The Spooner Amendment Senator John Spooner sponsored a bill giving the President of the United States power

to govern and substituting the U.S. military government in the Philippines with a civil one. However, Democrats intensely attacked the bill as they were determined to curb the powers of the Philippine Commission and reserve for Congress the right to grant franchises and sell lands in the Philippines. Accordingly, the Spooner bill was rejected. Nevertheless, Congress repackaged it as an amendment to the Army Appropriation Act of 1901. The passage of the said act was assured because of the notion that no lawmaker would ever deny the funds for the army in times of war. This amendment provided: All military, civil, and judicial powers necessary to govern the Philippine Islands acquired from Spain by the treaties concluded at Paris on Dec.10, 1989 and at the Washington on November 7, 1900 shall, unless otherwise provided by Congress, be vested in such manner as the President of the United States direct, for the establishment of civil government, and for maintaining and protecting the inhabitants of the said Islands in free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion. The passage of the Spooner amendment was a major breakthrough in the development of U.S. Philippine policy because it conferred the power to the President to govern the Philippines by authority of Congress and not by his wartime authority as Commander in Chief. The Spooner Amendment authorized Pres. William McKinley to supplant military rule with civilian government. As a result, a civil government was established in the Philippines and inaugurated on July 4, 1901, with William H. Taft as the first Civil Governor.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful