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The Philippines during

the American Period

Prepared by:
Marilyn B. Balabag
American Colonization of the
The Spanish-American war which started
in Cuba, changed the history of the
Philippines. On May 1, 1898, the
Americans led by U.S.Navy Admiral
George Dewey, in participation of Emilio
Aguinaldo, attacked the Spanish Navy in
Manila Bay. Faced with defeat, the
Philippines was ceded to the United
States by Spain in 1898 after a payment
of US$ 20 million to Spain in accordance
with the "Treaty of Paris" ending the
Spanish-American War.
On June 12, 1898, Filipinos led by
Emilio Aguinaldo declared
independence. This declaration was
opposed by the U.S. who had plans of
taking over the colony. And this led to a
guerrilla war against the Americans.
The Philippine-American War
(1898 - 1946)
Hostilities broke out on February 4,
1899, after two American privates
on patrol killed three Filipino soldiers in
San Juan, a Manila suburb.This
incident sparked the Philippine-
American War, which would cost far
more money and took far more lives
than the Spanish–American War.
Some 126,000 American soldiers
would be committed to the conflict;
4,234 Americans died, as did 16,000
Filipino soldiers who were part of a
nationwide guerrilla movement of
indeterminate numbers. At least 34,000
Filipinos lost their lives as a direct result
of the war, and as many as 200,000
may have died as a result of the cholera
epidemic at the war's end. Atrocities
were committed by both sides.
Aguinaldo dissolved the regular army in
November 1899 and ordered the
establishment of decentralized guerrilla
commands in each of several military

The revolution was effectively ended with the

capture (1901) of Aguinaldo by Gen.
Frederick Funston at Palanan, Isabela on
March 23, 1901 and was brought to Manila.
Free trade, established by an act of 1909, was
expanded in 1913. Influenced of the
uselessness of further resistance, he swore
allegiance to the United States and issued a
proclamation calling on his compatriots to lay
down their arms, officially bringing an end to
the war. However, sporadic insurgent
resistance continued in various parts of the
Philippines, especially in the Muslim south,
until 1913.
U.S. colony

Civil government was established by the

Americans in 1901, with William Howard Taft as
the first American Governor-General of the
Philippines. English was declared the official
language. Six hundred American teachers were
imported aboard the USS Thomas. Also, the
Catholic Church was disestablished, and a
substantial amount of church land was purchased
and redistributed. Some measures of Filipino self-
rule were allowed, however. An elected Filipino
legislature was established in 1907.
Consequences of the American
colonial rule
During the Spanish period the Spaniards had given
enormous land properties to the Catholic church.
One of the first things the Americans did was to take
care for the redistribution of these land properties. To
do so they first had to pay an amount of US $7.2
million to the Vatican in 1904. The small farmers or
tenants didn't get any land however. The land
became property of some large landowners. Most of
the small farmers couldn't pay the asked price or
couldn't prove that they were the former owners of the
William Howard Taft addressing the
audience at the Philippine Assembly.
The Road Towards Philippine
1. Jones Law- the law was approved
by President Woodrow Wilson after
it was proposed by William Atkinson
Jones, an American congressman.
The law stated the right of the Filipinos
to attain freedom in the near future.
2. Tydings-McDuffie Act-This law was
proposed by Millard Tydings and
congressman John McDuffie of the US.
It stated the 10-year preparation for the
Philippine independence through a
commonwealth government.
In 1916, the Philippine Autonomy Act, widely known
as the Jones Law, was passed by the U.S.
Congress. The law which served as the new organic
act (or constitution) for the Philippines, stated in its
preamble that the ultimate independence of the
Philippines would be American policy, subject to the
establishment of a stable government. The law
placed executive power in the Governor General of
the Philippines, appointed by the President of the
United States, but established a bicameral
Philippine Legislature to replace the
elected Philippine Assembly (lower house)
and appointive Philippine Commission (upper
house) previously in place. The Filipino
House of Representatives would be purely
elected, while the new Philippine Senate
would have the majority of its members
elected by senatorial district with senators
representing non-Christian areas appointed
by the Governor-General.
In 1934, the United States Congress, having
originally passed the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act
as a Philippine Independence Act over
President Hoover's refusal, only to have the
law rejected by the Philippine legislature,
finally passed a new Philippine Independence
Act, popularly known as the Tydings-McDuffie
Act. The law provided for the granting of
Philippine independence by 1946.
The Commonwealth Government

The Hare-Hawes Cutting Act,

passed by Congress in 1932,
provided for complete
independence of the islands in 1945
after 10 years of self-government
under U.S. supervision. The bill had
been drawn up with the aid of a
commission from the Philippines,
but Manuel L. Quezon, the leader of
the leading Nationalist party, opposed it,
partially because of its threat of
American tariffs against Philippine products
but principally because of the provisions
leaving naval bases in U.S. hands. Under his
influence, the Philippine legislature rejected
the bill. The Tydings-McDuffie
Independence Act (1934) closely looks like
the Hare-Hawes Cutting Act, but struck the
provisions for American bases and carried a
promise of further study to correct
“imperfections or inequalities.”
On May 14, 1935, an election to fill the newly
created office of President of the Commonwealth
of the Philippines was won by Manuel L. Quezon
(Nacionalista Party) and a Filipino government was
formed on the basis of principles apparently similar
to the US Constitution. When Quezon was
inaugurated on Nov. 15, 1935, the Commonwealth
was formally established in 1935, featured a very
strong executive, a unicameral National Assembly,
and a Supreme Court composed entirely of
Filipinos for the first time since 1901.
Manuel Luis Quezon
With Pres. Roosevelt
Babtism of Aurora
The new government embarked on an
ambitious agenda of establishing the basis for
national defense, greater control over the
economy, reforms in education, improvement
of transport, the colonization of the island of
Mindanao, and the promotion of local capital
and industrialization. The Commonwealth
however, was also faced with agrarian unrest,
an uncertain diplomatic and military situation
in South East Asia, and uncertainty about the
level of United States commitment to the
future Republic of the Philippines.
1898 political cartoon showing U.S. President McKinley
with a native child. Here, returning the Philippines to
Spain is compared to throwing the child off a cliff.
Changes in Philippine Culture
during the American Period

Democracy was the greatest
legacy the Americans gave us.
The government has three
branches: executive (president),
legislative (senate and congress)
and the judiciary (department of
Schools were built all over the
country and making English as a
medium of instructions.
The first teachers were called
Thomasites because they came on
board the SS Thomas.
The University of the Philippines,
Philippine Normal College and other
agricultural schools were
Changes in Philippine Culture
during the American Period
Protestantism was introduced.
In 1918, more or less than 300,00
Filipinos became protestant.
The church an the state (government)
were separated. Freedom of religion was
Changes in Philippine Culture
during the American Period
Transportation and Communication was
Americans built roads, streets and bridges
for efficient movement of products and
Burnham Park, Kennon Road, Camp John
Hay etc.
Changes in Philippine Culture
during the American Period
Entertainment- Music and dance
Hollywood movies became popular in
the country. New kinds of music and
dance were introduced like rock n roll,
boogie, jazz, tango, chacha, polka, and
Filipinos learned to watch and play
games like table tennis, basketball,
volleyball, boxing, and football.
The Filipinos learned the value of
cleanliness and healthy practices.
They were taught proper hygiene
to make them healthy and be free
from contagious diseases.
Hospitals, clinics, and health
centers were built. Public hospitals
for leper victims were also

Health and Sanitation

Changes in Philippine Culture
during the American Period

Mode of Dressing was changed.

 The women learned to wear
dresses, high-heeled shoes and
hand bags. While the men wore
suits, polo shirts, ties and jeans.
Changes in Philippine Culture
during the American Period

Food like ice cream, cakes, beef steak,

hotdog, hamburgers, sandwiches, cookies,
and donuts were introduced.
American architecture are still present
today. Up, PNU, Manila Hotel and PGH are
some examples.
Boulevards, zone districts, streets, centers
of leisure were also built.
Changes in Philippine Culture
during the American Period

The Philippine economy was also
improved due to increase agricultural
production and development of new
Changes in Philippine Culture
during the American Period
The Filiino attitude was gradually
changed. We learned to be frank,
humorous, belief in rights and freedom,
and love for sports.
“Pagmamano” was replaced by kissing the
cheeks of parents and elders as a sign of
 The English language was widely
taught all over the country. Soon,
some english words became part of
our vocabulary. Filipinos adopted
American names like Charlie, Anna,
Francis, and Cherry.
The Negative Impact of the
American Colonization
1. Americanization of the Filipinos- buying of
imported products instead of local ones.
2. Colonial mentality- Filipinos lost self-
confidence and believed that Filipinos
could not compete with the products of
other countries. As a result, Filipino
culture was neglected.
3. Filipino values like “pagmamano” was
replaced by saying hi or hello.
4. Filipino food like bibingka and suman
were replaced by American food like
hotdog and French fries.
Quezon, the first Philippine

The Philippines was controlled by the

Americans from 1900-1942. In 1934
an act was established, which made it
possible that the Philippines could
have a
"Commonwealth of the Philippines".
The first president of this
Commonwealth was Manuel
Quezon. The first president was
given certain power for some internal
The son of Confederate Quartermaster General Abraham C. Myers, J.T.
Myers (known as "Jack" or jokingly, "Handsome Jack," to his friends) was
born on January 29, 1871, in Wiesbaden, Germany. He graduated from
the United States Naval Academy in 1892 and was appointed an
Assistant Engineer two years later. In March 1895 he was commissioned
a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marines Corps. The city of Fort
Myers, Florida was originally named for J.T. Myers' Grandfather.
James Robert Beveridge
Laura Bullivant aka
Laura Lee aka Laurette
Bullivant had a
successful stage career
and married the actor
Dwight Frye, who is best
known for his roles in the
1931 horror movies,
Dracula (Renfield) and
Frankenstein (Fritz).
Camp John Hay 1901
Kennon Road 1910
Kenno Road at present
Teachers’ Camp 1910
1st tv
First Movie Ever Shot (U.S.A.) - Monkeyshines
No. 1 (1889 or 1890)
First Home Movie Ever Made - Roundhay Garden
Scene (1888)

Early movie history is surrounded in the mists of time,

as different competitors developed movie technology
simultaneously. However, the Roundhay Garden Scene
is thought to be the oldest surviving film on record.

The Roundhay Garden Scene was directed by the

French inventor, Louis Le Prince and features some
members of Le Prince's family playfully walking around
a garden. The film lasts about two seconds.