Philippine Independence

January 28, 1924
Entire Report

The movement for Philippine independence has been on foot since the last half of the nineteenth century, first under Spanish dominion and later under that of the United States. Discovered by Magellan in 1521, the islands remained Spanish possessions, with the exception of brief seizures by the British, Japanese and Chinese, until the Treaty of Paris, December 1898, which resulted in their cession to the “united States. Although conquered by military and naval forces in the Spanish-American War, the United States paid $25,000,000 to Spain for the islands. The Philippine Archepelago includes 3000 islands having an aggregate land surface equal to the States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The population is approximately 10, 000, 000.

Restiveness in the Philippines, under the Spanish regime was due in large part to domination of the Roman Catholic Priesthood and to the rapacity of Spanish Court favorites. The poet Jose Rizal, (who was executed by the Spanish) and the insurrecto Aguinaldo, were the principal leaders of the movement for Phillppine Independence in the Spanish days, An independence revolt was in progress at the time of the war with Spain and the American military forces found a native army prepared to cooperate with them in the reduction, of the Spanish forts.

Aguinaldo asserts that Commodore Dewey, immediately after the American and Filipino forces had effected a junction, promised him that it was not the intention of the United States to take the islands but to set them free. Subsequently Dewey denied having made such a promise. Nevertheless, the disappointment of the Filipinos is not being given their independence culminated in February, 1899 in the Philippine Insurrection. General Funston ended this with the capture of Aguinaldo. Eighty-five thousand. American troops were employed.

It has been claimed that because of Democratic objection to Philippine possession, which was delaying Senate ratification of the Treaty of Paris, President McKinley resorted to the coup d'; tat of ordering American troops to advance against Filipino insurrectionists, precipitating the Insurrection. At any rate, it is usually admitted that the event of military operations in the islands dissolved the opposition and brought ratification.

The Empire

Then began the day of what still is described in Philippine history as “the Empirerdquo;, referring to the military and imperial government of the islands by the United States. President McKinley sent a special commission headed by Jacob Gould Schurman of Cornell University to inquire into the Philippine question. A report favoring independence was brought in.

In the American presidential c

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Aug. 10, 1990  Can Democracy Survive in the Philippines?
Feb. 06, 1987  Philippine Politics
Oct. 28, 1983  Political Unrest in the Philippines
Oct. 24, 1980  The Philippines Under Stress
Apr. 25, 1975  Philippine Instability
May 17, 1967  The Philippines: Time of Frictions
May 17, 1950  Philippines in Transition
Apr. 12, 1945  Rehabilitation of the Philippines
Aug. 05, 1933  Independence Contest in the Philippines
Dec. 12, 1931  Economics of the Philippine Problem
Nov. 06, 1926  The Problem of the Philippines
Jan. 28, 1924  Philippine Independence
Imperialism, Colonization, and Independence Movements
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific