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SABIGAN, Kayla Joezette N.

/ 2015-11257

October 5, 2015

BS Applied Physics

American Colonial Rule: Policy and Governance


I. The Military Rule

After Manila fell into the hands of the Americans, the country was administered by the President
of the United States through the military. Thus, President McKinley ordered the military
commander, General Wesley Merritt, to establish a military government in the Philippines with
Merritt as the first military governor. In August 1898, he was ordered to go to Paris to testify
before the peace commissioners regarding the conditions of the Philippines. He was succeeded by
General Elwell Otis then General Arthur MacArthur.
The military governors duties included the pacification of the provinces which had not yet
recognized the authority of the United States and the maintenance of peace and order in areas
already pacified. It was also the military governor that introduced the public school system in the
Philippines with some soldiers acting as teachers.

II. American Policy in the Philippines


1. The Schurman Commission

The enforcement of American Sovereignty over the entire Philippines;


Training for self-government of the Filipinos compatible with the maintenance of order and with
a wise, just, and economical administration of public affairs;
Protection of the civil rights of the Filipinos; and
The promotion of the welfare of the Filipinos

2. The Taft Commission

The Taft Commission was instructed by President McKinley to establish a government for the
Filipinos and that the steps toward attaining this goal should be in accordance with the customs
and traditions of the people. Free primary education was to be introduced by the Commission in
the Philippines and that the English language should be used as the medium of instruction.

III. The Civil Government

Reconcentration Act It provided the zoning of the inhabitants of a town known to have
thieves and outlaws. The purpose of the law was to discourage the civilian population from
supporting the guerillas, and to subject them to zoning.
Circular Order No. 19 It was issued on December 24, 1901, these rules were made in order to
make the existing condition of war and martial law so inconvenient and unprofitable to the people
that they will earnestly desire and work for the reestablishment of peace and civil government.
Sedition Law It was passed on 1901, provided that any Filipino advocating independence or
separation from the United States would be punished severely by death or imprisonment.
Brigandage Act It was passed providing for severe penalty to those found in the company, or
were members, of armed groups who were stealing carabaos, which were in great shortage due to
rinderpest. Guerilla warfare under these circumstances was suppressed.

IV. The Philippine Bill of 1902

Also known as the Cooper Law.


This law boosted Governor Tafts Administration.
This law provided all the acts of the President of the United States relative to the Philippines. It
also provided for a bill of rights which guaranteed Filipinos the right of free speech, free press,
and freedom to petition for the redress of grievances.

V. The Census of 1903

This was the first scientific census ever to be taken in the Philippines. A reliable census of the
country was necessary before elections for the Philippine Assembly to take place.

VI. Pensionado Program

It was inaugurated in 1903, sent Filipino students to the United States for higher education as
government scholars.

VII. Government Reorganization

Municipal Code Act This law provided that the municipal government was to be administered
by the following elected officials: the municipal president, the municipal vice president, and the
municipal council.
Provincial Code Act According to this law, the provincial government was to be administered
by a board composed of a governor, a treasurer, and a supervisor.
Civil Service According to this law, all government employees, whether in the municipal,
provincial, or national government, shall be placed under the administrative control of the Bureau
of Civil Service.

VIII. The Jones Law

It states that in the Preamble that the Philippines would be granted independence a soon as a
stable government [could] be established therein. Toward this end, the Jones Act provided that
the domestic affairs of the Filipinos should be administered by them so that they may be better
prepared to fully assume the responsibilities and enjoy the privileges of complete independence.