Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Quezon City Campus
The Philippine Commonwealth Era
| 1935–1946| →|
Flag| Coat of arms|
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of the Philippines. From 1935 to 1946 the Philippines existed as a commonwealth of the United States. That Commonwealth was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which was passed by the United States Congress in 1934. When Manuel L. Quezon was inaugurated president in 1935, he became the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines. During it’s slightly more than a decade of existence; the Commonwealth had a strong executive and a Supreme Court. Its legislature, dominated by the Nacionalista Party, was at first unicameral, but later bicameral. In 1937, the government selected Tagalog, the dialect of Manila, as the official language, although it would be many years before its usage became general. Women's suffrage was adopted and the economy recovered to its pre-depression level before the Japanese occupation. The Commonwealth government was in exile from 1942 to 1945, when the Philippines was under Japanese occupation. In 1946, the Commonwealth ended and the Philippines became an independent Republic as provided for in Article XVIII of the 1935 Philippine Constitution. The Commonwealth era is the 10 year transitional period in Philippine history from 1935 to 1945 in preparation for independence from the United States as provided for under the Philippine Independence Act or more popularly known as the Tydings-McDuffie Law. The Commonwealth era was interrupted when the Japanese occupied the Philippines in January 2, 1942. The Commonwealth government, lead by Manuel L. Quezon and Sergio S. Osmeña went into exile in the U.S., Quezon died of tuberculosis while in exile and Osmeña took over as...