American Period

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American Period

In Feb., 1899, Aguinaldo led a new revolt, this time against U.S. rule. Defeated on the battlefield, the Filipinos turned to guerrilla warfare, and their defeat became a mammoth project for the United States— Thus began the Philippine-American War, one that cost far more money and took far more lives than the Spanish-American War. Fighting broke out on February 4, 1899, after two American privates on patrol killed three Filipino soldiers in San Juan, Metro Manila. Some 126,000 American soldiers would be committed to the conflict; 4,234 American and 16,000 Filipino soldiers, part of a nationwide guerrilla movement of indeterminate numbers, died. Estimates on civilian deaths during the war range between 250,000 and 1,000,000, largely because of famine and disease. Atrocities were committed by both sides.

The poorly equipped Filipino troops were handily overpowered by American troops in open combat, but they were frightening opponents in guerrilla warfare. Malolos, the revolutionary capital, was captured on March 31, 1899. Aguinaldo and his government escaped, however, establishing a new capital at San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. Antonio Luna, Aguinaldo's most capable military commander, was murdered in June. With his best commander dead and his troops suffering continued defeats as American forces pushed into northern Luzon, Aguinaldo dissolved the regular army in November 1899 and ordered the establishment of decentralized guerrilla commands in each of several military zones. The general population, caught between Americans and rebels, suffered significantly.

The revolution was effectively ended with the capture (1901) of Aguinaldo by Gen. Frederick Funston at Palanan, Isabela on March 23, 1901 and was brought to Manila, but the question of Philippine independence remained a burning issue in the politics of both the United States and the islands. The matter was complex by the growing economic ties between the two countries. Although moderately little American capital was invested in island industries, U.S. trade bulked larger and larger until the Philippines became almost entirely dependent upon the American market. Free trade, established by an act of 1909, was expanded in 1913. Influenced of the uselessness of further resistance, he swore allegiance to the United States and issued a proclamation calling on his compatriots to lay down their arms, officially bringing an end to the war. However, sporadic insurgent resistance continued in various parts of the Philippines, especially in the Muslim south, until 1913.

U.S. colony

Civil government was established by the Americans in 1901, with William Howard Taft as the first American Governor-General of the Philippines. English was declared the official language. Six hundred American teachers were imported aboard the USS Thomas. Also, the Catholic Church was disestablished, and a substantial amount of church land was purchased and redistributed. Some measures of Filipino self-rule were allowed, however. An elected Filipino legislature was established in 1907.

When Woodrow Wilson became U.S. President in 1913, there was a major change in official American policy concerning the Philippines. While the previous Republican administrations had predicted the Philippines as a perpetual American colony, the Wilson administration decided to start a process that would slowly lead to Philippine independence. U.S. administration of the Philippines was declared to be temporary and aimed to develop institutions that would permit and encourage the eventual establishment of a free and democratic government. Therefore, U.S. officials concentrated on the creation of such practical supports for democratic government as public education and a sound legal system. The Philippines were granted free trade status, with the U.S.

In 1916, the Philippine Autonomy Act, widely known as the Jones Law, was passed by the U.S. Congress. The law which served as the new organic act (or...
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