The Philippines, 1898–1946

George Dewey/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_19_GeorgeDewey_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress On May 1, 1898, Commodore George Dewey led the U.S. Navy’s Asiatic Squadron to a decisive victory against the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. The following year, he was commissioned Admiral of the Navy.
The relative ease with which the United States dispatched the Spanish squadron in Manila Bay was only the beginning of what would become a nearly 50-year American presence in the Philippines. It was one thing to capture the islands, but another thing entirely to set up a working administration. The Philippines encompasses about 7,100 islands and sits nearly 8,600 miles away from Washington, DC. By the late 1890s, it had an estimated population of 8 million.63 Dewey’s victory had come so fast that few in the McKinley administration appeared to have given much thought to what came next.64

President McKinley’s strategy going into the conflict was to take as much of the Philippines as possible and then, during peace negotiations, to only “keep what we want.”65 From an administrative standpoint, McKinley envisioned the Philippines as an American protectorate or an American colony. Like many people on the mainland, he believed Filipinos were incapable of self-government and did not want another foreign power to take over the islands.66

The decision to keep the Philippines during the Treaty of Paris that the Senate approved in February 1899 set off an intense and emotional debate across the country and on Capitol Hill. Expansionists in Congress saw the decision to retain the islands as a continuation of America’s “manifest destiny” to spread its reach beyond the West Coast and into the Pacific. Anti-imperialists, on the other hand, believed that America, which itself had once been an overseas colony, had no right to take the islands as the spoils of war.67

Signing of the Treaty of Paris Lithograph/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_20_TreatyofParis_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress This Kurz & Allison lithograph depicts the December 10, 1898, signing of the Treaty of Paris, which set the terms that ended the Spanish-American War. Commissioners from the United States included Senator Cushman K. Davis of Minnesota, Secretary of State William R. Day, Senator William P. Frye of Maine, Senator George Gray of Delaware, and Ambassador Whitelaw Reid.
By the time the United States took control of the Manila government in 1899, the Philippines had been in a state of war for the better part of three years. In 1896, when the Spanish regime refused long-standing Filipino requests to reform the islands’ colonial government, the Philippines erupted into rebellion. Two years into that conflict the islands suddenly became a crucial theater in the War of 1898, as Spain’s empire receded and America’s expanded. Finally, in 1899, on the heels of the Treaty of Paris, as America’s occupying force attempted to install a new colonial regime in the Philippines, Filipinos fought back in a second war for independence, beginning what would become a three-year conflict over the right to self-government in the Philippines.68

The United States began planning to administer the archipelago in January 1899 when President McKinley established the Philippine commission to gather information about the islands’ “various populations,” their “legislative needs,” and to identify how best to maintain “order, peace and the public welfare.”69

First Philippine Commission/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_21_FirstPhilippineCommission_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress President William McKinley established the first Philippine commission in 1899. Four of the members of the commission, shown here from left to right, were Jacob Schurman, Admiral George Dewey, Charles Denby, and Dean Worcester.
The Philippine-American War erupted less than a month later. The conflict pitted pro-independence Filipinos, who believed Spain’s regime had simply been swapped for an American one, against the U.S. military that was based largely out of Manila. In response, the United States placed the Philippines under martial law until the fighting wound down in 1902.70

The multi-year conflict, which Filipinos saw as a continued fight for sovereignty but which Americans considered to be more of an insurrection, was bloody and devastating. What started as a more conventional struggle quickly gave way to a fierce guerrilla fight. According to one State Department estimate, 20,000 Filipino revolutionaries and 4,200 American troops died in combat while upward of 200,000 Filipino civilians starved to death, died of disease, or were killed in combat. Another estimate puts the total fatalities at nearly 300,000 Filipinos and 6,000 Americans. Reports of torture and other atrocities, especially late in the conflict, underscored the brutality of the war.71

By 1902, even as the Theodore Roosevelt administration declared victory in the archipelago, the conflict had left an indelible mark on the identity of the Philippines. If the idea of the Philippines as a sovereign nation had simmered just out of reach during the late 19th century, the collective experience fighting the Spanish and then the Americans inspired the islands to embrace a sense of nationhood, to celebrate their commonalities and shared beliefs, and to eventually adopt an identity that made them Filipinos first and foremost. “Though there was no Filipino nation in the conflict,” observed one recent history, “the Filipino nation could not have existed without the war.”72

Jacob Schurman/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_22_JacobSchurman_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress While serving as the third president of Cornell University, Jacob Schurman chaired the first Philippine commission in 1899. He later served as the United States’ top diplomat to Greece, Montenegro, China, and Germany.
Despite the ruthless conflict and the widespread support in the Philippines for independence, McKinley’s commission, headed by Cornell University president Jacob Schurman, went forward with its investigation and published its final report in four volumes in January 1900. It called on the United States to end martial law and revealed that Filipinos wanted their government to defend religious freedom, protect basic human rights, and guarantee home rule. But Schurman set the tone for future U.S. policy, concluding in no uncertain terms that the Filipinos would be unable to govern themselves in the short term. “No one,” the report said, “can foresee when the diverse peoples of the Philippine Islands may be molded together into a nationality capable of exercising all the functions of independent self-government.”73

Shortly after receiving Schurman’s report, McKinley appointed a second Philippine commission, headed by federal judge William H. Taft, to begin designing a civil government based on America’s model.74

During his research, Taft concluded, and overstated, that “the great majority of Filipinos” did not object to U.S. colonial rule in a general sense; they simply reserved their main “hostility” for America’s “Military Government.”75 Nevertheless, his commission report, issued in August 1900, was a scathing indictment of the population at large. Filipino people were described as being “ignorant, superstitious, and credulous in remarkable degree.” Taft laid out a plan to introduce government institutions, establish a civil service, and enact currency and tax programs. It also called for public works, capital investment, and educational reform. On the heels of its report, the commission assumed all legislative powers in the Philippines on September 1, 1900.76

With Taft’s report in hand, the McKinley administration pushed Congress to follow its recommendations and approve a civil government for the islands. Taft envisioned an insular architecture that included “a Governor General and a legislative body, consisting of the Commission and possibly one or two reliable Filipinos to act as a provisional legislature for eighteen months or two years” until a larger government could be installed. In March 1901, Congress passed and McKinley signed a measure introduced by Senator John C. Spooner of Wisconsin that largely put Taft’s recommendations into law.77

The transfer of power from the military to the temporary insular government in 1901 also marked the beginning of Filipino involvement in the Manila administration. Taft’s dim view of the Filipino people carried over to nearly every class on the islands, from rich to poor, but there were a handful of ilustrados—the wealthiest and most-educated members of the Filipino elite—who accepted positions in the new government. It was these men that first gave shape to what the historian Michael Cullinane has called “the Filipino-American collaborative empire.” “It was an empire,” Cullinane wrote, “that from the outset mediated—though not without frequent strain—between the objectives and expediencies of the American colonial rulers and those of the incumbent political power holders among the Filipino educated elites.”78

Among the “possibly one or two reliable Filipinos” Taft hoped to include on the commission was Benito Legarda, a wealthy businessman who six years later became one of the first two Resident Commissioners to represent the Philippines in Congress.79

William H. Taft/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_23_WHTaft_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress William H. Taft was a federal judge when President William McKinley chose him to lead the second Philippine commission in 1900. Taft later was appointed War Secretary, elected as the 27th President in 1908, and appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1921.
Legarda’s early involvement helps demonstrate the shifting foundation of this new “collaborative empire” in which “some Filipinos and Americans,” Cullinane observed, “reached an accommodation and eventual collaboration” that satisfied both the ilustrados’ ambitions and the United States’ commercial blueprint for the Philippines.80

Legarda was one of the first to adopt and help shape this mutual understanding.81 He had made a fortune in the tobacco and alcohol businesses under Spanish rule, and when the Philippines went to war with the Crown, he briefly advised the Philippines’ revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo. Legarda was by no means a revolutionary, but he did serve, again briefly, as the vice president of the Philippine congress in the town of Malolos.

But he was also an entrepreneur, and open warfare first with Spain and then with the United States made it difficult to run a business. When American officials set up the occupation government in Manila, Legarda, who maintained a home in the capital city, began working with the Taft commission to develop the Philippines’ new civil government.

Filipino Children Holding Flags/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_24_FilipinoChildrenUSFlags_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress This stereoview shows Filipino children, each holding a flag, as they gather for a Fourth of July celebration in Manila in 1900.
Taft hoped men like Legarda would be his gateway to every corner of the Philippines, and he worked to win over ilustrados sympathetic to America’s goals in the Philippines. He believed that courting men of such stature would help end the Philippine-American War and convince the rest of the population to cast their lot with the United States. This “policy of attraction,” the historian Peter Stanley observed, “transcended the interests of any particular group of ilustrados … it was a pursuit of the loyalty of the Filipino people by the only means available.”82

As it became increasingly apparent that the Philippine-American War was all but over, more and more ilustrados in Manila began to cooperate with Taft’s provisional government. By the end of 1900, enough Filipino elites had recognized U.S. authority that many joined together to form the Partido Federal (Federal Party). That Taft virtually quashed the creation of any rival political parties only added to the Federalistas’ influence, especially in areas where their party maintained an iron grip on the patronage system.83

U.S. Flag over Manila/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_25_ManilaUSFlags_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress This stereoview from around 1901 shows the U.S. flag raised over the walls of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Per the earlier Spooner bill, Taft became civil governor of the Philippines on July 4, 1901, and appointed Legarda and two other Filipinos to the commission in September. With its expanded roster, the commission looked to overhaul and Americanize virtually every segment of Filipino life, everything from the separation of church and state to education, currency, trade, and the islands’ infrastructure. Perhaps most importantly, the commission shouldered the responsibility of designing the Philippines’ governing structure going forward.84

The commission’s plan, which Congress approved mostly intact, concentrated much of the Philippines’ legislative and executive powers within the commission itself. Headed by a governor general, the commission would be evenly divided between four Americans and four Filipinos.85 The resulting legislation—the Philippine Organic Act of 1902—made the Philippines into an American protectorate as an “unorganized” territory. It created a popularly elected assembly to govern alongside the commission pending the results of a territorywide census. The legislation also provided the Philippines with two Resident Commissioners, one elected by the commission, the other elected by the assembly, each selection subject to the approval of the other chamber.86

Helen Herron Taft/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_26_HelenTaftFilipinaDress_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Helen Herron Taft wears a dramatic, Philippine-style gown in this studio photograph taken in Manila during the 1900–1903 governorship of her husband, William H. Taft.
The decision to give the Philippines two representatives in Washington is unique in American history, as all other overseas U.S. territories have been assigned either one Delegate or one Resident Commissioner. The justification for two appears to have come from Taft’s desire to maintain U.S. authority in the Philippines while providing the territory with a measure of autonomy.

Because the commission was the United States’ administrative arm in the Philippines, Taft believed the popularly elected assembly should also have a direct line to federal lawmakers. “The Filipinos … desire an opportunity to reach Congress, not through the executive in the islands, not through the Commission in the islands,” he told the House Insular Affairs Committee in February 1902. “They desire a representation here.” By keeping the Philippine commission an appointed body, Taft hoped “to retain American guidance and control and initiative.” But since the Philippine assembly would be the people’s voice on the islands, he told the committee, “a popular assembly with delegates to Washington gives to the Filipinos all the practice in self-government and a popular government that it is possible to give.”87

Benito Legarda and Pablo Ocampo/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_27_Legarda_Ocampo_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Benito Legarda, left, and Pablo Ocampo, the first two Resident Commissioners from the Philippines, pose together around 1908.
Five months later, on July 4, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt issued a full amnesty proclamation that pardoned anyone who fought against the United States in the Philippine-American War. In addition to signaling the end of the conflict, the general clemency sparked a shift in the islands’ civic makeup: proindependence sentiment that had once sparked a revolution became the bedrock of new political parties in peacetime.88

Philippine nationalists initially splintered into different factions, their main disagreement stemming from conflicting views on the urgency of independence. While some advocated for immediate, unequivocal independence, others sought a more prolonged process to allow the new government to find its footing. In 1907, on the eve of the opening of the Philippine assembly, the two main blocs pushing for immediate independence merged to form the Partido Nacionalista (Nationalist Party). By that point, the nationalist movement was so strong that even Federalistas, who had once advocated for annexation, rebranded themselves as the Partido Nacional Progresista (National Progressive Party) and began calling for gradual independence.89

Following the territorial census, American officials gave the go-ahead for an election to open the Philippine assembly. With a number of restrictions in place, only a fraction of the population qualified to vote, and within that fraction there seemed to be no consensus on the timeline for independence. Consequently, no party captured the majority. Nacionalistas took the most seats, followed by the Independientes, the Progresistas, the Immediatistas, and a handful of “other minor” parties, according to one history of the Philippine legislature. It was not until the legislature convened, however, that Filipino leaders assembled behind the Partido Nacionalista.90

Resident Commissioners

With the opening of the new territorial government, the Philippine legislature sent its first two Resident Commissioners—Benito Legarda and Pablo Ocampo—to Capitol Hill during the winter of 1907–1908. From then until 1946, when the Philippines became independent, the territory sent a total of 13 Resident Commissioners to Congress.

Emilio Aguinaldo/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_28_EmilioAguinaldo_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Revolutionary leader and general Emilio Aguinaldo fought for the Philippines’ independence, first from Spain and then from the United States. Aguinaldo was captured in 1901 and consented to declare his allegiance to the United States.
Like Legarda and Ocampo, most of the earliest Resident Commissioners were ilustrados, members of the Philippines’ upper class. On the whole, the 13 came from traditionally wealthy and urban families. They attended the best schools both in Manila and occasionally abroad, and, alongside being fluent in Spanish and their own native languages, often spoke English fluently or well enough to get by. Ocampo was an exception and brought a translator with him to Congress.91

Every Resident Commissioner came from the main island of Luzon except Jaime C. de Veyra, who was from Leyte and who made a name for himself in Cebu, the territory’s second largest city. Otherwise, even if the Resident Commissioners grew up in one of the rural provinces outside Manila, they used the capital city as their primary launching pad for their political careers.

A number of Resident Commissioners took part in the conflicts that ravaged the islands during the turn of the century, fighting against the Spanish, the Americans, or both. After fighting against Spain, Ocampo, for example, joined the forces trying to repel America’s occupation army and served as the chief intelligence officer for Philippine general Emilio Aguinaldo. Afterward, U.S. officials arrested Ocampo and exiled him to the island of Guam. Just a few years later, in 1907, Ocampo was elected to Congress.

The Philippine Legislature/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_29_PhilippineLegislature_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress The Philippine legislature poses for a group photo sometime before 1924.
Before they entered politics, Resident Commissioners frequently started out in business, journalism, law, or some combination thereof. Five had been successful businessmen, five had law backgrounds, and four worked in journalism, including two who edited pro-independence newspapers and another who won the Pulitzer Prize on the eve of World War II.

Like Congressmen during any era, Resident Commissioners often started their political careers at the local level and served in their home provinces before making the jump to higher positions in Manila. Three Resident Commissioners were provincial governors, and others held more minor positions. Some, however, started closer to the top. Camilo Osias was the first Filipino superintendent of the islands’ schools, and Joaquin M. Elizalde was an economic adviser to the Philippine president.

Before their tenures in Washington, five Resident Commissioners served in the lower chamber of the territorial legislature, either in the Philippine assembly or, later, the Philippine house of representatives. Legarda and de Veyra sat on the Philippine commission as two of its only Filipino members. Three others served in the Philippine senate, which replaced the commission in 1916.92

Statutory Representation

Election Certification of Benito Legarda and Pablo Ocampo/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_30_CredentialsLegardoOcampo_NARA.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration This paperwork from the new Philippine government certifies the 1907 election of Benito Legarda and Pablo Ocampo as the first Resident Commissioners from the Philippine Islands. To balance the interests of both the Philippine commission and the assembly, the legislative bodies elected candidates who would be quickly ratified by the opposite chamber.
U.S. territories have had a level of nonvoting representation in the national legislature since 1787, when the Northwest Ordinance created a Delegate for the region above the Ohio River. Following the adoption of the Constitution, the early federal Congresses continued the practice as the nation expanded westward. Because their positions were created by an act of Congress rather than delineated in the Constitution, Delegates and Resident Commissioners are considered statutory representatives and their rights and prerogatives as Members depend on a host of different variables, including House Rules and the whims of the majority.93

Resident Commissioners from the Philippines initially served two-year terms. But during a particularly nettlesome re-election contest in 1910, when the assembly and the commission refused to agree to one another’s candidates, Congress was forced to intervene, lengthening the incumbents’ terms to four years in order to give the insular legislature time to resolve its differences without causing a break in representation. Their terms were shortened to three years in 1916.94 The next major change to the office occurred in 1934 when the Philippines became a commonwealth. As part of the deal giving the Philippines its eventual independence, the islands agreed to send a single Resident Commissioner per term rather than a pair.

Experience in Washington

For interested observers in Manila during the early 1900s, the new Resident Commissioners were a matter of speculation. “Just what the powers and prerogatives of the delegates will be upon their arrival in Washington is a matter of conjecture,” the Washington Post reported from the territory’s capital city. “The general impression is that their status will be the same as that of Territorial delegates to Congress, which would entitle them to a seat in the House of Representatives without a vote. But the law designates them as ‘resident commissioners,’ which may mean anything or nothing.”95

In practice, there was little difference between Delegates and Resident Commissioners; Congress gave both offices little legislative agency. Because the House denied the Filipinos a vote and prohibited them from serving on committees, they functioned more like lobbyists and cultural ambassadors than legislators. They were given a salary, access to the House Floor, office space, and, eventually, franking privileges, but they had to wield power in different ways: pigeonholing Members, testifying before committees, and leaning on the Bureau of Insular Affairs. Certain Resident Commissioners, like Manuel Quezon, excelled at such behind-the-scenes lawmaking, meeting with Presidents and delicately maneuvering past Congress’s parliamentary hurdles.

The Resident Commissioners were not so much the representatives of the Filipino people as they were the mouthpieces of the territorial government controlled by the Nacionalistas, and, in theory, they were supposed to follow the marching orders sent by party leaders.96

As part of the first set of Resident Commissioners from the Philippines, Legarda grasped the subtleties of his office early on. “We do not expect to have much weight when political questions are being discussed,” he said in 1907, “but when economic matters pertaining to the Philippine Islands arise in either house of congress we expect to fully inform the homeland legislators.”97

62nd Congress Seating Chart/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_31_62ndDesks_HC.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
This diagram depicts the House Chamber seating chart for the 62nd Congress (1911–1913). Philippine Resident Commissioners Benito Legarda and Manuel L. Quezon were assigned to seats in the last two rows on the west side.
With a handful of exceptions, informing Members of Congress was often all they could do. Testifying before committees was perhaps the most common tool in the Resident Commissioners’ legislative toolbox, and some, especially Quezon, developed alliances with influential chairmen.98 Many took the opportunity to address the House during debate. For the years that we have records, Resident Commissioners were assigned seats in the back of the chamber with the minority party often in close proximity to one another, but not necessarily next to one another. In 1910, for instance, Legarda and Quezon sat at desks in the second-to-last row on the Democratic side of the chamber. But the next year, at the start of the 62nd Congress (1911–1913), after Democrats captured the majority during the fall elections, Legarda and Quezon were assigned to desks in the last two rows on the Republican side.99

Although the historical record is thin, some evidence suggests that the earliest Resident Commissioners interacted with other statutory representatives. “Four men wandered into the house of representatives today, took seats in the rear of the chamber and began [an] animated conversation,” reported the Detroit Free Press in February 1908. “Their language was strange and the group attracted a good deal of attention. ‘Who are they?’ said a stranger in the gallery. ‘Two are resident commissioners from the Philippines, one is the resident commissioner from Porto Rico, while the fourth one … is the delegate from Hawaii,’ said a house [employee].”100

During Quezon’s career in Congress specifically, Resident Commissioners who served in pairs developed something of a unique arrangement. One of them—often the one more well versed in the issues and able to navigate the ever-changing congressional landscape—handled the legislative lift. The other Resident Commissioner, as described by the historian Peter Stanley, was usually “rich, personally dignified as a representative of the Filipino people, and politically impotent.”101

Philippine Trade, 1898–1934

Steamboat on the Pasig River/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_32_TaftTug_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress A steamboat transports William H. Taft, then Secretary of War, up the Pasig River in the Philippines in 1905.
By the time America assumed possession of the Philippines, the territory’s economy had grown at a decent clip.102 But the gradual shift from subsistence farming to exporting on a global scale had left its mark. A number of the Philippines’ chief products—sugar, tobacco, cordage, and coconut oil—had taken a considerable amount of farmland out of food production. For American officials, especially Governor Taft, the poor state of the islands’ infrastructure, combined with pockets of poverty, necessitated a complete overhaul of the Philippine economy.103 But Taft’s vision conflicted with that of a skeptical Congress, and a series of events conspired to place the Philippines and its Resident Commissioners front and center in one of the most heated issues on Capitol Hill: the tariff.

After the Supreme Court declared income taxes unconstitutional in 1895, Congress continued to rely on tariffs—fees placed on imported goods—to raise money for the federal treasury. U.S. officials believed that low tariffs would generate trade, but invite competition from abroad. Higher tariffs, on the other hand, would restrict overseas commerce, but “protect” American industries from foreign competitors.104

By the fall of 1908, Taft, who had left the Philippines to head the War Department, won the U.S. presidency. As the Republican candidate, he had run, in part, on a promise to break with traditional GOP doctrine and lower America’s tariffs. Not wanting to waste time, the new President called Congress into special session to deal expressly with the issue.105

"Back from Bololand" Cartoon/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_33_BololandCartoon_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress This 1905 political cartoon, “Back from Bololand,” depicts William H. Taft with a group of Congressmen, Senators, and others in a train station. The terminals are labeled “Philippine Free Trade” and “Stand-Pat”—a reference to the debate in Washington about whether to levy steep tariffs on Philippine trade goods. Taft chides the others, “Now, boys, after all my talking, don’t go and take the wrong train.”
Coincidentally, Taft’s reforms dovetailed with the expiration of clauses in the Treaty of Paris that had prevented the United States from establishing new tariff rates on trade with the Philippines. As part of Spain’s surrender, America agreed to favorable terms that gave the Spanish ready access to markets in the Philippines for the next decade. Spanish goods were essentially treated the same as U.S. goods. But when those 10 years were up, Congress was free to overhaul how America did business with its farthest territory. For Taft, that meant tightly binding the Philippines to the U.S. economy by making calculated investments in the islands and using trade to form a measure of economic dependence on the United States. It was dollar diplomacy in its purest form, the historian H. W. Brands once observed.106

With such high stakes, the territorial government leaned heavily on its new Resident Commissioners. This ensured that the first piece of legislation they dealt with would be one of the cornerstone bills governing the transpacific relationship.107

The tariff bill reported by the Ways and Means Committee, what became known as the Payne–Aldrich Tariff Act, provided American businesses with virtually unlimited access to the Philippine market while simultaneously installing quotas on Philippine imports to the United States. The effect would be to open the flow of U.S. goods going to the Philippines while severely restricting Philippine goods headed to the United States. Since the Philippines generated a large portion of its revenue from fees on imported goods and since the archipelago did a robust trade with the States, the proposal to remove tariffs on American products threatened to both unravel the territory’s fiscal policy and prevent the Philippines from diversifying its economy.108

Sereno Payne/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_34_SerenoPayne_HC.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Sereno Payne of New York was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee from 1899 to 1911, and introduced a revision to the Payne–Aldrich Tariff Act.
On paper, Congress had clear authority to dictate the rates of the Philippines’ tariffs, but, in practice, the process was monumentally awkward. The territory may have been part of America’s geopolitical orbit, but for many people on either side of the Pacific, the Philippines seemed like a separate nation entirely. Congress, for its part, had never been able to decide whether the archipelago was an international or domestic trading partner. House Republicans danced around its liminal status, but Democrats, as they said in a 1905 committee report, wanted Congress to decide whether the Philippines was “altogether American or altogether foreign.”109

No one associated with the territorial government was happy about the terms of Payne–Aldrich, and Legarda and Ocampo protested the measure on the House Floor.110 As Washington scrambled to bring the Philippines back onboard, Taft and the Bureau of Insular Affairs developed a revision that Sereno Payne of New York, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, introduced as H.R. 9135 that promised to help the Philippines make up lost revenue once the new tariffs went into place.111 Although Ocampo and Legarda disagreed about the new bill, the House passed the standalone Philippine tariff on May 24, 1909, and the Senate cleared it in July.112 On August 2, the conference report for the Philippine trade bill was quickly approved, and a deeply satisfied Taft signed it into law three days later.113

Sugar Refinery/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_35_SugarRefinery_Philippines_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Sugar refineries in the Philippines processed the territory’s sugarcane and prepared it for export. Sugar was one of the Philippines’ major agricultural products.
Although the language of the 1909 Philippine Tariff Act remained the basis of the islands’ economy over the next few years, Congress occasionally adjusted the terms of America’s trade relationship with the Philippines. And ever so gradually Congress began treating the Philippines more and more like a foreign trading partner. In 1913, for instance, Congress passed the Underwood–Simmons Act, removing quotas placed on Philippine imports to the United States and more or less installing a policy of free trade. Three years later, as part of the Jones Act, Congress gave the Philippine legislature more control over the territory’s commerce with other countries, empowering it to set “customs duties on all foreign goods entering the Islands,” according to Pedro Abelarde, an historian of the tariff. Congress, however, retained oversight of the Philippines’ trade with the United States.114

“Upholding the Honor of the American Flag” Cartoon/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_36_FlagHonorCartoon_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress This 1906 political cartoon, “Upholding the Honor of the American Flag,” shows a large figure personifying America’s agricultural industry blasting Philippine commerce with a gun labeled “Dingley Tariff.”
The terms of the Jones Act remained on the books until 1934, when Congress passed the Jones–Costigan Act, giving the Agriculture Secretary the right to set quotas on goods coming into America. A while later, as part of the Tydings–McDuffie Act that granted the Philippines its independence, Congress cleared the way for the Philippines to assume the role of a completely unaffiliated trading partner.115

“For decades,” Abelarde observed in 1947, a year after the Philippines became independent, “the Filipinos had been repeatedly advised with paternal solicitude to be more material-minded and devote more serious attention to their country’s economic development.”116 As it turned out, that development often came in the form of one-dimensional commerce. By the late 1920s, goods from America made up 60 percent of the Philippines’ total imports, and as late as 1934, the United States was the destination for 83 percent of the Philippines’ exports and accounted for 75 percent of the Philippines’ total trade.117

A large part of that commerce depended on the Philippines’ agricultural sector and its two biggest crops, sugar and tobacco. But over the years, U.S. sugar and tobacco industries maintained powerful allies on Capitol Hill, meaning that, “in dealing with the Insular tariff,” Abelarde concluded, “Congress acted, in the main, in the interest of American producers.”118

Toward Independence, 1907–1934

If the tariff debates underscored the tenuous nature of the Philippines’ economic relationship with official Washington, they also revealed the rather muddled nature of the Philippines’ political status, especially early on: Was the Philippines foreign, American, or something else entirely? What became clear after tariff reform, however, was that the Philippines’ economic future was in nearly every respect intimately bound to its insular status. The issues were two sides of the same coin.

Manila Headquarters of Major General Arthur MacArthur Jr./tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_37_MacArthurHeadquartersManila_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress This stereoview shows an American flag flying over the entrance to the Manila headquarters of Major General Arthur MacArthur Jr. during the Philippine-American War.
With the new tariffs in place after 1909, Congress’s dealings with the Philippines switched gears, and with the new Resident Commissioner, Manuel Quezon, taking the lead, debate began focusing more and more on the islands’ long-term political future. Beginning with the 62nd Congress, Quezon received help from a new House majority after Democrats took back the chamber for the first time in 15 years.

Unlike the GOP, which saw huge economic possibilities in the Philippines but believed the territory needed to be carefully tutored in self-government, the Democratic Party had been on the record since 1900 as being firmly against acquiring the Philippines. According to the historian H. W. Brands, Democrats believed that retaining the Philippines as a territory “contradicted American ideals and prevented the natural development of Filipino society.” Now in power, Democrats had a chance to link up with Filipino nationalists in an uneasy partnership to give the Philippines greater autonomy, if not full independence.119

William A. Jones/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_38_WilliamJones_HC.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
William A. Jones, a Representative from Virginia, chaired the Committee on Insular Affairs from 1911 to 1918 and worked with Resident Commissioner Manuel L. Quezon on the issue of independence for the Philippines.
Working alongside William A. Jones of Virginia, the new chairman of the House Committee on Insular Affairs, Quezon readied an independence bill he hoped to show voters back home in time for the upcoming territorial elections. The Resident Commissioner knew that as much as Democrats wanted to divest America of the Philippines they would not rush the separation; so, he designed legislation (H.R. 22143) that provided for independence after a period of eight years and committed the U.S. military to 20 years of protection to discourage predatory foreign powers.120

Quezon’s bill, which came to be known as the Jones bill, made it out of Jones’s committee, but quickly hit a snag in the form of Woodrow Wilson, then the Democratic nominee for President, who advised party leaders to sit on the matter.121

As Wilson quietly came around on the issue after winning the presidency, Quezon reworked his proposal into something more gradual. The crux of his new plan would swap the U.S.-backed Philippine commission for a popularly elected territorial senate, giving the Philippine people more control over their government but likely delaying independence until at least the 1930s.122

Frank McIntyre/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_39_FrankMcIntyre_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress As chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs from 1912 to 1929, Major General Frank McIntyre served as intermediary between Resident Commissioner Manuel L. Quezon of the Philippines and President Woodrow Wilson.
Over the winter of 1913–1914, Quezon teamed up with Frank McIntyre, chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, to put his new ideas into bill form. McIntyre briefed Wilson on the matter, and Quezon met with the President in January. The Resident Commissioner came away with the understanding that, although Wilson sympathized with the Philippines, the White House would not support immediate independence nor would it hamstring the administration by fixing a date for independence.123 Taking this into account, Quezon and McIntyre’s new bill creating the Philippine senate (H.R. 606) included a preamble that set no timetable for independence. Instead, it included a vague promise that independence would only be possible once the Philippines established a “stable” government.124

During House debate on the bill in the fall of 1914, the Resident Commissioner framed the struggle in the Philippines much like America’s own past: “Remember how your forefathers felt when they were as we are now struggling for freedom,” Quezon asked.125 The bill passed, but died in the Senate when a small group of Senators threatened to filibuster the preamble’s “stable” government clause.126

Despite the setback, Quezon had laid a solid foundation after years of work on the issue, and when the 64th Congress (1915–1917) opened, the Philippine government bill was the first piece of legislation offered in the House on the first day of the new Congress (H.R. 1). Within two weeks, Quezon testified before the Senate Committee on the Philippines and pointed out that his support for the bill was a huge political gamble. “As a practical man who takes what he can get that is good,” he said, “I am ‘standing pat’ on this bill now.” The Senate committee reported it favorably and urged Congress to act swiftly.127

Manuel L. Quezon/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_40_Quezon_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Manuel L. Quezon, Resident Commissioner from the Philippine Islands, attends the 1912 Democratic National Convention in Baltimore.
The stable government clause, however, remained problematic. In 1916, an election year, Democrats, including Wilson, started to walk back their support for gradual independence. Eventually, Senator James Clarke of Arkansas offered an amendment to give the Philippines its independence in four years or less. The Senate cleared the amendment by one vote in early February.128

Quezon was stuck. The Clarke amendment would free the Philippines almost immediately, but such a truncated timeline could bring large-scale economic and social unrest. By supporting it, Quezon risked the Philippines’ future. But if he opposed the amendment and the bill died, all his work would be for nothing. In the end, Quezon supported it, and Chairman Jones reluctantly brought the Clarke amendment to the House Floor. In a marathon session on May 1, 1916, Quezon and Jones urged House Democrats to vote for the new version.129

Despite the earlier pressure from party leadership, a number of Democrats broke ranks and stood with Republicans to vote down the Clarke amendment. Seeing an opportunity, Jones submitted his earlier draft containing the “stable” government clause, and the House quickly adopted it.130 After a summer of uncertainty and delay in which Quezon urged the President to support the vague preamble, the Senate abandoned the Clarke amendment and cleared the Jones bill in mid-August. With Quezon looking on, Wilson signed it into law on August 29, 1916.131

Although the Jones Act was a major turning point, Quezon’s successors in the House continued to deal with the same issues of trade and insular status. Independence remained a driving force in Manila, but in Washington, Philippine Resident Commissioners had to navigate between Republican and Democratic administrations that came down on different sides of the independence debate. Often the Resident Commissioners had to fight to protect the gains in autonomy the islands had won over the years.

In the waning days of the Wilson administration, for instance, Resident Commissioner Jaime de Veyra and other pro-independence activists worked to speed up the independence process before Republican President-elect Warren G. Harding took office. As former chairman of the Senate Committee on the Philippines, Harding, like many Republicans, believed the United States should retain the islands indefinitely.132

In December 1920, Wilson appeared ready to move on Philippine independence and told Congress that the territory had “succeeded in maintaining a stable government” and was therefore eligible for its freedom.133 But it was too little, too late, and Congress mostly ignored the outgoing President.134

After taking office the next year, Harding met with the Philippine Resident Commissioners Isauro Gabaldon and de Veyra but refused to commit one way or the other on independence. Like Taft and McKinley before him, Harding sent a fact-finding mission to assess the “fitness” of the Philippines for self-rule. Led by General Leonard Wood and former Governor General W. Cameron Forbes, both opponents of independence, Harding assured the Resident Commissioners that he would make no policy decision until the commission submitted its report.135

W. Cameron Forbes and Sergio Osmeña/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_41_ForbesOsmena_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress In 1921 President Warren G. Harding charged General Leonard Wood and former Governor General W. Cameron Forbes with determining whether the Philippines was fit for self-rule. Almost two decades later, Forbes, left, meets with Sergio Osmeña, then vice president of the Philippines.
The Wood–Forbes Mission visited the islands during the summer of 1921 and spoke with insular government officials, American expatriates, everyday Filipinos, and a host of other “foreigners.” They visited all but one of the 49 provinces of the islands and held meetings in nearly 450 cities and towns.136

In its report, the mission not only opposed Philippine independence, it asked Congress to strengthen America’s presence in Manila by expanding the powers of the governor general.137 Gabaldon and de Veyra publicly protested the report, with Gabaldon calling it little more than “a clever, but unworthy attempt to change the issue from that of stable government to a multitude of other conditions not required by Congress.”138

Nevertheless, President Harding endorsed the report and nominated General Wood to reassert the powers of the governor general over the islands. Confirmed in October 1921, Wood maintained cordial relations with Filipinos, but he soon ran afoul of insular politicians while navigating the shoals of a pitched political battle between Manuel Quezon, president of the Philippine senate, and Philippine assembly speaker Sergio Osmeña. To many in the capital city of Manila, Harding’s decision to appoint Wood seemed to violate the intent of the Jones Act that gave the territorial legislature more control over the Philippines’ daily affairs. As Wood tried to consolidate power, the division between Philippine and American officials only widened.139

The struggle for power in Manila—what came to be called the Cabinet Crisis—nearly put independence on the legislative agenda in the 68th Congress (1923–1925). After a Philippine independence mission met with a number of administration officials and Members of Congress to protest Wood’s reforms, six bills taking steps toward independence were submitted between December 1923 and March 1924.140 But the proposals struggled to gain traction. Lawmakers, backed by a negative propaganda campaign designed to curb Philippine autonomy and led largely by U.S. business interests, remained committed to maintaining American control over the islands.141

To Provide for Independence

Pedro Guevara and J.E. Espinas/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_42_GuevaraEspinas_HC.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Philippine Resident Commissioner Pedro Guevara, left, visits the White House in 1923 with his secretary, J. E. Espinas.
The symbiotic link between trade and status that so often characterized Congress’s policy toward the Philippines entered a new phase by the early 1930s. As the U.S. economy plummeted amid the Great Depression and as Japan widened its global reach by invading Manchuria, Congress considered ways to free the Philippines perhaps less out of genuine interest for the islands and more because many considered the territory to be a financial and national security liability.142 Moreover, Democrats, who traditionally opposed the retention of the Philippines, had once again captured the majority in the House to start the 72nd Congress (1931–1933), giving the independence movement something of a leg up. Whatever policy Congress designed, however, would depend on the support of the insular government in Manila.

As a coalition of U.S. industries and interest groups pushed to limit both Philippine trade and Philippine immigration in order to protect struggling markets at home, Congress responded by drafting a measure that granted the Philippines its independence after a relatively brief transition period. Named after its authors in the House and Senate—Butler Hare of South Carolina, chairman of the House Insular Affairs Committee, and Senators Harry Hawes of Missouri and Bronson Cutting of New Mexico—the Hare–Hawes–Cutting bill cleared the way for a new Philippine constitution, but kept immigration quotas low and tariffs high following the installment of independence.143

During the House debate on the bill, Resident Commissioner Pedro Guevara reminded everyone of the high stakes involved. The Philippine Organic Act of 1902 and the 1916 Jones Act were only temporary vehicles for the Philippines, he said. But granting outright independence would redeem America’s promise for freedom. With Guevara watching, the House approved the bill in a landslide vote, 306 to 47. Although the Senate sat on the bill until after the fall elections, it passed on December 17, 1932. A conference committee swiftly changed the transition period to 10 years, and by the end of the month, both the House and Senate had cleared the new version.144 In early 1933, the outgoing President, Republican Herbert Hoover, vetoed the bill, but the House and Senate quickly overrode him.145

Although the bill had become law, the insular legislature had to approve it before the graduated independence schedule began. Almost immediately a struggle for power on the islands derailed it. For much of 1933, the governing Partido Nacionalista had fractured into those for and those against the independence bill. Those in favor of the bill included power brokers like Resident Commissioner Camilo Osias, who had helped design the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act, and Sergio Osmeña, who had lobbied for it. Those against it were led by former Resident Commissioner Manuel Quezon, perhaps the most powerful official in Manila. Quezon had once supported the bill, but quickly backtracked when he realized credit for independence might go to Osmeña instead of himself. At that point, he became a fierce critic of the Hare–Hawes–Cutting bill. Ultimately, Quezon prevailed and solidified his position in the Philippines when the insular government rejected the measure.146

Not to be outdone, Quezon traveled to Washington to negotiate a second and nearly identical independence bill during the 73rd Congress (1933–1935). He initially received a chilly reception from the new Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) administration.147 Nevertheless, FDR wanted to resolve the Philippine issue as quickly as possible. The President believed the United States was bound by the Jones Act to uphold the law’s “stable” government provision, and in March 1934, he asked Congress to revisit Philippine independence.148

John McDuffie/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_43_JohnMcDuffie_HC.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Alabama Representative John McDuffie, pictured here, and Maryland Senator Millard Tydings authored legislation during the 73rd Congress (1933–1935) that brought about Philippine independence after a 10-year transition period.
After a few days of intense debate, both houses of Congress approved the new version built largely on the framework of Hare–Hawes–Cutting, including the 10-year transition period to independence. President Roosevelt signed it into law on March 24, 1934. Dubbed the Tydings–McDuffie Act after Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland and Representative John McDuffie of Alabama, the Philippine legislature approved the law in May 1934. The Philippines then held a referendum on the new constitution and an island-wide plebiscite on independence. Philippine voters approved the package by huge margins.149

Under Tydings–McDuffie, the Philippines became a commonwealth, making the islands far more autonomous, but still subject to Congress’s authority over the next decade as it prepared for independence. The law replaced the governor general with an American high commissioner, and it changed how the Philippines was represented on the Hill. Since 1907 the insular legislature had elected two Resident Commissioners, but the new law provided for only one and empowered the new Philippine president to appoint that person directly. Unsurprisingly, Quezon was elected the Philippines’ first president a year later. Tydings–McDuffie also set graduated tariff rates on Philippine goods so that, by the time the islands became independent, they would have to pay the rates in full.150

Francis B. Sayre, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sergio Osmeña, and Joaquin M. Elizalde/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_44_FDRPhilippineDutiesSigning_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Philippine High Commissioner Francis B. Sayre, Philippine Vice President Sergio Osmeña, and Resident Commissioner Joaquin M. Elizalde (standing, left to right), watch as President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a 1939 bill that adjusted duties on Philippine goods.
But exactly when those full tariffs would go into effect remained unclear. Early in 1937, Quezon and FDR created the Joint Preparatory Committee (JPC) on Philippine Affairs, composed of Philippine and U.S. economists, to identify and begin addressing troublesome issues that would inevitably accompany independence. Among its many findings, the JPC recommended phasing in full tariff rates over 15 years, giving the Philippine economy five extra years to grow after independence.151

In order to avoid the potential pitfalls in the Tydings–McDuffie Act, FDR sent the JPC report to the Hill and asked Congress to frame legislation around the committee’s recommendations. But the Senate and especially Tydings, who took it as a personal affront, greeted the report with disdain.152 Only after FDR personally lobbied members of the House and Senate did the overseeing committees produce a bill that lengthened the trade window to match the JPC’s recommendations. FDR signed the bill into law on August 7, 1939.153

Despite the changes, not everyone was happy with the final product. For his part, Quezon was not convinced the new law went far enough to solve the problems that would accompany the “economic readjustment” inherent in Philippine independence.154

Joaquin M. Elizalde, Sergio Osmeña, and John W. Hausserman/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_45_ElizaldeOsmenaHausserman_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Resident Commissioner Joaquin M. Elizalde and Philippine Vice President Sergio Osmeña meet with businessman John W. Hausserman (right) in Washington, DC, in 1938.
Economics, of course, was not the only looming concern as independence approached. Philippine citizenship, for one, remained a confusing legal mess. In 1940, when Congress updated federal naturalization provisions, citizenship was limited to whites and African Americans. But legislators inserted a special provision allowing “native-born Filipinos having the honorable service in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard” to become naturalized citizens.155 With independence, however, the rest of the civilian population would cease being U.S. nationals and would become “aliens ineligible to citizenship.”156

The War in the Philippines

Despite its design to help the Philippines transition from colony to independence, the era of the Philippine commonwealth (1934–1944) turned out to be one of the more tumultuous periods in the history of the islands. With the onset of World War II, the Philippines suddenly became one of the most contested regions of the Pacific theater.

For years, American officials had worried that Japan would encroach on the Philippines once America began pulling out, and in December 1941, in a coordinated bombing campaign that targeted Manila and a host of other cities across the Pacific, Japan unleashed the full power of its military. Much of the Philippines’ infrastructure built under the territorial government—new roads, hospitals, ports, and airfields—were lost as the archipelago was captured by Japan and then recaptured by the United States within a three-year period. Along the way, hundreds of thousands died and the commonwealth government was forced to flee to the United States until Allied forces retook Manila.

The first bombs fell on the Philippines on December 8, 1941, just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor across the International Dateline. Dense fog had delayed the departure of the Japanese air force, but once the skies cleared, planes attacked for five straight days.157

Japan’s decision to attack the Philippines was part of a larger strategy to seize oil reserves in the Dutch East Indies. To do so, however, Japan needed to eliminate the U.S. forces based in the Philippines. Under General Douglas MacArthur, the military had integrated nearly 100,000 Filipino troops and 30,000 American servicemen into the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) that included dozens of bombers, more than 100 fighter planes, and a full complement of warships in the U.S. Navy’s Asiatic Squadron.158

Presenting a Distinguished Service Cross/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_46_MacArthurPresentsServicemanCross_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress General Douglas MacArthur presents a Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Jack Dale of the U.S. Army Air Corps in Manila, Philippines, on December 22, 1941.
Japan’s relentless bombing campaign, however, quickly overwhelmed the Philippines. The U.S. Navy withdrew, enabling Japanese forces to land on separate sides of Luzon. As Japanese troops marched toward Manila, U.S. and Filipino forces evacuated to the Bataan Peninsula while MacArthur removed his staff and the commonwealth government to the harbor fortress on Corregidor Island.159

President Quezon scrambled to keep the Philippines out of the conflict and pushed FDR to work out a deal with Japan that, among other things, would grant the islands immediate independence, establish guaranteed neutrality, demilitarize the archipelago, and enact new trade agreements with Japan and the United States. Roosevelt flatly denied Quezon’s request.160

By the spring of 1942, after MacArthur and the commonwealth government were ordered to leave the Philippines for Australia, Japan broke the defensive lines on the island of Bataan, starving out the remaining USAFFE forces before leading them on the Bataan Death March in which thousands of American and Filipino troops died on the way to prison camps or during their incarceration. Following the final Japanese assault on the island fortress of Corregidor, the last organized resistance in the Philippines surrendered.161

Francisco Castillo Najera, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Manuel L. Quezon, and Cordell Hull/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_47_1942FlagDay_LC.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Mexican Ambassador Dr. Francisco Castillo Najera, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon, and Secretary of State Cordell Hull (seated, left to right) meet at the White House in 1942.
At the urging of the Americans, Quezon’s government-in-exile moved from Australia to the United States. With no need for an official go-between, FDR agreed to suspend the office of the high commissioner, in theory, strengthening Quezon’s hand. But with no country to govern, the government-in-exile primarily handled ceremonial events.162

Hoping to negotiate with Japan directly, Quezon, whose health was deteriorating, pushed Congress to advance the date for independence. There was a widespread belief in the Philippines, which Quezon shared, that Japan’s successful invasion stemmed directly from America’s failure to fortify the territory’s defenses. Complicating that sentiment was Japan’s tactic to appeal to Filipinos on racial grounds: “Like it or not, you are Filipinos and belong to the Oriental race,” read propaganda leaflets. “No matter how hard you try, you cannot become white people.”163

American Troops Surrender to Japanese Forces at Corregidor Island/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_48_TroopsSurrender_NARA.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration American troops surrender to Japanese forces at Corregidor Island in the Philippines on May 6, 1942.
Whatever inroads Japan may have made with the general population were swept aside in the wake of its brutal occupation. Even as the Japanese military erected a puppet government in Manila—granting the Philippines its “independence” while requiring the new administration to declare war on the United States—occupation forces imprisoned, tortured, and killed residents who objected or got in their way.164

By the summer of 1944, however, the war in the Pacific theater had swung in favor of the Allied forces. FDR gave General MacArthur the go-ahead to invade the Philippines, and on October 20, 1944, two months after Quezon died, U.S. forces landed on Leyte and met little resistance.165 After defeating the Japanese navy in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, American GIs worked to secure the capital city. In a last stand in early 1945, Japanese forces hunkered down during the Battle of Manila in which an estimated 1,000 U.S. soldiers, 16,000 Japanese soldiers, and 100,000 Filipino noncombatants died. The heavy combat destroyed much of the city, leaving thousands homeless before the Japanese military finally surrendered.166

Post-war Recovery and Independence

The liberation of the Philippines ended nearly three years of hardship that had robbed the territory of much-needed time and resources for the transition to independence. With independence scheduled to take effect in less than 18 months and the clock ticking, the commonwealth now faced a massive reconstruction program.

In Congress, the economic development of the islands became a hot-button issue after the war. More than ever, leaders in Manila argued, the Philippines needed a preferential trade deal with the United States to last well after independence.

Even before MacArthur recaptured Manila, Congress was thinking about how to rebuild the islands. In June 1944, it created the Philippine-American Rehabilitation Commission to study the financial ramifications of the war and identify areas where the commonwealth’s economy would need the most help.167 Almost a year later, President Harry S. Truman, after meeting with the new commonwealth president, Sergio Osmeña, asked Senator Tydings to lead an investigation into the recovery needs of the Philippines.168

Tydings eventually developed a Philippine rehabilitation package (S. 1488) that set aside hundreds of millions of dollars—total damage was estimated at $800 million in 1944—and developed a tariff schedule that would grow over time. The Senate eventually removed the tariff provisions after the House Ways and Means Committee asserted its constitutional prerogative to originate all revenue measures.169 “Factories, homes, government and commercial buildings, roads, bridges, docks, harbors, and the like are in need of complete reconstruction or widespread repairs,” Tydings’s committee wrote in its report. The full Senate approved it in early December.170

In the House, however, the rehabilitation and trade packages took on different shapes entirely. If the Senate offered ways to diversify the islands’ economy, the House worked to tightly link the Philippines to U.S. markets, submitting a plan to enact 20 years of free trade and giving American industries virtually unfettered access to the Philippines. Along with the new trade bill, the House made more than 140 changes to Tydings’s bill, including one designed by the new high commissioner, Paul V. McNutt, that withheld the rehabilitation funding until the Philippines agreed to the new trade terms.171

Resolution of the Philippine Legislature/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_49_ResolutionPhilippineLegislature_NARA.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration This resolution, adopted by the Philippine legislature on September 24, 1931, called for the “immediate and complete political separation of the Philippine Islands from the United States.” The Philippines gained independence in 1946, becoming the only territory in American history with representation in Congress to gain its independence.
McNutt’s proposal, which had the support of the Insular Affairs Committee chairman, Democrat Jasper Bell of Missouri, promised to reverse more than 40 years of U.S. policy in the Philippines. In some of the earliest legislation governing the territory, Congress protected the islands from exploitative overseas interests by requiring a 60-percent Filipino ownership stake in utility companies working in industries like oil, timber, and coal. McNutt’s amendment, on the other hand, promised to loosen those regulations and give American investors access to the Philippines’ natural resources.172

By mid-April 1946, both bills and their controversial provisions had been sent to the White House. President Truman signed the Philippine Trade Act and the Philippine Rehabilitation Act, but he criticized Congress’s decision to make the rehabilitation funds subject to the new trade agreement, especially since it required an amendment to the Philippine constitution.173 After the fact, Minnesota Representative Harold Knutson of the Insular Affairs Committee made a surprising confession by admitting that the committee “did not realize, because of the haste and urgency of the situation, that we were coercing the Philippines into signing a trade agreement and making other fundamental adjustments in their laws.”174

Harold Knutson/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_essay1_50_HaroldKnutson_HC.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Minnesota Congressman Harold Knutson served in the House of Representatives from 1917 to 1949. In addition to chairing the Committee on Insular Affairs, Knutson also led the Committee on Indian Affairs, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation.
The government in Manila was left with two less-than-ideal options: approve the trade deal and sacrifice economic sovereignty in exchange for reconstruction funding or oppose the trade bill and lose the rehabilitation package, but maintain a measure of economic self-determination. With the clock ticking down to independence, the legislature approved the trade pact in the closing hours of the commonwealth and, in the process, granted Americans the right to purchase and own property as majority shareholders. Ultimately, the rebuilding needs of the islands won out. As one Philippine legislator said, “I vote yes because we are flat broke, hungry, homeless, and destitute.”175

The Philippines became independent on July 4, 1946. President Truman marked the occasion by releasing a statement pledging the support of the United States should the Philippines ever need it. “I am confident, however, that the Filipino people will meet the challenge of independence with courage and determination,” he said.176 Just down Massachusetts Avenue, State Department officials were on hand as the Philippine flag was raised over its new embassy.177

In Manila, a similar scene unfolded. At around 10:00 a.m., a massive crowd watched as the American flag came down and the Philippine flag went up over the capital city. “Simultaneously, sirens wailed out in Manila and church bells rang all over the Philippines,” observed H. Ford Wilkins, the New York Times reporter covering the event. The Associated Press reported that “cries of ‘Kalayan’ [sic] (freedom) rang from barrio to barrio, from island to island … as Filipinos celebrated their newly gained independence.”178 But Wilkins sensed something other than euphoria in the Philippines that day. “Filipinos generally observed Independence Day more as a solemn occasion than one for spontaneous rejoicing at having attained a goal they had sought during the forty-eight years of American sovereignty,” he wrote.179

For the first half of the 20th century, the Philippines had been the far edge of the United States’ overseas empire, the physical limit of America’s frontier. Throughout this period, the United States tried to keep the people of the Philippines at arm’s length while controlling the political and economic affairs of the islands. But in the opinion of the Philippine president Manuel Roxas, July 4, 1946, signaled the opening of a whole new era. “We mark here today a forward thrust of the frontiers of freedom,” he said from the park at Luneta, a massive green space adjacent to Manila Bay. It was virtually the same spot where Spain opened fire on Dewey’s warships in 1898 that began the Philippines’ nearly 50-year history as an American colony. In 1962 the Philippines changed the date of its independence to June 12, 1898, marking the day when General Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines independent of Spain.180

Next Section


63Report of the Philippine Commission to the President, vol. 1, 56th Cong., 1st sess., S. Doc. 138 (1900): 15; The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2015 (New York: World Almanac Books, 2014): 824.

64Karnow, In Our Image: 102–105, 110–115.

65H. Wayne Morgan, William McKinley and His America, rev. ed. (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2003): 305.

66H. W. Brands, Bound to Empire: The United States and the Philippines (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992): 24–25; Gould, The Presidency of William McKinley: 140.

67For general discussions of American imperialism, see Ernest R. May, American Imperialism: A Speculative Essay (1968, repr., Chicago, IL: Imprint Publications, 1991) and Beisner, Twelve Against Empire. See also David Healy, U.S. Expansionism: The Imperialist Urge in the 1890s (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1970); Robert L. Beisner, From the Old Diplomacy to the New, 1865–1900 (New York: Crowell, 1975): 139–140; Gould, Presidency of William McKinley: 146, 150.

68Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 47–51. On the war between the Philippines and the U.S., see Brian McAllister Linn, The Philippine War, 1899–1902 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000).

69Brands, Bound to Empire: 51.

70Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 55; Brands, Bound to Empire: 50, 51, 53, 60.

71“The Philippine-American War, 1899–1902,” Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State, accessed 6 July 2016,; Michael Cullinane, Ilustrado Politics: Filipino Elite Responses to American Rule, 1898–1908 (Quezon City, PI: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2003): 52. For an interpretation of the Philippine-American War as a race war, see Paul A. Kramer, The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, & the Philippines (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2006): 87–158. On torture, see Richard E. Welch Jr., “American Atrocities in the Philippines: The Indictment and the Response,” Pacific Historical Review 43, no. 2 (May 1974): 233–253.

72David J. Silbey, A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899–1902 (New York: Hill and Wang, 2007): xi–xvi, 207–218, quotation on p. xiv–xv.

73Report of the Philippine Commission to the President, vol. 1: 113. See also Gould, Presidency of William McKinley: 185; Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 59; Brands, Bound to Empire: 54.

74Julius W. Pratt, America’s Colonial Experiment: How the United States Gained, Governed, and in Part Gave Away a Colonial Empire (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1950): 196–197; Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 61. Dean Worcester, a member of the first commission, agreed to serve on the second. Bernard Moses of the University of California, Henry Ide who served as U.S. magistrate in Samoa, and Luke Wright who had been attorney general for Tennessee filled out the commission’s membership. See Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 62–63; Karnow, In Our Image: 168–169; Gould, Presidency of William McKinley: 186.

75Frank Hindman Golay, Face of Empire: United States-Philippine Relations, 1898–1946 (Madison, WI: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 1998): 67.

76Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 63–64. Through an oversight in the commission’s instructions, Taft would not become governor general until July 4, 1901, when the military government was finally disbanded. See Karnow, In Our Image: 173; Lewis E. Gleeck Jr., The American Governors-General and High Commissioners in the Philippines: Proconsuls, Nation-Builders, and Politicians (Quezon City, PI: New Day Publishers, 1986): 22.

77Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 76–77. There were a handful of changes to Taft’s plan, including the decision to limit the commission’s ability to approve long-term economic policies. See Congressional Record, Senate, 56th Cong., 2nd sess. (8 February 1901): 2117; Gould, Presidency of William McKinley: 235; Stathis, Landmark Legislation: 149; Golay, Face of Empire: 73–74; Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 88; William McKinley, “Message to Congress,” 25 January 1901, in American Presidency Project, ed. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, (accessed 17 May 2016).

78Cullinane, Ilustrado Politics: 1–2. See also Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 67.

79Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 69, 72.

80Cullinane, Ilustrado Politics: 52.

81Ibid., 54.

82Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 67. For more on this policy, see Kramer, The Blood of Government: 171–177.

83For more on the creation of the Partido Federal and their growing influence, see Cullinane, Ilustrado Politics: 58, 66–72; Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 72–73; Golay, Face of Empire: 76.

84Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 79, 82–99; Golay, Face of Empire: 76. For an in-depth look at the Philippine commission as a legislative body, see Celestina P. Boncan, “The Philippine Commission, 1900–1916,” in Philippine Legislature: 100 Years, ed. Cesar P. Pobre (Quezon City, PI: Philippine Historical Association with New Day Publishers, 2000): 27–62.

85Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 77.

86Philippine Organic Act, Public Law 57-235, 32 Stat. 691 (1902); Brands, Bound to Empire: 99; Golay, Face of Empire: 85–87; Kramer, The Blood of Government: 162–166.

87Hearings before the House Committee on Insular Affairs, Statement of Conditions in the Philippines, by Hon. William H. Taft, 57th Cong., 1st sess. (26 February 1902): 43–44.

88Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 116.

89According to the historian Peter W. Stanley, although the two major parties, the Nacionalistas and the Progresistas, disagreed on the timing of independence, they agreed on many other issues, including the need for more local autonomy, a greater Filipino presence in the government, tax reform, and new investments in agriculture and education. See Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 128–129. See also Celestina P. Boncan, “The Philippine Assembly, 1907–1916,” in Philippine Legislature: 100 Years, ed. Cesar P. Pobre (Quezon City, PI: Philippine Historical Association with New Day Publishers, 2000): 65–66.

90Boncan, “The Philippine Assembly, 1907–1916”: 67.

91For more on the ilustrados, see Cullinane, Ilustrado Politics.

92After serving as Resident Commissioner, Manuel L. Quezon won election as the Philippine senate’s first president.

93Abraham Holtzman, “Empire and Representation: The U.S. Congress,” Legislative Studies Quarterly 11, no. 2 (May 1986): 249–273. A statistically small but numerically consequential group, statutory representatives have constituted more than 1 percent of all House Members. From 1789 to 2016, 176 individuals have represented territories or insular possessions in the House (144 Delegates and 32 Resident Commissioners from Puerto Rico and the Philippines). See Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives, “Total Members of the House & State Representation,” For the development of the office of Delegate from a procedural perspective, see Chapter 43 of Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representatives, vol. 2 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1907): 861–868.

94Stanley, Nation in the Making: 168–169; Philippine Assembly, Election of Resident Commissioners to the United States, Second Legislature, First Session, 1911, Document 250— A.38 (Manila, PI: Bureau of Printing, 1911), (accessed 10 February 2016); Congressional Record, House, 61st Cong., 3rd sess. (6 February 1911): 2022–2024; Public Law 61-376, 36 Stat. 910 (1911). Congress applied a legal resolution to the Resident Commissioner dispute via Article IV, Section 3, §2, which gives Congress complete legislative authority over any U.S. territory.

95Thomas F. Millard, “The Men Who Have Come to Washington to Represent the Filipinos,” 2 February 1908, Washington Post: SM4.

96Congressional Record, House, 61st Cong., 1st sess. (3 April 1909): 929–930; Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 151.

97“ ‘We Will Do Our Duty,’ Says Legarda” 20 December 1907, Manila Times: 9.

98Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 170.

99Congressional Directory, 61st Cong., 2nd sess., 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1910): 240–241; Congressional Directory, 62nd Cong., 1st sess. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1911): 220–221.

100“House Scene Recalls Champ Clark’s Vision.”

101Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 182.

102Ibid., 30, 33.

103The governor’s three-point plan to rejuvenate the territory’s business sector called for new roads and commercial hubs, a large infusion of U.S. funding into the agricultural and natural resources industries, and targeted tariffs to generate trade. See Karnow, In Our Image: 209–210.

104Kermit L. Hall, “The Courts, 1790–1920,” in The Cambridge History of Law in America, vol. 2, The Long Nineteenth Century (1790–1920), ed. Michael Grossberg and Christopher Tomlins (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008): 131; Lewis L. Gould, William Howard Taft Presidency (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2009): 51–57.

105Paolo E. Coletta, The Presidency of William Howard Taft (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1973): 56.

106Taft said as much in a 1903 speech in Manila. See Golay, Face of Empire: 96; Brands, Bound to Empire: 98.

107Journal of the Philippine Commission, inaugural session, vol. 1 (Manila, PI: Manila Bureau of Printing, 1908): 361–362, (accessed 18 February 2016).

108Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 148; Chamberlain, President, Congress and Legislation: 103; Congressional Record, House, 61st Cong., 1st sess. (3 April 1909): 929–930.

109House Committee on Ways and Means, Duties on Philippine Products Imported into the United States, 59th Cong., 1st sess., H. Rept. 20 (1905): 1, 3. See also, Thomas F. Millard, “Philippines Not a ‘Problem’ Nor a ‘Burden,’ ” 23 February 1908, New York Times Magazine: 2; Thomas F. Millard, “Our Interests and Our Duty in the Philippine Islands,” 23 February 1908, Washington Post Magazine: 4; Thomas F. Millard, “Congress Holds the Key,” 23 February 1908, Chicago Daily Tribune: A1.

110“A Filipino Heard,” 3 April 1909, New York Tribune: 2; “Test Vote Monday,” 3 April 1909, Washington Post: 1; “House Debate Goes On,” 4 April 1909, New York Times: 2; Congressional Record, House, 61st Cong., 1st sess. (3 April 1909): 929–930.

111William H. Taft, “Special Message,” 14 April 1909, in American Presidency Project, ed. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, (accessed 18 May 2016); Congressional Record, House, 61st Cong., 1st sess. (15 April 1909): 1365; “New Philippine Tariff,” 16 April 1909, New York Tribune: 2; Congressional Record, House, 61st Cong., 1st sess. (13 May 1909): 1998; Hearing before the House Committee on Ways and Means, Philippine Tariff Bill, 61st Cong., 1st sess. (20 April 1909): 17, 32.

112Congressional Record, House, 61st Cong., 1st sess. (24 May 1909): 2338; “Philippine Tariff in Senate,” 26 May 1909, Wall Street Journal: 6; “Philippine Tariff Bill Favored,” 2 July 1909, New York Tribune: 3; Congressional Record, Senate, 61st Cong., 1st sess. (9 July 1909): 4337; “Passed Philippine Bill,” 10 July 1909, Baltimore Sun: 2; “Island Bills Passed,” 10 July 1909, Washington Post: 4; “Senate Fixes Insular Tariff,” 10 July 1909, Chicago Daily Tribune: 1.

113“House Completes the Philippine Tariff Bill,” 3 August 1909, San Francisco Chronicle: 2; “Pass Philippine Bill,” 3 August 1909, Washington Post: 1; Public Law 61-5, 36 Stat. 11 (1909).

114Pedro E. Abelarde, American Tariff Policy towards The Philippines (New York: King’s Crown Press, 1947): 114–124, 127, 202.

115Ibid., 128; Jones–Costigan Act, Public Law 73-213, 48 Stat. 670 (1934); Appendix I: Constitutional Amendments, Treaties, Executive Orders, and Major Acts of Congress Referenced in the Text.

116Abelarde, American Tariff Policy towards the Philippines: 131.

117Brands, Bound to Empire: 98; Abelarde, American Tariff Policy towards the Philippines: 135.

118Abelarde, American Tariff Policy towards the Philippines: 201–202.

119Pratt, America’s Colonial Experiment: 203; Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 172; Brands, Bound to Empire: vi.

120A separate resolution introduced by Jones required the world powers to agree to stay out of Philippine affairs while the Manila government found its footing. Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 172–173; “Committee Head Steals Cline’s Glory as Future Emancipator of Filipinos,” 31 March 1912, Indianapolis Star: B11; “To Free Filipinos Eight Years Hence,” 21 March 1912, New York Times: 1; “Filipino Bill In,” 22 March 1912, New York Times: 3; “Nations May Pledge Filipinos Freedom,” 26 March 1912, New York Times: 8.

121Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 179, 212–213.

122Ibid., 180, 212–213.

123The briefing memo was included in a letter from the Secretary of War to the President. Lindley Miller Garrison to Woodrow Wilson, 19 January 1914, in The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 29, ed. Arthur Link (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979): 147–152. See also Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 213–214, quotation on p. 213. The President also met with Chairman Jones to discuss the situation in February that year. See, “Wilson Takes Up Philippines,” 12 February 1914, Baltimore Sun: 2.

124Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 213–215; Garrison to Wilson, 19 January 1914, in The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 29: 149; “ ‘Watchful Waiting,’ His Policy,” 12 February 1914, Washington Post: 3; “Philippine Bill Offers Independence,” 4 June 1914, Christian Science Monitor: 7; “Early Independence of Philippines Urged,” 21 August 1914, Indianapolis Star: 16; “Step to Free Islands,” 21 August 1914, Washington Post: 3.

125Congressional Record, House, 63rd Cong., 2nd sess. (1 October 1914): 16019. For additional context on the debate, see “To Give Filipinos Self-Government,” 4 June 1914, New York Times: 5; “Philippines Must Wait For Freedom,” 5 June 1914, New York Tribune: 4; “A New Philippines Plan,” 5 June 1914, New York Times: 10; Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 215, 220; “To Free Filipinos,” 4 June 1914, Los Angeles Times: I1; “New Wilson Bill To Free Filipinos,” 4 June 1914, New York Tribune: 1; Congressional Record, House, 63rd Cong., 2nd sess. (26 September 1914): 15800–15812.

126Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 219.

127Senate Committee on the Philippines, Future Political Status of the People of the Philippine Islands, 64th Cong., 1st sess., S. Rept. 18 (1915): 1, 3; Hearings before the Senate Committee on the Philippines, S. 381: Government of the Philippines, 64th Cong., 1st sess. (1915): 71.

128Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 221; House Committee on Insular Affairs, Political Status of the Philippine Islands, 64th Cong., 1st sess., H. Rept. 499 (1916): 1.

129Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 223–224; “Will Keep Philippines,” 2 May 1916, Washington Post: 1; Congressional Record, House, 64th Cong., 1st sess. (1 May 1916): 7144–7214; “No Independence for Philippines,” 2 May 1916, Atlanta Constitution: 2.

130“Will Keep Philippines”; “No Independence for Philippines.”

131“Senators Yield on Philippines,” 9 May 1916, New York Tribune: 6; “Senate Hedges on Philippines,” 17 August 1916, New York Tribune: 2; “See Filipinos Free by 1921,” 26 August 1916, New York Tribune: 4; Public Law 64-240, 39 Stat. 545 (1916).

132Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 251–258. See, for example, Randolph C. Downes, The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865–1920 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1970): 235–238.

133Woodrow Wilson, “Eighth Annual Message,” 7 December 1920, in American Presidency Project, ed. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, php?pid=29561 (accessed 15 January 2016). See also Jaime C. de Veyra, “The Philippine Problem: The Truth about the Philippines,” 5 March 1921, The Independent: 12–14.

134Bernardita Reyes Churchill, Philippine Independence Missions to the United States, 1919–1934 (Manila, PI: National Historical Institute, 1983): 27.

135“Policy in Philippines Waits on Wood’s Report,” 15 March 1921, New York Tribune: 4; “Harding Sees Filipinos,” 15 March 1921, New York Times: 10. For more on Wood, see Jack C. Lane, “Leonard Wood,” American National Biography, vol. 23 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999): 767–768.

136Condition in the Philippine Islands: Report of the Special Mission to the Philippine Islands to the Secretary of War, 67th Cong., 2nd sess., H. Doc. 325 (1922): 10–12.

137Condition in the Philippine Islands: 45–46. Leonard Wood was especially critical of the territorial government, condemning it for a “lack of competent supervision and inspection.” See David F. Schmitz, Henry L. Stimson: The First Wise Man (Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 2001): 63.

138Congressional Record, House, 67th Cong., 2nd sess. (20 January 1922): 1483–1487, quotation on p. 1484; “Commissioner Attacks Report on Philippines,” 21 January 1922, Washington Post: 10; “Criticize Philippine Report,” 2 December 1921, Washington Post: 6.

139Brands, Bound to Empire: 133.

140Churchill, Philippine Independence Missions to the United States: 70–80, 87. The bills are: H.R. 2817, 68th Cong. (1923); H.R. 3924, 68th Cong. (1923); H.J. Res. 127, 68th Cong. (1924); H.J. Res 131, 68th Cong. (1924); S. 912, 68th Cong. (1923); and S. Res. 35, 68th Cong. (1923).

141Coordinated largely by the American Chamber Commerce of the Philippines, the press campaign called on Congress to pass legislation that would ensure the United States retained the islands. From November 1924 to January 1925, the Washington Post published a series by Katherine Mayo called “Isles of Fear.” Her crude stereotypes depicted Filipinos as lazy, irresponsible, and intellectually incapable of managing a modern nation-state. Retentionists, including the Post editorial board, praised Mayo’s work. Resident Commissioners Guevara and Gabaldon, on the other hand, lambasted Mayo in a response published in the Post. During a speech in New York City, Guevara said Mayo’s work was nothing more than a self-interested “campaign of misrepresentation.” See Churchill, Philippine Independence Missions to the United States: 122–124; “ ‘Isles of Fear’ to Present Truth About Philippines,” 28 November 1924, Washington Post: 10. The articles were compiled into a single volume, Katherine Mayo, The Isles of Fear: The Truth About the Philippines (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company: 1925). For biographical information about Mayo, see “Katherine Mayo, Writer, Is Dead,” 10 October 1940, New York Times: 25. For the Post’s supportive editorials, see “Conditions in the Philippines,” 7 December 1924, Washington Post: EF1; “Vetoing Seditious Propaganda,” 11 December 1924, Washington Post: 6; “The Philippines As They Are,” 24 January 1925, Washington Post: 6. Gabaldon also described the connection between Mayo and the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines in his final remarks to the House. See Congressional Record, House, 70th Cong., 1st sess. (3 March 1928): 4016; Congressional Record, House, 68th Cong., 2nd sess. (3 March 1925): 5348– 5350. Gabaldon’s remarks about the Mayo articles are in Congressional Record, House, 68th Cong., 2nd sess. (3 January 1925): 1167–1173.

142Karnow, In Our Image: 252–253.

143Theodore Friend, Between Two Empires: The Ordeal of the Philippines, 1929–1946 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1965): 90; “House Votes to Free Philippines in 1940; Stimson Is Opposed,” 5 April 1932, New York Times: 1; Congressional Record, House, 72nd Cong., 1st sess. (4 April 1932): 7401–7412.

144Congressional Record, House, 72nd Cong., 1st sess. (4 April 1932): 7410; Friend, Between Two Empires: 96. For House debate, see Congressional Record, House, 72nd Cong., 2nd sess. (29 December 1932): 1075–1095.

145For the remarks by the Resident Commissioners on the veto override, see Congressional Record, House, 72nd Cong., 2nd sess. (13 January 1933): 1764, 1769. See also Friend, Between Two Empires: 106–108; “Hail Defeat of Veto: Filipino Commissioners Call Independence Grant Unprecedented,” 18 January 1933, New York Times: 2; Philippine Independence Act, Public Law 72-311, 47 Stat. 761 (1933).

146Friend, Between Two Empires: 129–132; Karnow, In Our Image: 254.

147“Filipinos in Dispute on Independence,” 26 December 1933, New York Times: 5; “Filipino Leaders to Ignore Osias,” 27 December 1933, New York Times: 8.

148President Roosevelt’s special message was reprinted in Congressional Record, House, 73rd Cong., 2nd sess. (2 March 1934): 3580–3581.

149Philippine Independence Act, Public Law 73-127, 48 Stat. 456 (1934); Congressional Record, House, 73rd Cong., 2nd sess. (19 March 1934): 4225, 4831, 4842; Congressional Record, Senate, 73rd Cong., 2nd sess. (20 March 1934): 4921, 5164; Public Law 73-127, 48 Stat. 456 (1934); Golay, Face of Empire: 320–327, 343.

150Erwin D. Canham, “New Philippines Delegate Finds Problems Facing Him,” 13 February 1936, Christian Science Monitor: 1. On the High Commissioner, see Vincente Albano Pacis, “Americans Leaving Islands to the Natives,” 27 October 1934, Washington Post: 9; Robert Aura Smith, “Path of Basic Law Eased by Filipinos,” 24 June 1934, New York Times: E8.

151Brands, Bound to Empire: 170; Golay, Face of Empire: 360, 362–364; Friend, Between Two Empires: 157–158.

152Congressional Record, House, 76th Cong., 1st sess. (26 January 1939): 859; Congressional Record, Senate, 76th Cong., 1st sess. (26 January 1939): 810; Golay, Face of Empire: 377; Friend, Between Two Empires: 158.

153Public Law 76-30, 53 Stat. 1226 (1939); Golay, Face of Empire: 378–379; Congressional Record, House, 76th Cong., 1st sess. (10 July 1939): 8798; Friend, Between Two Empires: 159.

154Friend, Between Two Empires: 159.

155See Nationality Act of 1940, Public Law 76-853, 54 Stat. 1137 (1940). Congressional Record, House, 76th Cong., 3rd sess. (3 June 1940): 7433; Congressional Record, House, 76th Cong., 3rd sess. (11 September 1940): 11952; Veta R. Schlimgen, “Neither Citizens nor Aliens: Filipino ‘American Nationals’ in the U.S. Empire, 1900–1946” (PhD diss., University of Oregon, 2010): 450.

156Schlimgen, “Neither Citizens nor Aliens”: 450.

157Louis Morton, The Fall of the Philippines (Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 1953): 77–84; Karnow, In Our Image: 288–290; Brands, Bound to Empire: 190.

158Brands, Bound to Empire: 185; Michael A. Barnhart, Japan Prepares for Total War: The Search for Economic Security, 1919–1941 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987); Golay, Face of Empire: 404–405; Brands, Bound to Empire: 186, 188.

159Golay, Face of Empire: 407; Brands, Bound to Empire: 190, 195; Karnow, In Our Image: 291–292, 295; Morton, The Fall of the Philippines: 90–92, 138–144.

160Brands, Bound to Empire: 193–194, 195.

161Karnow, In Our Image: 297–305; Brands, Bound to Empire: 197; Golay, Face of Empire: 417–418.

162Golay, Face of Empire: 421, 424–428; Brands, Bound to Empire: 212–214.

163Brands, Bound to Empire: 199, 201.

164Golay, Face of Empire: 422, 438; Friend, Between Two Empires: 213–214; Brands, Bound to Empire: 198, 201–202; Karnow, In Our Image: 307.

165Karnow, In Our Image: 312–313; Brands, Bound to Empire: 206; David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999): 821.

166Brands, Bound to Empire: 209–210; Karnow, In Our Image: 313–314, 320–322.

167Congressional Record, Senate, 78th Cong., 1st sess. (13 December 1943): 10602; House Committee on Insular Affairs, Establishing the Filipino Rehabilitation Commission, 78th Cong., 2nd sess., H. Rept. 1507 (1944): 2. The Filipino Rehabilitation Commission became law on June 29, 1944, as Public Law 78-381, 58 Stat. 626 (1944).

168Karnow, In Our Image: 324; Golay, Face of Empire: 456, 471.

169Golay, Face of Empire: 472. On the frequent clash between the Senate and the House Ways and Means Committee over the constitutional provisions on revenue measures, see Golay, Face of Empire: 458; John F. Manley, The Politics of Finance: The House Committee on Ways and Means (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1970): 252–263.

170Senate Committee on Territories and Insular Affairs, Providing for the Rehabilitation of the Philippine Islands, 79th Cong., 1st sess., S. Rept. 755 (1945): 1, 3; Congressional Record, Senate, 79th Cong., 1st sess. (5 December 1945): 11470.

171Abelarde, American Tariff Policy towards the Philippines: 163–200; Golay, Face of Empire: 473–474.

172Golay, Face of Empire: 86–87, 457; Stanley, A Nation in the Making: 90; Karnow, In Our Image: 197; Brands, Bound to Empire: 99.

173Congressional Record, Senate, 79th Cong., 2nd sess. (10 April 1946): 3396; Congressional Record, Senate, 79th Cong., 2nd sess. (17 April 1946): 3852; Conference Committee, Providing for the Rehabilitation of the Philippines, 79th Cong., 2nd sess., H. Rept. 1957 (1946); Congressional Record, House, 79th Cong., 2nd sess. (18 April 1946): 3987; Congressional Record, Senate, 79th Cong., 2nd sess. (12 April 1946): 3533–3540; Congressional Record, Senate, 79th Cong., 2nd sess. (17 April 1946): 3852; Golay, Face of Empire: 475; Harry S. Truman, “Statement by the President Upon Signing Bills Providing for Philippine Rehabilitation and Trade,” 30 April 1946, in American Presidency Project, ed. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, (accessed 6 May 2016); Philippine Trade Act, Public Law 79-371, 60 Stat 141 (1946); Philippine Rehabilitation Act, Public Law 79-370, 60 Stat. 128 (1946).

174Golay, Face of Empire: 475; Congressional Record, Senate, 79 Cong., 2nd sess. (7 May 1946): 4585.

175Brands, Bound to Empire: 230–231.

176Harry S. Truman, “Statement by the President on the Independence of the Philippines,” 3 July 1946, in American Presidency Project, ed. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, http:// (accessed 8 August 2016).

177“Truman Declares Philippines Free,” 5 July 1946, New York Times: 5.

178“Philippines Celebrate All Day,” 5 July 1946, New York Times: 5.

179H. Ford Wilkins, “Philippine Republic Is Born as U.S. Rule Ends in Glory,” 4 July 1946, New York Times: 1.

180Wilkins, “Philippine Republic Is Born as U.S. Rule Ends in Glory.” See also “Philippines Changes Independence Day,” 16 May 1962, New York Times: 15; “Filipinos Observe Their New July 4,” 13 June 1962, New York Times: 20.