In 1898, the provisional government of the Philippines under Emilio Aguinaldo declared the First Philippine Republic. However, the United States already purchased the archipelago from Spain for twenty million dollars. Meanwhile, Aguinaldo decided to let the United States take Manila, believing they could do the job better than his troops. It failed to occur to him that this decision was to be the start of the American annexation of the Philippines.

But what if Aguinaldo decided on the last minute to take Manila, anyway, realizing the Americans could not be fully trusted?

So here is the point of divergence. Just as Aguinaldo's troops are approaching Manila, when Aguinaldo offered the terms of surrender to Basilio Agustin, the Spanish governor-general, the latter refused. But instead of informing the Americans of this, Aguinaldo instead decided for a full-scale assault to be ordered immediately. The Spanish forces were overwhelmed by Philippine troops. The Filipinos, however, spared Agustin's life and had him handed over to the United States forces.

While this angered many in the United States leadership, who are dead-set for annexing the Philippine archipelago, eventually, they relented, fearing backlash that would soon ensue if they tried to push ahead of the annexation.

As a result, US President McKinley had to give the Philippines the same treatment as Cuba, and instead of annexing just Guam, have decided to annex the entire Marianas Island chain instead. The Philippines will get the same treatment as Cuba, given full independence in 1901, just like in Cuba. The price to pay for independence is to give up claims to the Marianas and former Spanish Micronesian islands, the rest being annexed to Germany, and naval bases in Subic and Cavite. While this was resented by the Filipino population, it was in their own opinion, a better deal than being annexed outright by the United States.

Since then, the Philippines will chart its future for the better or worse, affecting the world as well.




  • Philippines

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