VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > I. The Pacific Region, 1914–1945 > 2. The Philippines
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1913, Aug. 21)
2. The Philippines
In this period profound social and economic changes occurred, against a background of American control and constant agitation for independence. The Philippines became more urbanized, and the educated section of the population grew, following the promotion of English-language education by the administration. A large number of Filipinos joined the bureaucracy. National consciousness spread, crossing regional and class lines.  1
Free trade with the U.S. produced export-led economic growth, but led to dependence on the American market. At the same time, socioeconomic disparities increased, and the political and economic power of the oligarchic Filipino elite was consolidated.  2
A council of state was created, consisting of the governor-general, the presidents of both houses of the legislature, and the heads of executive departments. The U.S. Senate passed the Jones Act, which promised independence to the Philippines once there was a stable government. It replaced the Philippine Commission with a 24-member elected senate.  3
Quezon and other Filipino notables led an independence mission to Washington.  4
The Wood-Forbes mission sent by the U.S. government opposed immediate independence for the Philippines, and advocated increased powers for the governor. The appointment of the conservative Francis Wood as governor-general increased tensions between nationalist Filipinos and the U.S. government.  5
Manuel Quezon replaced Sergio Osmena as leader after a power struggle within the Nacionalista Party.  6
Quezon attacked Wood for interference in the elected government. Filipinos on the council of state resigned in protest at Wood's behavior, and the legislature unsuccessfully called for his replacement.  7
Filipino leaders appealed to the U.S. for independence, but this was rejected by President Coolidge. Further requests for independence were made in 1925 and 1926.  8
Establishment of the Philippine Communist Party, which was outlawed two years later.  9
The Os-Rox mission to Washington led by Sergio Osmena and Manuel Roxas proposed that independence be accompanied by the preservation of free trade with the U.S. for ten years and a restriction on Filipino immigration to the United States. Support for Philippine independence increased in the U.S. during the 1920s because free trade with the Philippines was considered unfavorable to American economic interests.  10
1933, Jan 13
The U.S. Congress passed the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Bill, advocating independence after 12 years of transitional government, retention of U.S. military bases, and restrictions on immigration and on Philippine sugar and coconut exports. The Philippine legislature rejected the bill because of the restrictions on exports and immigration, the ill-defined nature of the powers of the U.S. high commissioner, and the retention of U.S. military bases.  11
1934, March 24
The U.S. government adopted the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which proposed gradual introduction of tariffs on Philippine exports to the U.S. in the period leading up to independence. This was reluctantly accepted by the Philippine legislature.  12
July 30
A commission of 202 members was elected to draft a constitution. Suffrage was to be given to literates over 21 (which meant that only 14 percent of the population was eligible to vote in 1940). The constitution was approved on May 14, 1935.  13
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.