MOROLAND: The History of Uncle Sam and the Moros 1899-1920

MOROLAND: The History of Uncle Sam and the Moros 1899-1920

by Robert Fulton
     
 

Moroland is the lost history of the once-famed struggle between the United States Army and the "wild" Moros, the Muslim peoples of the southern Philippine islands. Lasting over two decades, it was this country's first sustained encounter with a volatile mixture of nation-building, insurgency, counterinsurgency, and militant Islamism. A byproduct of the…  See more details below

Overview

Moroland is the lost history of the once-famed struggle between the United States Army and the "wild" Moros, the Muslim peoples of the southern Philippine islands. Lasting over two decades, it was this country's first sustained encounter with a volatile mixture of nation-building, insurgency, counterinsurgency, and militant Islamism. A byproduct of the Spanish-American War, the task of subduing and then "civilizing" the "Land of the Moros", a land area larger than Ireland, was delegated to the U.S. Army. Working through the traditional ruling hierarchy and respecting an ancient system of laws based on the Qur'an, "Moro Province" became an autonomous, military-governed Islamic colony within a much larger, overwhelmingly Christian territory. For three years it was a successful and bloodless occupation, but trouble arrived in mid-1903 when the American objective transitioned to a grand experiment: an audacious plan to transform and remake Moro society, values, and culture in an American image; placing the Moros on an uncertain and ill-defined path towards eventual integration in a Western-style democracy. The Moros reacted with obstinate and unyielding resistance to what they perceived as a deliberate attack on the religion of Islam and a way of life ordained by God. The constant stream of battles and expeditions that followed over the next ten years is known in U.S. Army history as the "Moro Campaigns". In violence and ferocity they may have equaled, if not surpassed, the more famous late-19th Century Indian Wars of the Great Plains. Despite seeming victory after victory on the battlefield, pacification of the Moros remained a distant and elusive goal. Gradually the Army was replaced as the principal instrument for achieving "law and order" over the troubled province by the famed Moro Constabulary and the Philippine Scouts; native troops led by American and European officers. In 1914, the US Army left Moroland altogether, replaced by a civil government and a major increase in the Constabulary. Despite proving far more effective than the Army, Moro resistance to what they perceived to be outside rule continued (for that matter it has not abated to this day). In 1920 the last American Governor left and control over Moroland was handed over to the Filipino-dominated colonial legislature. The backdrop is a bustling, raucous, newly-prosperous nation finding its way as a world and imperial power. But with this new-found status came a near-religious belief that the active spread of America's institutions, values, and form of government, even when achieved through coercion or force, would create a better world. A subplot is a deep and bitter rivalry between two of its most prominent players, Capt. John J. Pershing and General Leonard Wood, born only one month apart, each championing markedly opposed military philosophies. Eventually they would compete to lead one-million American "doughboys" into the cauldron of the world's first Great War. Few Americans are aware that a century later the U.S. military quietly returned to Moroland, to battle "radical Islamist terrorism"; using Army Green Berets, Navy Seals, and other elite forces. It is the smallest of the fronts of the "global war on terror" and the least-covered or critically examined. It leads the reader to an obvious question: are we avoiding or are we repeating our own past?

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Editorial Reviews

Chris Davis
11/01/2007
MOROLAND by Robert A. Fulton is an excellent book. It is one of the best histories of a counter-insurgency campaign that this reviewer has ever read. In fact, this is the only book-length treatment of the Muslim insurgency in the Philippines that I have ever seen. Indeed, this book should be required reading at the various war colleges and think tanks.

A brief summary of the U S entanglements with the Muslim population in the Philippines, this book highlights two very dif
Paul Maggioni
11/21/2010
The American governance of and conflict with the Muslim Filipinos was the outgrowth of the US acquisition of the Philippines after the Spanish American War, and the subsequent guerrilla war fought there from 1899 to 1902. This short adventure in old-fashioned imperialism by the US is virtually unknown today, so the subject of "Moroland" is really a forgotten sideshow of a forgotten episode in our history.

Robert Fulton, in a labor of love, has researched and written a won
Mike McQuaid
02/15/2010
Mr Fulton has written an excellent book on the little known subject of the United States and the conflict with the Moros in the early 20th Century. Rich in detail and color and some amazing characters, this true account fleshes out a little understood portion of American and Filipino history. Not for the casual reader or beginner history buff, but rather a detailed and well crafted history of events and people that shaped our modern foreign policies and relations in that region of
Lou DiMarco
09/01/2009
Moroland by Robert A. Fulton is a comprehensive examination of American policy toward and military operations against the Moros of the southern Philippine Islands from 1899 to 1906. Fulton very effectively covers policies, politics, and military operations. What emerges from his work is a fascinating tale of brilliance and opportunities lost. It is a must read volume for anyone interested in a host of contemporary issues including counterinsurgency, clash of cultures, Islamic warr
Troy Lettieri
04/29/2008
Robert Fulton does an incredible job at bringing this obscure and little know conflict back to light. As for myself I have only studied back as far as the Hukbalahap Insurrection (1946-1954) and was quite unfamiliar with this conflict. So this book truly filled a gap in my knowledge base on insurgency conflicts. This book is packed with lessons learned, that are being relearned unfortunately in Iraq and somewhat in Afghanistan. This book is a detailed and referenced work that read

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012265197
Publisher:
Tumalo Creek Press
Publication date:
03/02/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
524
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

In the 1960's Robert A. Fulton was a young foreign service officer with the U.S. Information Agency stationed in the Philippines. It was here he first came into close personal contact with the Moros of the islands of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago and witnessed first-hand the beginnings of the modern-day Moro separatist movements. He never forgot hearing many tales of the long ago battles between the Moros and the Americans. Following retirement from a long career in international business and as a successful entrepreneur, he has spent 4 ½ years researching this book and a second one which will soon follow to narrate the remaining period from 1907 to 1920.

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