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Camille Lopez


If Spain baptized most of the country into Christianity, one of the main influences
of the American colonial regime is the development of Philippine government. Through
the influence of the American colonial regime, the Philippines was able to stabilize its
governments foundation. The Philippine Constitution was patterned to that of the United
States, which emphasizes on the sense of constitutionalism. This is defined as that
written instrument by which the fundamental powers of the government is established,
limited and defined and by which these powers are distributed among the several
departments or branches for their safe and useful exercise for the benefit of the people
(Muoz, et. al., 2002).
In relation to government, the United States also strengthened the democracy in
the country. Abueva cites Cohen with his definition of democracy as that system of
community government in which, by and large, the members of the community
participate, directly or indirectly, in the making of decisions which affect them all. (1976)
During the American rule, the citizens were given the right to create their own
government led by their own people. There were several organic acts wherein the rights
of the Filipinos to have their government under their own authority were stated such as
the Philippines Independence Act or Tydings-McDuffie Law.
Lastly, the American colonial regime left the Philippines with a higher level of
education. Prior to the American colonial regime, the Filipinos were only given informal
education, which was mostly under the governance of the church. Schools were
provided for Spanish children and a very small number of the Indios (the Spanish term
for the natives). (Hunt, 1988) The education during the Spanish period was very
limited. However, this all changed during the American period. Former President William
McKinley appointed a Philippine Commission in charge of the improvement of
education. He states that primary should be regarded as a priority and the system or
primary education shall be free to all. (Hunt 1988) Seeing the lack of teachers in the
country, The first large number of teachers to arrive aboard a ship, the Thomas
known as the Thomasitescame from all over the United States (McFerson, 2002).

Hunt, Chester L. 1988. Education and Economic Development in the Early American Period in the
Philippines. Philippines Studies 36: 352-364
McFerson, H. M. (2002). Mixed blessing: The impact of the American colonial experience on politics and
society in the Philippines. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Abueva, J. V. (1976). Filipino democracy and the American legacy. Philadelphia: American Academy of
Political and Social Science.
Muoz, M. R., & Muoz, D. G. (2002). Philippine governance and constitution. Quezon City: Katha Pub.