American Colonial Rule:
Policy and governance
• The United States intended to occupy the
Philippines with the least violence and
govern the country with much regard for
the interest and welfare of the Filipinos.
• Their plan was to set up civil government
The Military Rule
• President McKinley ordered the military
commander, General Wesley Merritt to
establish a military government in the
Philippines with Merritt as the first military
• Merritt was succeeded by General Elwell
Otis as military governor.
• Otis remained in his post up to May 1900,
and was succeeded by Arthur McArthur
who governed until May 1901.
American Policy in the Philippines
• Dr. Jacob Gould Schurman, President of
Cornell University in New York,
• The Schurman Commission – arrived in
Manila in March 1899.
• Commission issued the following
recommendations to implement American
• 1. The enforcement of American
sovereignty over the entire Philippines.
• 2. Training for self-government of the
Filipinos compatible with maintenance of
order and with a wise, just, and
economical administration of public affairs.
• 3. Protection of the civil rights of the
• 4. The promotion of the welfare of the
The Taft Commission
• McKinley appointed a second commission,
known as the Taft Commission. It’s chairman
was William Howard Taft.
• Free primary education was to be introduced
by the Commission in the Philippines and that
the English language should be used as the
medium of instruction.
• The Taft Commission may be described as
an organizing commission. It did not leave
the Philippines but stayed on to organized the
• To those not familiar with
reconcentration tactics it should be
explained that reconcentration means this:
You notify, by proclamation and otherwise,
all persons within an area that on and after
The Civil Government
• On July 4, 1901, the civil government was
inaugurated with William Howard taft as
the first civil governor.
• Resistance to Taft’s Policy
• Reconcentration Act which provided for
the zoning of the inhabitants of a town
known to have “thieves” and “outlaws”.
• James Blount mentioned:
Banishment of the Patriots
• Filipinos like Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera,
Benito Legarda, Felipe Buencamino,
Cayetano Arellano, and others were telling
the Schurman Commission that the Filipinos
were not prepared for self-government.
• Mabini wrote articles attacking the
• Americans decided to banish Filipino leaders
who refused to collaborate with them.
• They exiled some patriots to Guam like
Mabini, Artemio Ricarte, Maximo Hizon,
Julian Gerona, Pablo Ocampo, Melchora
Aquino, and many others.
• The Sedition Law passed in 1901 provided
that any Filipino advocating independence
or separation from the United States would
be punished severely by death or
• The Brigandage Act was passed providing
for severe penalty to those found in the
company, or were members, of armed
groups who were stealing carabaos, which
were in great shortage due to rinderpest.
• Congress listened to his appeal and
appropiated P6,000,000 to help Filipinos
to start a new life. Taft succeeded in
purchasing 410,000 acres of the friar lands
hired to cultivate these lands.
• Gov.Taft is remembered for his principle,
“the Philippines for Filipinos”
The Philippine Bill of 1902
• U.S Congress passed a law known as
Cooper Law. This law approved all the acts of
the Presidents of the United States relative to
• It also provided for a bill of rights which
guaranteed Filipinos the right of free
speeech, free press, and freedom to petition
for the redress of grievances.
• Cooper Act was the establishment of a
Philippine Assembly to be run by Filipinos two
years after peace and order had been
proclaimed throughout the Philippines by the
President of the United States.
The Census of 1903
• March 2. 1903 was declared as Census
Day. The first scientific census ever to be
taken in the Philippines.
• In 1950, the results of the census taking
were published in four volumes. It showed
that the population of the Philippines as
March 2, 1903 was 7,635,426.
• Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera founded the
Federal Party whose platform was based
on the annexation of the Philippines as
one of the states of United States of
• He founded first Nacionalista Party (1901)
the Liberal Party (1902) the first
Democrata Party (1902) and others.
• The Lawmaking body of the Philippines
was divided into two: the Upper House
composed mostly of Americans, and the
Lower House or the Assembly, composed
of exclusively of Filipinos.
The Election of 1907
• In accordance with the Cooper Act or the
Philippine Bill of 1902, the Filipinos could
elect delegates to the Philippine Assembly
two years after peace and order had been
proclaimed in the country.
• In the election of July 30, 1907, the people
give their verdict: they were in favor of
immediate independence. Nacionalista
Party which won fifty-nine seats. The
Progresista won only sixteen seats, while
Independents won five seats.
The First Philippine Assembly
• The Philippine Assembly which was to
become the Lower House of the
Legislative body of the country, and the
Philippine Commission being the Upper
House, was inaugurated in the Old Opera
House at Rizal Ave. on Oct.16,1907
• The assembly elected its officers where
Sergio Osmena was elected speaker while
Manuel L. Quezon was elected Majority
The Work of the Assembly
• The Assembly outlined activities based on the
• 1. Cooperating with the United States on the
basis of mutual respect;
• 2. Making the Assembly an instrument in
achieving the autonomy of the Philippines;
• 3. Passing of laws intended to hasten the
economic, social, and political development
of the people;
• 4. Substituting the oppressive policy of the
past with the progessive policies.
• This program was inaugurated in 1903,
sent Filipino students to the students to
the United States for higher education as
• After 4 yrs, they returned in the Phils as
teachers, lawyers, engineers, and mostly
civil servants in the bureaucracy.
• They were also the most qualified persons
to hold government positions from among
the Filipno upper class families.
The Resident Commissioners
• The first resident commissioners were Pablo
Ocampo (1907-1909) and Benito Legarda
• Manuel L. Quezon was elected resident
commissioner in 1909 to replace Ocampo. In
1912, Manuel Earnshaw to replace Legarda.
• The other resident commissioners were
Teodoro R. Yangco (1917-1920), Jaime C. de
Veyra (1917-1923), Isauro Gabaldon (1920-
1928), Pedro Guevarra (1923-1935), Camilo
Osias (1929-1934), and Francisco Delgado
(1934-1935). These commissioners worked
for laws that were beneficial for the
The Public School System
• In 1901, the Department of Public
Instruction was established. At the same
time, normal schools and schools of arts
and trade were also established.
• American teachers called “Thomasites”
and teach Filipino children the English
The Position of Women
• Under the Americans, women were allowed to
enroll in colleges and universities established by
• Thus, women studied to become teachers,
pharmacists, dentists, lawyers, physicians, and
• Their liberation from the drudgery of household
work gave them the opportunity not to only to help
their husbands, but also to contribute their
expertise and knowledge to benefit their families
• Women would also be granted the right to vote
and run for public office by 1935.