Francisco Leon Guerrero Opposing the Navy


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Courage is defined as a state, a quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face his fears. Whether it is something difficult for most people to do or something personal that hinders one’s life, it is difficult to have courage due to fear that tries to triumph over courage and confidence. Courage is often perceived to be obtained by overcoming fears and Francisco Leon Guerrero did just that. Francisco Leon Guerrero was a politician, he was a member of the second Guam Congress. He showed that thinking would not do, but action is needed. He is an epitome of political courage due to his actions of opposing the Navy, his trials for the federal congress to approve their demands and his participation at the Guam Congress walkout all of which led Guam to achieve Americanism. When Guam was under the Naval rule, the government of Guam had no power, in fact it did not exist. The Guam Congress, on the other hand, existed though they weren’t able to propose laws or any type of legislation. It was as if the Guam Congress was there for show.

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The people of Guam wanted to oppose the Naval rule in the island, but no one had the courage to do so. Francisco Leon Guerrero chose to stand up against the Naval Government. He wanted a civil government. As a protest, he refused to stand up at the naval governor’s command. Due to his “insubordination”, he was sentenced to fifteen days of hard labor. He entered the politics when Franklin Roosevelt became the president. He was a member of the 2nd Guam Congress where he saw the uselessness of the Guam Legislature with attempting to pass resolutions that would lead to American citizenship. They would always be denied. His tries were not effortless. Sure, there were multiple times when he failed, but every time, he and his fellow members of the Guam Congress tried again and again. They tried their best to achieve Americanism. Francisco Leon Guerrero and his friend also traveled to Washington DC and introduced some bills that would grant citizenship to the people of Guam, but unfortunately, the bill failed to pass. The Chamorros’ efforts to achieve citizenship and self-government were put on hold in 1941 when the Japanese occupied Guam during World War II.

After three years, the Naval Government was implemented once again. This time the government seized the lands of Guam and discriminated against the Chamorros which lead to the big push for self-governance and citizenship. After World War II, Francisco Leon Guerrero and other Chamorros formed the Friends of Guam and made it their quest to end naval rule on the island. The Guam Congress walked out of the hearing as a sign of protest. The protest drew the attention of the press which made the U.S Congress and the current president, Harry Truman, to take action – the Organic Act of Guam. The walkout was the harbinger of change. From the “frustrating” citizenship quest that was led in many decades by Francisco Leon Guerrero, himself, the walkout was the most openly rebellious act that Chamorros had done. In conclusion, Francisco Leon Guerrero showed true courage by his actions of opposing the Navy, his trials for the federal congress to approve their demands and his participation at the Guam Congress walkout all of which led the people of Guam to achieve Americanism. It was not an easy journey. There were many roadblocks along the way, but it was all success. Francisco’s perseverance showed that he truly was a person to be remembered, that his actions spoke louder than words. Without his leadership, his courageous deeds in helping Guam and its people, no Chamorros today would be living the comfort of being an American.

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