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America’s Colonial Rule in the Philippines

Honors History 10 unit project

Emily N.

on 19 June 2013

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Transcript of America’s Colonial Rule in the Philippines

America's Colonial Rule in the Philippines
By Fallon Tierney and Emily Narahara

The Manila Opera House: 1907,
The first Philippine Assembly.
USA President McKinley
“America’s Colonial Rule in the Philippines,” by Vince Boudreau, focuses on America’s imperialist rule in the Philippines during 1898–1946. The article covers major issues and events inside of and surrounding the American era of colonial Philippines, including comparisons to both the previous Spanish rule and foreign colonization over other nearby countries. Moreover, Boudreau expands on how America’s colonial rule in the Philippines impacted the archipelago’s government, culture, education, and economy. Although the changes that America brought to the islands were mostly positive, they came with an abundance of negative repercussions, including multiple rebellions and American hypocrisy.
When America colonized the the Philippines, they planned on eventually making the Philippines an independent nation. America was not after colonization, and did not want to annex the country, although President McKinley did mull over the idea of it. The ‘Filipinization’ process, as it was known as, begann in 1901, when America began to turn power back over to the Filipinos in small doses. in 1907, an elected legislative assembly was was made, which turned into a bicameral legislature not dissimilar to America’s with the Jones Act. This act was important because it was a formal promise to the Philippine nation from America of eventual independence. More changes included commonwealth status in 1935, and the replacement of the American governor with a Filipino president.
When the United States started making cultural changes in the Philippines, many Filipinos did not like it, and these rebellions resulted in the Philippine-American War. This war lasted from February 4, 1899 to July 4, 1902. The opposition to war in the United States sparked the founding of the Anti-Imperialist League, on June 15th, 1898. As you can see, there was not only tension in the Philippines but also the United States for those who were anti-imperialists and did not believe that what the American government was doing to impact the Philippines was appropriate.
American’s positive impact included educating Filipinos. Although Americans westernized Filipinos, they were able to teach them English and how to run a strong economic system. How The reading states, “the educational system that prepared Filipino bureaucrats for their new responsibilities constitutes one of the most important elements of the American System.” You can clearly see how the United States implemented education in the Philippines to try to make the Philippines a more westernized country. However,some anti-imperialists saw that the Americans educating the Filipinos and teaching them English would only benefit America. Saying, that it would make the United States a world power, and would benefit the trading industry, by trading with the Philippines.
William McKinley (1843-1901): McKinley, a republican and the President of the United States from 1897-1901, was the president in office when America declared war on Spain. After the war, McKinley had to decide what to do with the Philippines; he choose to make it a territory of the United states instead of annexing it. McKinley was the driving force behind many changes made in the Philippines, including the Anglicization of the ‘Filipinos’ and the ‘Filipinization’ process. His decision to not annex the Philippines was a crucial step towards Philippine independence.
General Emilio Aguinaldo, 1900
Aguinaldo (1869-1964) was a nationalist leader for Philippine independence. He fought against the Spanish in the war of 1898, during which the Philippines declared first independence, and then Aguinaldo as their president. Later, in 1901, he led Philippine troops against the United States, utilizing Guerrilla warfare tactics. He was captured the same year, forcing him to swear his allegiance to the United States, although he continued to organize Filipino resistance for several more years.
Manuel Luis Quezón
y Molina
Manuel (1878-1944) was the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944, and is considered to be the second president of the Philippines. He was appointed to a nonvoting representative to the United States Congress in 1909, where he made governmental reforms to the Philippines, including helping to pass the Jones Act in 1916. While in office, Manuel sought to oust government corruption, developed Mindinao Island, and established central control over the military. Unlike Aguinaldo, he kept a positive relations with the United States, even operating an exiled government from there in 1942 when Japan occupied the Philippines.
This is an image in front of the Manila Opera House, which was the site of the first Philippine Assembly in 1907. Here you can see Filipinos gathered in front of the Opera House. This picture was taken during the American- Philippine War. Filipinos were rebelling against the imperialist rule of the Americans, even though some thought the Americans were trying to better the Philippines.
Thomasites and American Educational Reforms
Americans aggressively pursued non-vernacular education in the Philippines, sending over about 600 American teachers known as Thomasites. The goal for Americans was to prepare the Filipino bureaucrats for self rule, and to provide a means for upward mobility for the lower classes. Pictured here is a typical Filipino class, taught by a Thomasite. The students are learning English in an American-style classroom, and most appear to be dressed in more of a western style clothing.
American- Philippine War
This is an picture taken during the American- Philippine War. It show American troops hiding behind a barrack before an ambush. The Americans were fighting to make the United States a World Power. However, some Americans believed they were making the Philippines better. Anti-imperialists were completely against the Americans working in the Philippines and changing their ways. Many American citizens also believe that the work the United States is doing in the Philippines was self -centered trying to make the United States a world power.
This is a picture of President Manuel Quezon and General Douglas MacArthur. President Manuel Quezon was president between 1878-1944 and is considered the second president of the Philippines. Against the imperialist rule of the Americans. General Douglas MacArthur was an American general and a military advisor to the commonwealth government of the Philippines. These two men played a tremendous role in the American - Philippine War.
Philippine President Manuel Quezon
and General Douglas MacArthur, ca. 1940
The westernization of the Philippines drastically changed their economy. American colonization changed the local Philippine market into a capitalist one, and made the country reliant upon America. This was because in 1901, a flood of American opportunists like entrepreneurs, bankers and lawyers, came into Manila. It was these Americans that took over the effort to meet Western demands for tropical products like sugar and hemp. This market had expanded enormously over the recent years. American colonization also opened a global trade market to the Philippines, as the Spanish had tightly controlled all of its exports during Spain’s reign. These two new factors in the Philippines created a rift between the new aristocratic landed provincial elite and the lower classes. The landed provincial elite, inspired by the American businessmen that flooded into the country, had begun to see the opportunities of a newly possible global economy. The elites leveraged these and other capitalist opportunities, but were unwilling to share power with lower classes. Combined with their new political power, a new, strong, elite class emerged in the Philippines.
Expanding and Suppressing a Nation
American ship in the distance,
shore of Manila

This image is shows American ships in the Manila Bay in 1898. These are army ships ready to invade the Philippines and take control of their lifestyle. The Americans wanted to transform the Philippines’ lifestyle into a more westernized lifestyle. By colonizing in the Philippines the United States would appear to be a world power, which many anti-imperialists believed to be harsh and cruel to the Filipinos.
Harper’s Weekly news ad showing different states coming to join the United States Infantry Regiment
This is a Harper’s Weekly advertisement showing an American ship. It explains how different infantry volunteers from different States were heading to Manila to help the United States Infantry Regiment. These ships were arriving and on their way around June 11, 1898. Some of the States that were involved included Colorado, Nebraska, California, and many others
Juan Cailles
Juan Cailles was appointed governor of Laguna in July 1902. During his term, an agrian revolt known as the Sakdal uprising occured on May 2, 1935. Lasting only a day before it was supressed, the revolt was a protest by the Natcionalista and United States against large landowners. It was also against the popular vote that would make the Philippines a commonwealth and delay independence for ten years.


Vince Boudreau, “America’s Colonial rule in the Philippines,” in America Compared: American History in International Perspective, 1991


1900. General Emilio Aguinaldo, 1900. http://search.library.wisc.edu/items/ULYOXPUWTB24B83. Accessed 11 June 2013.

1907.William Mckinley. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William_Mckinley.png. Accessed 12 June 2013

Education as a Colonial Tool. http://philippines1900.tumblr.com/post/264595846/education-as-a-colonial-tool. Accessed 11 June 2013.

Harper's Weekly, June 11, 1898.Steamships: City of Sidney, Australia, and City of Peking. http://philippineamericanwar.webs.com/usinfantrytomanila.htm. Accessed 18 June 2013.

Hayden, Joseph Ralston, 1940. Philippine President Manuel Quezon and General Douglas MacArthur. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rwit/resources/Citing-Images.pdf. Accessed 12 June 2013.

Malcolm, George A,1907. Manila Opera House. http://bentley.umich.edu/research/guides/philippines/philint.php. Accessed 12 June 2013.

Manuel L. Quezón. http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/109592. Accessed 11 June 2013.

U.S. Marines in Combat During the Philippine-American War (1899-1902). http://www.historyguy.com/PhilipineAmericanwar.html#.UcBXCtgueSp. Accessed 12 June 2013.

http://philippineamericanwar.webs.com/usinfantrytomanila.htm. Accessed June 18, 2013.
Juan Cailles.http://philippineamericanwar.webs.com/collapse1901.htm. Accessed 17 June 2013.
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