Camperspoint Philippines

The American Occupation

Wednesday 11 August 2004, by catseye

With the assurance of the Americans’ promise to free the country, General Aguinaldo, a municipal mayor and the commander of the Philippine forces, declared the Philippine independence on June 12, 1898. He confirmed the establishment of Philippine Republic on January 23, 1899 with himself as president.

The Spanish rule in the islands ended when Spain and the United States signed the treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. It was an agreement between the two countries to pass the possession of the Philippines to the United States in exchange of $20 million. Not being able to consult the Filipinos, this arrogant settlement resulted to a new resistance and battle for freedom.

By the time the treaty of Paris was ratified, conflict between Filipino forces and Americans had broken out due to strong resistance of the Filipinos against the US sovereignty over the islands and the uncertain grant of independence. Aguinaldo led the revolutionary movement and fought the Americans for two years. His capture in March 1901 ended the resistance and gave the US a clear course on setting out their colonial establishment in the country. William Howard Taft was the one chosen to handle the position of presidency and at the same time as chief justice.

The invasion of the Americans moved the Filipinos to a more unfamiliar authority. English was chosen to be the official language of instruction in businesses and schools, the economy flourished and the country’s economy begun relying on the US. Under the supremacy of Governor Taft, systems were regulated in most districts. New government organizations were established along with the general establishments of schools and other related institutions. Construction of roads, highways, and ports were prioritized to consolidate more business all over the country.

Despite the growth of industrialization, the Filipinos never gave up their desire for independence. In early 1900’s Filipinos were given the opportunity to participate in politics. This gave them the chance to hold positions in the government and express themselves more liberally. It was during the proclamation of Manuel L. Quezon in 1935 as the president of the Philippine Commonwealth under the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934 that assured the Filipinos of freedom and self reliance. This act however, didn’t fully grant the country of complete autonomy. The US, under what they called the transition period, retained power on national defense and foreign affairs before granting the Philippines its absolute independence. This transition period took ten years more.

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