American Influence

Though the United States of America legally granted the Philippines independence in 1946, their influence has remained present throughout the country for the past 66 years. Culturally, America is much different than the Philippines, but both countries share similar outlooks on the way their society should be run.  The easiest connection to see between the two countries would be the fact that both have a form of a republic.  The Philippine government is just a republic while America has a constitutional republic.  After years of American occupation, it would be hard for the Filipino people to migrate away from the dreams of freedom and equality that Americans preach about so diligently.  Human rights are very similar to that in the United States, though problems throughout history regarding racism towards Muslim populations along with predigest towards women and sometimes children have caused more issues in the Philippines than in the US. 

            The United States held Clark airbase in the Philippines until 1991 along with several other military bases until 1992 as a part of a treaty.  Following World War II, the United States was engulfed suddenly into the Cold War.  These bases were used as protection from and a threat towards Communist China.  In 1992, the last base was handed back over to the Philippine government and the last of America was out of the Philippines. 
            The United States not only had an impact on the government of the Philippines, but also the cultural outlook.  From American pop music, to the love for the arts, American ideals are seen everywhere in the Philippines.  For instance, the “Jeepney” is a Philippine vehicle that is not only functional but expresses the creativity that many Americans cherish as well.  Following World War II, American Jeeps were left on Philippine territory.  The people then transformed these machines used once for transporting soldiers and weaponry into a flashy, fun, cultural symbol. The United States also left behind their language, and educational ethics.  Nearly 92% of the Filipino population over the age of 10 is literate and many use English as a second language.
            The Americans colonized the Philippines in the nineteenth century, and decolonized in the twentieth, but their cultural and governmental influence still remains today in the twenty-first. 
The White Man's Burden, a poem written in 1899 by Rudyard Kipling, suggests that the western/developed countries of the world (primarily the United States) had an obligation to help develop third world countries. This Picture of Uncle Sam imperializing the Philippines was posted in Life magazine, reflecting on the poem that was published in McClure's magazine that same year.