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United States

On the 24th May a Dictatorial Government was established, my first proclamation being issued that day announcing the system of government then adopted and stating that I had assumed the duties and responsibilities of head of such government. Several copies of this proclamation were delivered to Admiral Dewey and through the favour of his good offices forwarded to the representatives of the Foreign Powers then residing in Manila, notwithstanding our lack of intercourse with Manila.

The next day (8th May, 1898), just when we were distributing arms to the revolutionists of Kawit, in the above mentioned district a column, composed of over 270 Spanish Naval Infantry, appeared in sight. They were sent out by the Spanish General, Sr. Pena, for the purpose of seizing the said consignment of arms.

In conformity with my orders issued on the 1st of September, all Philippine vessels hoisted the national flag, the Marines of the Filipino flotilla being the first to execute that order. Our little flotilla consisted of some eight Spanish steam launches (which had been captured) and five vessels of greater dimensions, namely, the Taaleno, Baldyan, Taal, Bulucan, and Purisima Concepcion.

The expedition to Bisayas was a complete success as far as the conveyance of our troops to the chief strategic points was concerned, our steamers returning safely to Cavite after landing the soldiers. The steamer Bulusan, however, which sailed for Masbate with Colonel Sr.

In a few days the Spanish steamer Compania de Filipinas was brought to Cavite by my countrymen, who captured her in the harbour of Aparri. Cannon were at once mounted on board this vessel and she was loaded with troops and despatched for Olongapo, but she had not gone far before I sent another gunboat to recall her because Admiral Dewey requested me to do so in order that a question raised by the French Consul might be duly settled.

Powerful as economic forces were from 1865 to 1890, they did not alone determine the direction of American progress during those years.

Seldom, in times of peace, is the personality of a single individual so important as that of Theodore Roosevelt during the early years of the twentieth century. At the time of his accession to the presidency, he lacked a month of being forty-three years old, but the range of his experience in politics had been far beyond his age. In his early twenties, soon after leaving Harvard, he had entered the Assembly of the state of New York.

Out of the economic and political circumstances which have just been described, there were emerging between 1865 and 1875 a wide variety of national problems. Such questions were those concerning the proper relation between the government and the railroads and industrial enterprises; the welfare of the agricultural and wage-earning classes; the assimilation of the hordes of immigrants; the conservation of the resources of the nation in lumber, minerals and oil; the tariff, the financial obligations of the government, the reform of the civil service, and a host of lesser matters.

By 1908, the year of the presidential election, an influential portion of the Republican members of Congress, particularly in the Senate, were bitterly opposed to President Roosevelt. His attitude on the trusts and the railroads was offensive to many, and on several occasions he had gained the upper hand over Congress by means which were coming to be known as "big-stick" methods. The so-called "constructive recess" of 1903 was an example.

The conditions which confronted President Hayes when the final decision of the Electoral Commission placed him in the executive chair did not make it probable that he could carry out a program of positive achievement. The withdrawal of troops from the South had been almost completed, but the process of reconstruction had been so dominated by suspicion, ignorance and vindictiveness that sectional hostility was still acute.

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