philippines. He argued the importance of education and how significant it was in building up a nation.24 There were also issues of land ownership, which he said, was equally crucial to education. At the same time, there were a number of Spanish Friars who still retained land holdings in the Philippines. The new President Roosevelt decided that Taft should also handle this issue and Taft was soon sent off to Rome where he was received by Cardinal Rampolla before meeting Pope Leo XIII. There was an agreement in theory of paying the friars for the land but the Americans weren’t willing to pay what the Vatican had thought worthwhile; the Americans were offering $5 million in gold while the Vatican had expected $10 million. Both Taft and Secretary of War Elihu Root had thought the Vatican offer to be excessive.25 The issue hung.

There were talks of possible arbitration and while Taft left without a deal being made, he had felt that there was some progress. Eventually, an agreement was cemented where three hundred thousand acres (other sources say four hundred thousand acres)26 were bought at $7,543,000. Taft was notably content with the outcome.27 Taft had been able to initiate the return of this land to roughly 60,000 Filipino people and with his education reforms had expected that they would be able to knowingly and efficiently manage their new holdings.

Taft wasn’t without one or two sparks attempting to ignite the flames of insurrection in the Philippines. While he was fighting off the insurrectionists, he was also attempting to battle away those who held resentment and carried spite in spades. Discredited Charles Ballentine, who was a former AP correspondent within the Philippines, had been fired from his job and in revenge wrote a charged book in 1902, As It Is in the Philippines. The book surprisingly charged Taft of “great incapacity and greater insincerity.” Taft had replied, as Anderson notes, that “…’these disappointed’ gentlemen resented [Taft’s] insistence that the Philippine government be run primarily for the benefit of the Filipinos and only incidentally to enrich Americans.”28

Turning about-face, Taft had been offered the Supreme Court seat twice by Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, of which Taft turned down. Anderson notes that it is mystifying, but it doesn’t seem so mystifying once we understand who and what Taft was. He didn’t want to abandon the Philippines. Noting the first rejection, Taft didn’t want to leave the Philippines as it may be seen by the Filipinos as “an indication that severe and unpopular measures were about to be put in force.” The second time Taft remarked that “I should go straight back to the Philippines… for those people expect me back and believe I will not desert them.”29 It is for these reasons, and all the efforts he put forward, that strengthened his involvement with the Philippines and why the Filipinos would come to rejoice in Taft’s continuing presence.

In 1903 Taft was able to reject Roosevelt for the position where Taft noted that it was indeed his duty to become appointed but again, asked if he could remain in the Philippines to attend to unfinished business. During this time the Filipinos demonstrated outside of the Malacañan Palace in an effort to get Taft to stay. Signs were placed announcing, “Queremos Taft, ‘WE WANT TAFT.” Just under two weeks into the new year, Roosevelt wrote stating, “All right, you shall stay where you are.”30

But Roosevelt remained persistent. Two months later Roosevelt requested that Taft replace Root as the Secretary of War. In an effort to convince Taft, Roosevelt stated that Taft could continue to work with the islands directly from Washington itself. Roosevelt said of Taft, “If only there were three of you! Then I would have put one of you on the Supreme Court… one of you in Root’s place as Secretary of War… and one of you permanently [to govern] of the Philippines.”31 It was an opportunity for Taft to return to Washington while continuing to do what he wanted, albeit not as directly as before. It was also a great opportunity for Nellie to return to the life she had really wanted; to live as a socialite in the West. And to add on to the pressure, Taft’s half-brother Charles offered to offset the expensive costs of relocation of up to $6000; Taft had also begun to develop dysentery which further aided the decision.32 By 23 December 1903, Taft was heading back to the United States on the SS Korea.33

The next few years were fairly quiet on Taft’s Philippines front. As the next presidential election rolled around Taft had few gaffes, and some of which were created by old enemies. One is most noted when a reporter asked Taft about what he would do for the unemployed due to the Panic of 1907. Taft replied, “God knows they have my deepest sympathy. It is an awful case when a man is willing to work and is put in this position.”34 The two words, “God knows,” was then taken out of context with the remaining sentence often being hacked out of publications. However, due to Roosevelt’s support and Taft’s own ability, he was able to secure the nomination for President in Chicago June 1908 which would ultimately lead to his becoming elected as the next President of the United States.

While President, Taft was a proponent of raising taxes and creating the income tax which we now have today. Roosevelt and Taft also had a falling out as Taft was pursuing Roosevelt’s anti-trust beliefs, Roosevelt believed, too strongly. In fact, Taft was able to go after more companies in 4 years than Roosevelt had in 7. Perhaps one of the reasons people hear less about Taft’s breaking up of companies is because Taft wasn’t as loud or brash about what he was doing. Concerning taxes, under Taft’s watch, there was now a corporation tax, a Tariff Commission had been created and the income tax amendment was ready to be passed along with his protectionist policies. The Philippines, however, would retain its free trade status with the United States.35 At the very least, Taft was looking out for one country.

The Philippines would often be on Taft’s mind and in future speeches he would reflect on his accomplishments. There were also charges against him that he may sell the Philippines to Japan which he adamantly denied.36 Within the speech he would add: “The only alternatives which the United States can in honor pursue with respect to the Philippines are either permanently to retain them, maintaining therein a stable government in which the rights for the humblest citizen shall be preserved, or, after having fitted the people for self-government, to turn the Islands over to them for the continuance by them of a government of the same character. It is enough to say here that there is not the slightest danger of a sudden cessation of the present relation of the United States to the Philippines, such as would be involved in a sale of those Islands, and that for our present purpose the attitude of the Untied States toward China must be regarded not alone as a country interested in the trade of China, but also as a Power owning territory in China’s immediate neighborhood.”37

On 19 September 1908 he spoke again of what he was able to do for the Philippines while he administered himself there. “We established a system of courts of first instance with jurisdiction embracing the entire Archipelago, together with a Supreme Court. We filled the court partly with Filipinos and partly with Americans, and the administration justice has been fearless and effective. Some poor appointments have been made, but generally the system has worked well.”38 He added his work with education where he treated it much as he had the judges in bringing over 1000 teachers who would then teach not only students, but other future Filipino teachers on how to instruct properly in a Western school system. And by the time of the speech, Taft claims, there were up to 500,000 students reading and writing in English in the Philippines. Additionally, the port in Manila, he said, made “Manila one of the best harbors in the Orient.”39 Likewise he plotted the same plans for Cebu and Iloilo.

By the middle of Taft’s presidency the insurrection in the Philippines had almost completely died down. While the few notable points of insurrection early after the Spanish-American War, this had become far from the case by 1909. He stated on December 7 that he was lowering the military budget by $45,000,000 (adjusted for inflation in 2022 $1,465,274,175.82).40 If the quietness of the Moros hadn’t declared an end to the insurrection, then the sizeable reduction of military investment certainly had.

After his presidency, Taft eventually succeeded in attaining his Supreme Court position. He is the only president to do so and certainly one of the few presidents to remain in public office of some sort after the presidency had ended. By 1929 Governor General Stimson had returned from the Philippines to the United States to join President Hoover’s cabinet. Taft saw a possible replacement in Eugene A. Gilmor who had been Vice-Governor of the Philippines for seven years. Of Gilmore, Taft noted that he was, “a very acceptable Judge of the Court of Customs appears… It may be that I have a weakness for awarding those men who have cut loose from this country and broken up their relations in here in order to serve the country in Manila and the Islands.”41 Instead of heeding Taft’s advice and recommendation, many were shocked when Hoover rejected the suggestion and instead went with Coolidge’s Secretary of War Dwight F. Davis.

While it does seem that Taft had enjoyed the law, his prime years of where he was able to have virtually unrestricted ability were in the Philippines. There he didn’t have to worry about many of the things he had needed to worry about in the United States. Within his book about Taft, Alpheus Thomas Mason quoted:

“No Senate Progressives plagued him there… No Democrats abused and attacked him. No Theodore Roosevelt turned against him. The politicos of the Philippines disagreed with his policies, of course, but in the last analysis Taft could impose his will. His voice was the law. He was, again, a judge.42

It is worthy of note that this may be true. He was able to do exactly what he wanted to do in the way he wanted to do it. Perhaps he was the “benevolent judge” he had claimed, or if he were leader of the actual foreign country, he may instead be called what the likes of Simon Bolivar had hoped to achieve but never had, a “benevolent dictator.”

Taft is largely a forgotten figure in spite of his influence in establishing what would become a yearly tax burden for the modern American population which would soon aid to balloon corruption, spending and waste. The attacks conducted by Roosevelt likely didn’t help Taft’s immediate popularity or standing. And being sandwiched between both the boisterous Roosevelt before Taft’s Presidency and the events of World War I after it, it is easy to see how Taft has largely been, incorrectly, forgotten by history. It is also not incorrect to claim that he has mostly been forgotten in the Philippines but the work he conducted early within the Philippines had set up the colony-nation for future independence.

Works Cited

1 From the Old Diplomacy to the New p 16

2 ibid. p 16

3 ibid. p 18

4 ibid. p 18

5 ibid. p 79

6 ibid. p 97

7 William Howard Taft: An Intimate History p 61

8 William Howard Taft: The 27th President p 31

9 ibid. pp 32-3

10 ibid. p 33

11 William Howard Taft: An Intimate History p 71

12 ibid. p 71

13 The Philippine Organic Act of 1902: Govph

14 William Howard Taft: An Intimate History p 72

15 ibid. p 73

16 The Insular Cases

17 Ruling America’s Colonies: The Insular Cases

18 William Howard Taft: The 27th President p 35

19 ibid. p 35

20 ibid. p 35

21 ibid. p 36

22 ibid. 36

23 ibid. 36

24 William Howard Taft: Confident Peacemaker p 36

25 ibid. p 36

26 William Howard Taft: The 27th President p 38

27 William Howard Taft: Confident Peacemaker p 37

28 William Howard Taft: An Intimate History pp 74-5

29 ibid. p 82

30 William Howard Taft: The 27th President p 38

31 ibid. p 38

32 The Presidency of William Howard Taft pp 5-6

33 William Howard Taft: The 27th President. pp 38-9

34 ibid. p 42

35 The Presidency of William Howard Taft pp 71-2

36 William Howard Taft: Essential Writings and Addresses p 214

37 ibid. 214-15

38 ibid. 227

39 ibid. 227

40 The Presidency of William Howard Taft p 201

41 William Howard Taft: Chief Justice pp 150-1

42 ibid. pp 264-5


57th Congress of the United States of America, First Session, 1902. “The Philippine Organic Act of 1902: Govph.” Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines,

Anderson, Judith Icke. William Howard Taft, An Intimate History. Norton, 1981.

Beisner, Robert L. From the Old Diplomacy to the New, 1865-1900. Crowell, 1975.

Birbrair, Lana. “The Insular Cases: Constitutional Experts Assess the Status of Territories Acquired in the Spanish–American War (Video).” Harvard Law Today, 18 Mar. 2014,

Boudin, Alpheus Thomas. William Howard Taft, Chief Justice. Yale Law Journal, 1965.

Burton, David Henry. William Howard Taft: Confident Peacemaker. Saint Joseph’s University Press, 2004.

Coletta, Paolo E. The Presidency of William Howard Taft. University Press of Kansas, 1987.

Rosen, Jeffrey. William Howard Taft: The 27th President. Henry Holt and Company, 2018.

Taft, William H. William Howard Taft: Essential Writings and Addresses. Edited by David H. Burton, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2009.

Torruella, Juan R. “Ruling America’s Colonies: The Insular Cases.” Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository,


Bronson Conger, Emily. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Knight, H.L. The Philippine Commission Of Which Judge Taft Was President., Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

William Howard Taft, Head-and-Shoulders Portrait, Facing Front. Library of Congress, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.