Philippines – Fall of Colonial Powers – 4

The American Rule and Japanese Invasion

The Spanish rule in Philippines ended in 1898, and thus the nationalists were successful in driving away the Spanish. With that, in 1899, Aguinaldo formed the Philippine Republic – a new, independent nation, and became its first president.

The new government declared its independence on 12th June, 1898 and was envisaged by the Filipino nationalists as a well-structured government. This was the reason why the Filipinos were able to oppose the Spanish and United States so fiercely and with a considerable amount of determination.

However, the First Philippine Republic only functioned for two years. It was not lack of determination that bought the Filipinos down, but it was the American wealth and might. Thousands of Filipinos lost their lives, and in the end, the First Philippine Republic was abolished in March 1901, and the American Rule in the Philippines began.

After winning in the Spanish – American War, US succeeded Spain as the colonial power due to them acquiring the Philippine Islands via the Treaty of Paris. The United States ruled until the outbreak of World War II. A great number of developments took place under the Americans and their more liberal policies. The Americans introduced English education in the Philippines, and many teachers from the US were sent to Philippines to educate the population.

With the outbreak of World War II, United States shifted their attention to the war. This led to Japan – the rising Imperial Asian power – to find it’s way to the Philippines. In 1941, the Japanese landed in the Philippines, and the Filipinos began seeing the scarcity, harshness and deteriorating conditions the Japanese rule bought.

The Japanese wanted to ensure Filipino loyalty to the Japanese Emperor and a number of changes in education, administration, etc. were bought about. This angered the Filipinos who began to prefer the American rule over the rule of an Asian power.

When Japan fell in 1945, the United States once again took over Philippines. However, the spirit of Filipino nationalism began rising once again, and this time, they were determined to stay independent.