benevolent assimilation

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Coined in 1898 by President William McKinley justifying the invasion of the Philippines.


benevolent assimilation (countable and uncountable, plural benevolent assimilations)

  1. (US) The assimilation of a group of foreigners by absorbing them into a new culture, with the primary stated reason being that it is an act of benevolence.
    • 1898, William McKinley, December 21
      Finally, it should be the earnest wish and paramount aim of the military administration to win the confidence, respect, and affection of the inhabitants of the Philippines by assuring them in every possible way that full measure of individual rights and liberties which is the heritage of free peoples, and by proving to them that the mission of the United States is one of Benevolent Assimilation substituting the mild sway of justice and right for arbitrary rule.


  • Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903, Stuart Creighton Miller, (Yale University Press, 1982).