the Philippines


Manila, Luzon




More Information


Changes in the American period



Consequences of the American colonial rule


During the Spanish period the Spaniards had given enormous  land properties to the Catholic church. One of the first things the Americans did was to take care for the redistribution of these land properties. To do so they first had to pay an  amount of US $7.2 million to the Vatican in 1904. The small farmers or tenants didn't get any land however. The land became property of some large landowners.  Most of the small farmers couldn't pay the asked price or couldn't prove that they were the former owners of the land.

The economic development during the 'American period'  was rather typical colonial. The Philippine economy was strongly related to and depending on the United States. The Philippine economy  was focused on mining and exporting crops. Industrial growth didn't take place. 


Quezon, the first Philippine president


The Philippines was controlled by the Americans from 

1900-1942. In 1934 an act was established, which made

it possible that the Philippines  could have a 

"Commonwealth of the Philippines". 

The first president of this Commonwealth was Manuel Quezon. The  first president  was given certain power 

for some internal affairs. 



The Japanese occupation


The Americans were still in the Philippines when the next 

foreign ruler came. Japan. The Japanese army and rulers 

occupied the Philippines from 1942 - 1944.


President Quezon


The first step to liberation


In October 1944 the American general Douglas Mac Arthur landed with his troops at the east coast of Leyte, one of the bigger islands in the central part of the Philippines. 


This was the first step in the total liberation of the country. With 700 vessels and 174,000 army and navy servicemen, McArthur arrived in the Philippines. In December 1944, the islands of 

Leyte and Mindoro were cleared of the Japanese army. 


Many casualties


The casualties of the Americans in this operation is estimated 4000 - 6000.

Filipino casualties: estimated about one million! 


Freedom at last!


The Philippines was granted it's independence in 1946. Freedom at last, 148 years later than the freedom which was written down by Julian Felipe in the Philippine anthem called "Lupang Hinirang". 

The Republic of the Philippines was proclaimed on July 4, 1946.

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