The Cubans bowed to U.S. pressure and narrowly voted the Platt Amendment into their constitution. In the Philippines, U.S. troops had posed as prisoners-of-war to infiltrate rebel headquarters. Three weeks after President McKinley’s March inauguration, they captured rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo.
While war continued in the southern Philippines, there were few skirmishes around Manila in the summer of 1901. President McKinley appointed William Howard Taft the first civilian governor of the Philippines. “Big Bill” Taft called the Filipinos his “little brown brothers.” McKinley described Taft’s mission as one of “benevolent assimilation.”