Thursday, September 5, 2013

American Occupation in the Philippines

 (1899 – 1934)

                As the real motives of the Americans were known by the Filipinos, the tension between the two parties began. On February 4, 1899, Private Willie Grayson shot a Filipino soldier at San Juan Bridge resulting to the outbreak of Filipino-American hostilities. The Filipinos had made responses against the Americans, to keep their country’s independence from foreign powers. However, through the ratification of the Treaty of Paris on February 6, 1899, the Philippines became an official colonial territory of the United States of America. But in spite of this, the Filipinos continued their resistances against the Americans. Until Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was captured by the Americans and pledged allegiance to the United States causing other generals to surrender also. The resistances of the elites against the Americans ended until the last Filipino Gen. Simeon Ola gave up on September 23, 1903. Even though there are still resistances led by the Filipino masses in other parts of the country, a new chapter of the Philippine history began.


President William McKinley declared an apparently altruistic policy for the Philippines: “The Philippines are ours, not to exploit, but to develop, to civilize, to educate, to train in the science of self-government.”

However, he did not state the other motives for annexing the country. These other colonial objectives were:
1.       To pursue a “manifest destiny” for America as a world power
2.       To use the Philippines as a source of raw materials for US industries and as a market for US manufactured products
3.       To use the Philippines as a military and naval base
4.       To have a refueling port of American ships servicing their interests in China
II. MILITARY GOVERNMENT (August 14, 1898 – July 4, 1901)

In this type of government, the American President appointed military generals to govern the territory. It lasted for three years during the Philippine-American War. The three military governors were:
(1)  Gen. Wesley Meritt                         (2) Gen. Elwell Otis                       (3) Gen. Arthur MacArthur
The greatest achievement of the Military Government was the pacification of the country and the laying down of the foundation of the civil regime. It introduced the American school system, with soldiers as first teachers. It organized the civil courts, including the Supreme Court. Cayetano Arellano was the 1st Chief Justice. Local governments were established in towns and provinces under the control of American troops. On May 7, 1899, the first election was held by Gen. Henry W. Lawton in Baliwag, Bulacan.

During the establishment of Phil. Commissions, the chief executive of the Phil. is still the military governor. Each commission is a five-person group led by a chairman who was chosen by the President of United States to make a survey of Philippine conditions and achieve peaceful extension of American sovereignty over the archipelago. The two commissions were:
A.      SCHURMANN COMMISSION (January 20, 1899) – the 1st Phil. Commission led by Dr. Jacob Schurmann, President of the Cornell University, (with George Dewey, Charles Denby, Elwell Otis, and Dean Worcester). In their report, they acknowledge the aspirations of Filipinos for independence. However, they declared that the Philippines was not yet ready for it. Thus, they recommended the establishment of civilian government having a bicameral legislature, withdrawal of military rule in the pacified areas, conservation of natural resources for the Filipinos, organization of autonomous local governments, opening of free public schools and appointment of high ability and good character men to important government offices.

B.      TAFT COMMISSION (March 16, 1900) – the 2nd Phil. Commission led by Judge William Howard Taft (with Henry Clay Ide, Luke Edward Wright, Dean Conant Worcester and Bernard Moses). The 2nd Commission was tasked to be the legislature of the Philippine Islands.
*SPOONER AMENDMENT (March 2, 1901) – it is the modification of Sen. John C. Spooner which allowed the U.S. President to fully administer Philippines.
III. CIVIL/ INSULAR GOVERNMENT (July 4, 1901 – November 14, 1935)

                In this type of government, the American president appointed civilian officials to rule. The Civil Government exercised jurisdiction over the pacified provinces while the military rule remained in the unpacified Christian regions until 1902 and in Moroland until 1914.
                Unlike in Spanish times, the Filipinos were given greater participation in the government (Civil Service Law of 1900). Various key positions were opened like Cayetano Arellano as Chief Justice. Three prominent Filipinos also became members of Philippine Commission, namely Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera, Benito Legarda Sr. and Jose Luzuriaga. Rafael Palma was later added to the Commission. Gregorio Araneta was also appointed as Secretary of Finance and Justice.

* AMERICAN GOVERNOR-GENERAL – the chief executive in the colony. He was assisted by the Philippine Assembly and the Philippine Legislature. There had been 11 civil governor-generals.

July 4, 1901 – February 1, 1904
William Howard Taft
First Philippine Census (7,635,426)
Cooper Act (Phil. Organic Act 1902)
Purchase of Friar Lands (423,000 acres/ $ 7,237,000)
Win Filipino sympathy
February 1, 1904 – Nov 3, 1905
Luke Edward Wright

Nov 3, 1905 – September 19, 1906
Henry Clay Ide

Sept. 20, 1906 – Nov 11, 1909
James Francis Smith
Bicameral Legislature: Phil. Commission (Upper House) and Phil. Assembly (Lower House)
      * Sergio Osmeña: Speaker of the Assembly
      * Manuel Quezon: Majority Floor Leader

Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act of 1909: Free Trade, American interests was without limitation while the Phil. interest was in quota system
Nov 11, 1909 – September 1, 1913
William Cameron Forbes
Jones Law (Phil. Autonomy Act of 1916): first official document that promised Phil. Independence as soon as a stable government was established.

New Bicameral Legislature: appointed 24-member Senate as Upper House and elective Representatives as the House Chamber
October 6, 1913 – March 5, 1921
Francis Burton Harrison
Promotes FilipinizationPolicy

Wood-Forbes Mission – a special investigating mission in the condition of the Philippines at the end of his tenure.

Loyalty of the Filipinos during the First World War (1914-1918)
October 14, 1921 – August 7, 1927
Leonard Wood
·         Cabinet Crisis 1923
Checked graft and corruption in the government, stabilized the finances and improved public sanitation

Dec 27, 1927 – Feb 23, 1929
Henry L. Stimson
Cessation of the “period of acrimonious deadlock” brought by the preceded Governor-General’s term.
July 8, 1929 – Jan 9, 1932
Dwight F. Davis

Feb 29, 1932 – July 15, 1933
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
Hare-Hawes-Cutting: 1st US Law passed for the decolonization of the Philippines. It was the result of the Os-Rox Mission.But it was rejected by the Philippine Senate by the intervention of Quezon. 
July 15, 1933 – Nov 15, 1935
Frank Murphy
Tydings – McDuffie Law: provided the establishment of Commonwealth Government for a 10-year transitional period before granting the Philippine Independence by 1946.

SUPPRESSED NATIONALISM                                                   EMERGENCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES
* Sedition Law of 1902                                                   * Partido Independista (Pedro A. Paterno)         
* Brigandage Act                                                               * Partido Nacionalista (Pascual H. Poblete)
* Reconcentration Act                                                     * Partido Democrata
* Flag Law of 1907                                                            * Phil. Assembly (July 30, 1907):
                                                                                         * Partido Nacional Progresista (Pro-American)
                                                                                               * PartidoNacionalista


                          Americans colonized the Philippines differently from the Spaniards. The Filipinos cooperated with the Americans because they were treated well as compared to the former colonizer. During the American era, the rights of each Filipino were protected. The Filipinos were given opportunities to obtain education and proper training to govern their country. Most of all, the United States was the only colonial power who allowed the people to share power in the colonial government. This caused good relation between United States and the Philippines even up to now.

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