The Independence of the Philippines

The United States had many reasons that compelled them to enter the Philippines; the compulsion to spread American culture, the desire to expand and develop commercial relations, the goal of gaining access to raw materials and markets, and the strategy of increasing national security. When the US acquired the Philippines, Filipino insurgents resisted the transfer of authority and wanted independence. Under the leadership of Emilio Aguinaldo, a guerrilla war began, and though the United States was not prepared, they captured Aguinaldo, gained his allegiance, and won the support of many Filipinos. In 1901, the US set up a colonial government under William Taft and implemented many reforms that were very successful, but also oppressive. Later in 1935, the Philippines became a commonwealth, and Manuel Quezon was elected as president. During 1941 in World War I, Japan invaded the Philippines and remained there until 1944 when Douglas MacArthur defeated the Japanese. This left the Philippines a mess; the economy was hurt badly and Manila, the capital, was destroyed. The above picture is of President Truman signing the Treaty of Manila.

The United States granted the Philippines complete independence on July 4th, 1946, under the Treaty of Manila. As a display of American symbolism, the treaty came into effect on July 4th, the same date that the Americans announced the Declaration of Independence. The treaty recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines and the relinquishment of American sovereignty over the Islands. But, most Filipinos consider July 12th Independence Day because on July 12th, 1898, they gained independence from Spain, though this was not recognized by the US until 1946. Manuel Roxas was elected the first president of the independent Philippines. During his short presidency of two years, Roxas achieved many things, but arguably not for the benefit of the Philippines. He ratified the Bell Trade Act which gave the Filipinos $800 million for war damage in exchange for some limitations on their economy which was later criticized as interfering with their sovereignty. He also included the Parity Amendment in the Constitution which granted US citizens the right to use Filipino natural resources. Lastly, he signed the Military Bases Agreement which allowed the US to operate major military bases in the Philippines. The above video is about the Philippines independence.