Commonwealth of the Philippines
Japanese occupation: 1942–45
Anthem: The Philippine Hymn
Location of the Philippines in Southeast Asia.
|Status||Associated state and protectorate of the United States|
|Manuel L. Quezon|
|Paul V. McNutt|
|Francis Bowes Sayre|
|Paul V. McNutt|
|Historical era||Interwar, World War II|
|November 15 1935|
|July 4 1946|
|October 22, 1946|
|1939||343,385.1 km2 (132,581.7 sq mi)|
|Driving side||left (before 1945)|
right (after 1945)
|Today part of|
The Commonwealth of the Philippines (Spanish : Mancomunidad de las Filipinas, Commonwealth de Filipinas; Tagalog : Komonwelt ng Pilipinas ) was the administrative body that governed the Philippines from 1935 to 1946, aside from a period of exile in the Second World War from 1942 to 1945 when Japan occupied the country. It replaced the Insular Government, a United States territorial government, and was established by the Tydings–McDuffie Act. The Commonwealth was designed as a transitional administration in preparation for the country's full achievement of independence.
Spanish or Castilian is a Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a quarter of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by the majority. Its standardized form, officially named Filipino, is the national language of the Philippines, and is one of two official languages alongside English.
The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.
During its 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 language of Manila and its surrounding provinces – as the basis of the national 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 in 1942.
The executive is the organ exercising authority in and holding responsibility for the governance of a state. The executive executes and enforces law.
The Nacionalista Party is the oldest political party in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia responsible for leading the country throughout the majority of the 20th century since its founding in 1907, being the ruling party from 1935 to 1944, 1944–1946, 1953–1957, 1957–1961 and 1965–1972.
Manila, officially the City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines. It is the most densely populated city proper in the world. It was the first chartered city by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the "Revised Charter of the City of Manila" on June 18, 1949.
The Commonwealth government went into exile from 1942 to 1945, when the Philippines was under Japanese occupation. In 1946, the Commonwealth ended and the Philippines claimed full sovereignty as provided for in Article XVIII of the 1935 Constitution.
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was also known as the "Philippine Commonwealth", : Kómonwélt ng Pilipinas ( [pɪlɪˈpinɐs] ) and Spanish: Commonwealth de Filipinas ( [filiˈpinas] ). The 1935 constitution specifies "the Philippines" as the country's short form name and uses "the Philippine Islands" only to refer to pre-1935 status and institutions. Under the Insular Government (1901–1935), both terms had official status.or simply as "the Commonwealth". It had official names in Tagalog
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|History of the Philippines|
The pre-1935 U.S. territorial administration, or Insular Government, was headed by a governor general who was appointed by the president of the United States. In December 1932, the U.S. Congress passed the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act with the premise of granting Filipinos independence. Provisions of the bill included reserving several military and naval bases for the United States, as well as imposing tariffs and quotas on Philippine exports.When it reached him for possible signature, President Herbert Hoover vetoed the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act, but the American Congress overrode Hoover's veto in 1933 and passed the bill over Hoover's objections. The bill, however, was opposed by the then Philippine Senate President Manuel L. Quezon and was also rejected by the Philippine Senate.
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act passed to authors Congress Butler B. Hare, Senator Harry B. Hawes and Senator Bronson M. Cutting. The Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act was the first US law passed setting a process and a date for the Philippines to gain independence from the United States. It was the result of the OsRox Mission led by Sergio Osmeña and Manuel Roxas. The law promised Philippine independence after 10 years, but reserved several military and naval bases for the United States, as well as imposed tariffs and quotas on Philippine imports.
Herbert Clark Hoover was an American engineer, businessman, and politician who served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933. A member of the Republican Party, he held office during the onset of the Great Depression. Prior to serving as president, Hoover led the Commission for Relief in Belgium, served as the director of the U.S. Food Administration, and served as the 3rd U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
This led to the creation and passing of a new bill known as Tydings–McDuffie Act,or Philippine Independence Act, which allowed the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines with a ten-year period of peaceful transition to full independence – the date of which was to be on the 4th July following the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Commonwealth.
The Tydings–McDuffie Act, officially the Philippine Independence Act, is a United States federal law that established the process for the Philippines, then an American colony, to become an independent country after a ten-year transition period. Under the act, the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines was written and the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established, with the first directly elected President of the Philippines. It also established limitations on Filipino immigration to the United States.
A Constitutional Convention was convened in Manila on July 30, 1934. On February 8, 1935, the 1935 Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines was approved by the convention by a vote of 177 to 1. The constitution was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 23, 1935 and ratified by popular vote on May 14, 1935.
On 17 September 1935,presidential elections were held. Candidates included former president Emilio Aguinaldo, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente leader Gregorio Aglipay, and others. Manuel L. Quezon and Sergio Osmeña of the Nacionalista Party were proclaimed the winners, winning the seats of president and vice-president, respectively.
The Commonwealth Government was inaugurated on the morning of November 15, 1935, in ceremonies held on the steps of the Legislative Building in Manila. The event was attended by a crowd of around 300,000 people.
The new government embarked on ambitious nation-building policies in preparation for economic and political independence.These included national defense (such as the National Defense Act of 1935, which organized a conscription for service in the country), greater control over the economy, the perfection of democratic institutions, reforms in education, improvement of transport, the promotion of local capital, industrialization, and the colonization of Mindanao.
However, uncertainties, especially in the diplomatic and military situation in Southeast Asia, in the level of U.S. commitment to the future Republic of the Philippines, and in the economy due to the Great Depression, proved to be major problems. The situation was further complicated by the presence of agrarian unrest, and of power struggles between Osmeña and Quezon,especially after Quezon was permitted to be re-elected after one six-year term.
A proper evaluation of the policies' effectiveness or failure is difficult due to Japanese invasion and occupation during World War II.
Japan launched a surprise attack on the Philippines on December 8, 1941. The Commonwealth government drafted the Philippine Army into the U.S. Army Forces Far East, which would resist Japanese occupation. Manila was declared an open city to prevent its destruction,and it was occupied by the Japanese on January 2, 1942. Meanwhile, battles against the Japanese continued on the Bataan Peninsula, Corregidor, and Leyte until the final surrender of United States-Philippine forces in May 1942.
Quezon and Osmeña were escorted by troops from Manila to Corregidor, and later left for Australia prior to going to the U.S., where they set up a government in exile, based at the Shoreham Hotel, in Washington, D.C.This government participated in the Pacific War Council as well as the Declaration by United Nations. Quezon became ill with tuberculosis and died from it, with Osmeña succeeding him as president.
The main general headquarters of the Philippine Commonwealth Army (PCA), located on the military station in Ermita, Manila, was closed down on December 24, 1941. Upon arrival of the Japanese Imperial forces which occupied Manila on January 2, 1942, the defunct PCA main headquarters in the capital city was occupied as the Japanese assumed control. Subsequent to commencement of the Japanese occupation, from January 3, 1942 to June 30, 1946, during and after the Second World War, the general headquarters and military camps and bases of the PCA military stations in the main provinces of the Philippine Archipelago from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were openly under control of the PCA service and began local military conflicts and to engage operations against the Japanese Occupation in this country.[ citation needed ]
Meanwhile, the Japanese military organized a new government in the Philippines known as the Second Philippine Republic, headed by president José P. Laurel. This pro-Japanese government became very unpopular.
Resistance to the Japanese occupation continued in the Philippines. This included the Hukbalahap ("People's Army Against the Japanese"), which consisted of 30,000 armed men and controlled much of Central Luzon.Remnants of the Philippine Army also successfully fought the Japanese through guerrilla warfare, eventually liberating all but 12 of the 48 provinces.
General Douglas MacArthur's army landed on Leyte on October 20, 1944, and were welcomed as liberators,as were the Philippine Commonwealth troops who arrived in other amphibious landings. The Philippine Constabulary was placed on active service with the Philippine Commonwealth Army and re-established on October 28, 1944 to June 30, 1946 during the Allied liberation to Post-World War II era. Fighting continued in remote corners of the Philippines until Japan's surrender in August 1945, which was signed on September 2 in Tokyo Bay. Estimates of Filipino war dead reached one million, and Manila was extensively damaged when Japanese marines refused to vacate the city when ordered to do so by the Japanese High Command.
After the War in the Philippines the Commonwealth was restored and a one-year transitional period in preparation for independence began. Elections followed in April 1946 with Manuel Roxas winning as the first president of the independent Republic of the Philippines and Elpidio Quirino winning as vice-president. In spite of the years of Japanese occupation, the Philippines became independent exactly as scheduled a decade before, on July 4, 1946.
The Commonwealth ended when the U.S. recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946, as scheduled.However, the economy remained dependent on the U.S. This was due to the Bell Trade Act, otherwise known as the Philippine Trade Act, which was a precondition for receiving war rehabilitation grants from the United States.
At the time, tenant farmers held grievances often rooted to debt caused by the sharecropping system, as well as by the dramatic increase in population, which added economic pressure to the tenant farmers' families.As a result, an agrarian reform program was initiated by the Commonwealth. However, success of the program was hampered by ongoing clashes between tenants and landowners.
An example of these clashes includes one initiated by Benigno Ramos through his Sakdalista movement,which advocated tax reductions, land reforms, the breakup of the large estates or haciendas , and the severing of American ties. The uprising, which occurred in Central Luzon in May, 1935, claimed about a hundred lives.
The Commonwealth had two official languages; Spanish, and English.Due to the diverse number of Philippine languages, a program for the "development and adoption of a common national language based on the existing native dialects" was drafted in the 1935 Constitution. The Commonwealth created the Surián ng Wikang Pambansà (National Language Institute), which was initially composed of President Quezon and six other members from various ethnic groups. A deliberation was held and Tagalog, due to its extensive literary tradition, was selected as the basis for the "national language" to be called "Pilipino".
In 1940, the Commonwealth authorized the creation of a dictionary and grammar book for the language. In that same year, Commonwealth Act 570 was passed, allowing Filipino to become an official language upon independence.
The cash economy of the Commonwealth was mostly agriculture-based. Products included abaca, coconuts and coconut oil, sugar, and timber.Numerous other crops and livestock were grown for local consumption by the Filipino people. Other sources for foreign income included the spin-off from money spent at American military bases on the Philippines such as the naval base at Subic Bay and Clark Air Base (with U.S. Army airplanes there as early as 1919), both on the island of Luzon.
The performance of the economy was initially good despite challenges from various agrarian uprisings. Taxes collected from a robust coconut industry helped boost the economy by funding infrastructure and other development projects. However, growth was halted due to the outbreak of World War II.
In 1939, a census of the Philippines was taken and determined that it had a population of 16,000,303; of these 15.7 million were counted as "Brown", 141.8 thousand as "Yellow", 19.3 thousand as "White", 29.1 thousand as "Negro", 50.5 thousand as "Mixed", and under 1 thousand "Other".In 1941, the estimated population of the Philippines reached 17,000,000; there were 117,000 Chinese, 30,000 Japanese, and 9,000 Americans. English was spoken by 26.3% of the population, according to the 1939 Census. Spanish, after English overtook it beginning in the 1920s, became a language for the elite and in government; it was later banned during the Japanese occupation.
Estimated numbers of speakers of the dominant languages:
The Commonwealth had its own constitution, which remained effective until 1973,and was self-governing although foreign policy and military affairs would be under the responsibility of the United States, and Laws passed by the legislature affecting immigration, foreign trade, and the currency system had to be approved by the United States president.
During the 1935–41 period, the Commonwealth of the Philippines featured a very strong executive, a unicameral National Assembly,and a Supreme Court, all composed entirely of Filipinos, as well as an elected Resident Commissioner to the United States House of Representatives (as Puerto Rico does today). An American High Commissioner and an American Military Advisor, Douglas MacArthur headed the latter office from 1937 until the advent of World War II in 1941, holding the military rank of Field Marshal of the Philippines. After 1946, the rank of field marshal disappeared from the Philippine military.
During 1939 and 1940, after an amendment in the Commonwealth's Constitution, a bicameral Congress,consisting of a Senate, and of a House of Representatives, was restored, replacing the National Assembly.
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The colors indicate the political party or coalition of each President at Election Day.
|#||President||Took office||Left office||Party||Vice President||Term|
|1||Manuel L. Quezon||November 15, 1935||August 1, 19441||Nacionalista||Sergio Osmeña||1|
|2||Sergio Osmeña||August 1, 1944||May 28, 1946||Nacionalista||vacant|
|3||Manuel Roxas||May 28, 1946||July 4, 19462||Liberal||Elpidio Quirino||3|
1 Died of tuberculosis at Saranac Lake, New York.
2 End of Commonwealth government, independent Republic inaugurated.
In 1935 Quezon won the Philippines' first national presidential election under the banner of the Nacionalista Party. He obtained nearly 68% of the vote against his two main rivals, Emilio Aguinaldo and Bishop Gregorio Aglipay. Quezon was inaugurated in November 1935. He is recognized as the second President of the Philippines. When Manuel L. Quezon was inaugurated President of the Philippines in 1935, he became the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines since Emilio Aguinaldo and the Malolos Republic in 1898. However, in January 2008, Congressman Rodolfo Valencia of Oriental Mindoro filed a bill seeking instead to declare General Miguel Malvar as the second Philippine President, having directly succeeded Aguinaldo in 1901.
Quezon had originally been barred by the Philippine constitution from seeking re-election. However, in 1940, constitutional amendments were ratified allowing him to seek re-election for a fresh term ending in 1943. In the 1941 presidential elections, Quezon was re-elected over former Senator Juan Sumulong with nearly 82% of the vote.
In a notable humanitarian act, Quezon, in cooperation with U.S. High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt, facilitated the entry into the Philippines of Jewish refugees fleeing fascist regimes in Europe. Quezon was also instrumental in promoting a project to resettle the refugees in Mindanao.
Quezon suffered from tuberculosis and spent his last years in a 'cure cottage' in Saranac Lake, NY, where he died on August 1, 1944. He was initially buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His body was later carried by the USS Princeton and re-interred in Manila at the Manila North Cemetery before being moved to Quezon City within the monument at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
Osmeña became president of the Commonwealth on Quezon's death in 1944. He returned to the Philippines the same year with General Douglas MacArthur and the liberation forces. After the war Osmeña restored the Commonwealth government and the various executive departments. He continued the fight for Philippine independence.
For the presidential election of 1946 Osmeña refused to campaign, saying that the Filipino people knew of his record of 40 years of honest and faithful service. Nevertheless, he was defeated by Manuel Roxas, who won 54% of the vote and became the first president of the independent Republic of the Philippines.
Roxas served as the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines in a brief period, from his subsequent election on May 28, 1946 to July 4, 1946, the scheduled date of the proclamation of Philippine Independence. Roxas prepared the groundwork for the advent of a free and independent Philippines, assisted by the Congress (reorganized May 25, 1946), with Senator José Avelino as the Senate President and Congressman Eugenio Pérez as the House of Representatives Speaker. On June 3, 1946, Roxas appeared for the first time before the joint session of the Congress to deliver his first state of the nation address. Among other things, he told the members of the Congress the grave problems and difficulties the Philippines were set to face and reported on his special trip to the U.S. — the approval for independence.
On June 21, he reappeared in another joint session of the Congress and urged the acceptance of two important laws passed by the U.S. Congress on April 30, 1946 regarding the Philippine lands. They are the Philippine Rehabilitation Act and the Philippine Trade Act.Both recommendations were accepted by the Congress.
Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino revolutionary, politician, and military leader who is officially recognized as the first and the youngest President of the Philippines (1899–1901) and first president of a constitutional republic in Asia. He led Philippine forces first against Spain in the latter part of the Philippine Revolution (1896–1898), and then in the Spanish–American War (1898), and finally against the United States during the Philippine–American War (1899–1901).
Manuel L. Quezon was a Filipino statesman, soldier and politician who served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was the first Filipino to head a government of the entire Philippines, and is considered to have been the second president of the Philippines, after Emilio Aguinaldo (1899–1901).
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The President leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The President is directly elected by the people, and is one of only two nationally elected executive officials, the other being the Vice President of the Philippines. However, four vice presidents have assumed the presidency without having been elected to the office, by virtue of a president's intra-term death or resignation.
The Senate of the Philippines is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines, the Congress; the House of Representatives is the lower house. The Senate is composed of 24 senators who are elected at-large with the country as one district under plurality-at-large voting.
Sergio Osmeña Sr., PLH, was a Filipino politician who served as the third President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He was Vice President under Manuel L. Quezon. Upon Quezon's sudden death in 1944, Osmeña succeeded him, at age 65, becoming the oldest holder of the office. A founder of the Nacionalista Party, Osmeña was also the first Visayan to become president.
Manuel Acuña Roxas was the fifth President of the Philippines who served from 1946 until his death in 1948. He briefly served as the third and last President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from May 28, 1946 to July 4, 1946, subsequently becoming the first President of the independent Third Philippine Republic after the United States ceded its sovereignty over the Philippines.
Philippine Republic Day, also known as Filipino-American Friendship Day, is a commemoration in the Philippines held annually on July 4. It was formerly an official holiday designated as Independence Day, celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Manila, which granted Philippine Independence from the United States of America in 1946.
The Vice President of the Philippines is the second-highest executive official of the government of the Philippines, after the President. The Vice President currently holds office at the Quezon City Reception House in Quezon City. Previously, the Vice President of the Philippines held office at the Coconut Palace, the Philippine National Bank Financial Center, and the Philippine International Convention Center, all in Pasay, Metro Manila.
The State of the Nation Address is an annual address by the President of the Philippines to a joint session of the Congress of the Philippines. Mandated by the 1987 Constitution, the speech is delivered every fourth Monday of July at the Plenary Session Hall of the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, Metro Manila.
Filipino nationalism began with an upsurge of patriotic sentiments and nationalistic ideals in the 1800s Philippines that came as a consequence of more than three centuries of Spanish rule. This served as the backbone of the first nationalist revolution in Asia, the Philippine Revolution of 1896, and continues up to this day. These nationalistic sentiments have led to a wide-ranging campaign for political, social, and economic freedom in the Philippines.
Presidential, legislative and local elections were held on September 16, 1935. This was the fourth election since the enactment of the Tydings–McDuffie Act, a law that paved the way for a transitory government, as well as the first nationwide at-large election ever held in the Philippines.
Independence Day is an annual national holiday in the Philippines observed on June 12, commemorating the independence of the Philippines from Spain.
The history of the Philippines from 1898 to 1946 began with the outbreak of the Spanish–American War in April 1898, when the Philippines was still part of the Spanish East Indies, and concluded when the United States formally recognised the independence of the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946.
Felipe Agoncillo was the Filipino lawyer representative to the negotiations in Paris that led to the Treaty of Paris (1898), ending the Spanish–American War and achieving him the title of "outstanding first Filipino diplomat."
The National Assembly of the Philippines refers to the legislatures of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1941, and of the Second Philippine Republic during Japanese occupation. The National Assembly of the Commonwealth was created under the 1935 Constitution, which served as the Philippines' fundamental law to prepare it for its independence from the United States of America.
The Second Philippine Republic, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, or known in the Philippines as Japanese-sponsored Philippine Republic, was a puppet state established on October 14, 1943, during the Japanese occupation.
The First Congress of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, also known as the "Postwar Congress" and the "Liberation Congress", refers to the meeting of the bicameral legislature composed of the Senate and House of Representatives, from 1945 to 1946. This Congress convened only after the reestablishment of the Commonwealth Government in 1945 when President Sergio Osmeña called it to five special sessions. Osmeña had replaced Manuel L. Quezon as president after the former died in exile in the United States in 1944.
The Sovereignty of the Philippines refers to the status of the Philippines as an independent nation. This article covers sovereignty transitions relating to the Philippines, with particular emphasis on the passing of sovereignty from Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1898), signed on December 10, 1898 to end the Spanish–American War.
The Insular Government of the Philippine Islands was a territorial government of the United States that was established in 1901 and was dissolved in 1935. The Insular Government was preceded by the United States Military Government of the Philippine Islands and was followed by the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
Officials of the Commonwealth of the Philippines – Funcionarios del Commonwealth de Filipinas
This Proclamation shall be effective upon its promulgation at Manila, Philippine Islands, on November 15, 1935, by the Secretary of War of the United States of America, who is hereby designated as my representative for that purpose.