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Course Code: HISS001 Philippine History

Topic: AMERICAN OCCUPATION OF THE PHILIPPINES


Sub-Topic:
Teacher: Carmel T. Tresvalles-Padilla
Consultation: TTh 10:30-12:00a.m.; FSA 10:30-12:00, 3:00-4:30pm
Consultation Venue: Social Science Office or College Faculty Room
E-mail address: carmel_padilla@yahoo.com ; padilla.carmel@gmail.com

American Policy: Democratization of the Filipino People
The Philippines are ours not to exploit, but to develop, to civilize, to educate, to train in the science of
self-government.
US President McKinley
Message to the US Congress

But there were other objectives in colonizing the country:
To pursue a manifest destiny for America as a world power.
To use the Philippines as source for raw materials for US industries.
Market for US manufactured products.
Military and Naval base.
Refueling port for American ships servicing their interests in China.
Military Government (1898-1901)
A military government was established under General Wesley Meritt as first Military Governor on
August 14, 1898 whose powers flow from the President as the Commander-in-chief of the US Armed
Forces during the period of active warfare. The following are the Military Governors of the Philippines:
Gen. Wesley Meritt
Gen. Elwell S. Otis
Gen. Arthur MacArthur
This government pacified the country and laid the foundations for the establishment of a civil
government. It introduced the American school system with soldiers as teachers, organized civil courts
including the Supreme Court with Cayetano Arellano as first chief justice, local governments were
established, and the first election under American flag.

The Schurman Commission (1899)
This is also known as the First Philippine Commission appointed by President McKinley on January 20,
1899 headed by Dr. Jacob G. Schurrman, President of Cornell University, to make a survey of Philippine
conditions for the achievement of the peaceful extension of American sovereignty to the Philippines.
Due to the war it wasnt able to finish its objective and returned to the US on January 31, 1900 with the
following recommendations:
Establishment of a territorial government with two legislatures: upper house as half appointive
and half elective and a lower house as elective.
Withdrawal of Military rule in pacified areas.
Conservation of natural resources for the Filipinos.
Establishment of autonomous local government.
Opening of free elementary schools.
The appointment of highly capable men for office.
The Taft Commission (1900)
This is also known as the Second Philippine Commission appointed by McKinley on March 16, 1900
headed by Judge William H. Taft to initiate a civil government in war-ravaged Philippines. It issued the
basic democratic principles of the American Policy called the Magna Carta of the Philippines. It
reminded the commission that the government to be established in the Philippines
is not designed for our satisfaction or for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the
happiness, peace and prosperity of the people of the Philippines.
It is more successful than the first Commission. Its first law is the appropriation of PhP 2,000,000.00 for
the construction and repair of roads and bridges and it enacted a total of 499 laws.
Peace or Resistance?
Filipino leaders were divided as regards resistance or peace. Dr. T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Cayetano
Arellano, Felipe Buencamino, Dr. Pedro A. Paterno, and Florentino Torres established the Federal Party,
the first political party in the Philippines, and worked with the Taft Commission for the establishment of
peace and renewal of collaboration with the Americans. Apolinario Mabini, Artemio Ricarte, Gen.
Maximo Hizon, Gen. Pio del Pilar, and Pablo Ocampo headed the resistance despite defeat and were
exiled to Guam.
Spooner Amendment
Senator John C. Spooner sponsored the amendment for the establishment of a civil government in the
Philippines which was still under the authority of the President of the US through his military powers.
The amendment transferred the authority over the Philippines from the President to the Congress. This
marked the beginning of the civil regime in the Philippines.
On July 4, 1901, the Civil Government was inaugurated in Manila making William H. Taft as the Civil
Governor transferring to him the powers of the Military Governor. The title Civil Governor was changed
later to Governor General on February 6, 1903. The civil government exercised jurisdiction over the
pacified areas while military rule continued to unpacified regions until 1902 and in the Moro land until
1914. The Commission became the legislative body.
Unlike the Spaniards, the Americans opened the government to Filipinos and shared power. The local
government was completely under the rule of able and elected Filipinos. Cayetano Arellano pioneered
the Chief Justice position, Pardo de Tavera, Benito Legarda, Jose Luzuriaga, and Rafael Palma became
members of the Commission. Gregorio Araneta became the first Filipino to hold executive office as
Secretary of Finance and Justice. Further appointments were made for civil services.
Taft Administration
Taft dealt with the remaining revolutionaries and the economic problems of his administration.
Joblessness, epidemics, drought, etc were among his many problems. The US Congress voted in 1903 a
relief fund of $3,000,000.00 (P6,000,000.00) to aid the economic suffering of the Filipinos. He went to
the US to work for the passing of the Philippine Bill of 1902 and the Purchase of Friar lands. He visited
Pope Leo XIII about the purchasing of the Friar Lands to settle the agrarian unrest and purchased the
lands on December 1903, a total of 423,000 acres for $7,237,000.00. He captured the confidence and
admiration of the Filipinos especially due to his policy, The Philippines for the Filipinos. He left back to
US to become the Secretary of War under President Roosevelt. The following were his successors:
Luke E. Wright (1904-06)
Henry C. Ide (1906)
James F. Smith (1906-09)
W. Cameron Forbes (1909-13)
The Philippine Bill of 1902
This is the first Congressional law of the US to the Philippines also known as the Cooper Act. It was
passed on July 1, 1902 with the following provisions:
Extension of the Bill of Rights to the Filipinos except trial by jury.
Appointment of two resident Filipino commissioners to Washington.
Establishment of elective Philippine Assembly.
Retention of the Philippine Commission as upper house and Philippine Assembly as lower house.
The conservation of the natural resources of the Philippines for the Filipinos.
The First Philippine Census
A year after the inauguration of the civil government and proclamation of total peace and cessation of
hostilities, the first official census of the Philippines under the Americans was declared on March 2,
1903. The Filipinos totaled to 7,635,426.
Suppressed Nationalism
The Filipinos, however, never stopped nationalistic ideals and circulated newspapers containing
Philippine Nationalism. The Americans issued the Sedition Law to suppress and censor Filipino Media.
Another is the Flag Law which banned the display of the Philippine Flag.
Earlier nationalist parties emerged but the Immediate Independence Party and the Nationalist Union are
among the most influential. In the 1907 elections, both parties unified to establish the Partido
Nacionalista (Nationalist Party) to combat the pro-American Federal Party now then called Partido
Nacional Progresista (National Progressive Party). Both clashed in the July 30, 1907 elections for 80
seats in the First Philippine Assembly.
The First Philippine Assembly
The Partido Nacionalista, bearing the slogan, immediate, absolute, and complete independence, won
by landslide majority electing 59 representatives against 16 of the Progresistas and 5 Independents. The
29 year old Governor of Cebu, Sergio Osmena, became Speaker of the Assembly, and his classmate,
Manuel L. Quezon as majority floor leader. The first Bill enacted by the Philippine Assembly is the
Gabaldon Law (Isauro Gabaldon) appropriatoing 1M pesos for the establishment of barrio schools.
In 1912, the Democratic Party came to power in America. Being more sympathetic to the Philippine
situation, the Philippine Commission assumed the majority of Filipino membership of five and four
Americans. Francis Burton Harrison became Governor and implemented the Filipinization of the
Government.
Filipino self-government was further intensified by the Jones Law passed by the US Congress on August
19, 1916 through Congressman William Atkinson Jones. Quezon was president of the Senate and
Osmena Speaker of the House. The Nacionalistas dominated both Houses of the Philippine Legislature.