Story type: Essay
On one single day 600 teachers, representing and devoted to the American public school system, sailed for the Philippine Islands.
These 600 teachers, men and women, will do more than 6,000 or 6,000,000 soldiers could do with cannon and Gatling guns to civilize and Americanize the new possessions.
They will teach the inhabitants FACTS. They will give them solid knowledge in place of degrading ignorance and superstition.
They will teach them that the world is round and that every man on it has the same chance, if he will use his brain; that if he himself cannot seize the opportunity it can he seized by the children whose success is as dear to him as his own.
Like all wars, the conquest of the Philippines has had many discouraging and some disgraceful features. The killing of ignorant men and women, the burning of houses, the unnecessary severity, will all be forgotten when the school teachers of America shall have done their work. —-
A great many thoughtless people imagine that the world is retrograding, that times are not as good as they used to be.
We are still far from perfect. But as a matter of fact we are angels compared to the men of olden times. A few years ago the usual course was as follows:
First, soldiers were sent to subdue the people.
Then tax collectors followed with the public executioner, the noose and various ingenious instruments of torture to extract cash payments.
We still send soldiers, but with them we send physicians to cure the wounded; and when the soldiers’ work is done we do not send tax collectors or other civil vampires.
We send school teachers, publishers of newspapers, organizers of labor unions. We send those agencies which shall enable the people conquered to make themselves equal or superior to their conquerors.