By the end of the war, Americans simply had no stomach for any more colonies. Even Roosevelt himself was forced to conclude that the Americans were not an imperial people. He said that the Philippines had become America’s Achilles heel.
He should have listened harder in 1898 to a lot of people who were saying at that time, “We’re going to acquire these foreign people about whom we know very little or nothing, who are way, way far away, who have a culture that is not a part of ours. It’s just south of Japan. They’re gon—if we have those islands, it’s gonna draw us into a war in the Pacific and it’s gonna be a very bloody and very tough war to fight.”