Area and population figures are from Notes on the vital statistics of the Philippine census of 1903 (1906), p. 1, and Census of the Philippine Islands taken under the direction of the Philippine Legislature in the year 1918 (1920), p. 72.
The Insular Government evolved from the Taft Commission, or Second Philippine Commission, appointed on March 16, 1900. This group was headed by William Howard Taft, and was granted legislative powers by PresidentWilliam McKinley in September 1900. The commission created a judicial system, an educational system, a civil service, and a legal code. The legality of these actions was contested until the passage of the Spooner Amendment in 1901, which granted the U.S. President authority to govern the Philippines.
The Insular Government saw its mission as one of tutelage, preparing the Philippines for eventual independence. On July 4, 1901, Taft was appointed "civil governor", with Military Governor Adna Chaffee retaining authority in disturbed areas. On July 4, 1902, the office of military governor was abolished, and Taft became the first U.S. Governor-General of the Philippines.
Philippine nationalists led by Manuel L. Quezon and Sergio Osmeña enthusiastically endorsed the draft Jones Bill of 1912, which provided for Philippine independence after eight years, but later changed their views, opting for a bill which focused less on time than on the conditions of independence. The nationalists demanded complete and absolute independence to be guaranteed by the United States, since they feared that too-rapid independence from American rule without such guarantees might cause the Philippines to fall into Japanese hands. The Jones Bill was rewritten and passed Congress in 1916 with a later date of independence.
The law, officially the Philippine Autonomy Act but popularly known as the Jones Law, served as the new organic act for the Philippines. Its preamble stated that the eventual independence of the Philippines would be American policy, subject to the establishment of a stable government. The law maintained an appointed governor-general, but established a bicameral Philippine Legislature to replace the elected Philippine Assembly (lower house); it replaced the appointive Philippine Commission (upper house) with an elected senate.
Filipinos suspended the independence campaign during the First World War and supported the United States and the Entente Powers against the German Empire. After the war they resumed their independence drive with great vigour. On March 17, 1919, the Philippine Legislature passed a "Declaration of Purposes", which stated the inflexible desire of the Filipino people to be free and sovereign. A Commission of Independence was created to study ways and means of attaining liberation ideal. This commission recommended the sending of an independence mission to the United States. The "Declaration of Purposes" referred to the Jones Law as a veritable pact, or covenant, between the American and Filipino peoples whereby the United States promised to recognize the independence of the Philippines as soon as a stable government should be established. American Governor-General of the Philippines Francis Burton Harrison had concurred in the report of the Philippine Legislature as to a stable government.
The Philippine Legislature funded an independence mission to the United States in 1919. The mission departed Manila on February 28 and met in America with and presented their case to Secretary of WarNewton D. Baker. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, in his 1921 farewell message to Congress, certified that the Filipino people had performed the condition imposed on them as a prerequisite to independence, declaring that, this having been done, the duty of the U.S. is to grant Philippine independence. The Republican Party then controlled Congress and the recommendation of the outgoing Democratic president was not heeded.
After the first independence mission, public funding of such missions was ruled illegal. Subsequent independence missions in 1922, 1923, 1930, 1931 1932, and two missions in 1933 were funded by voluntary contributions. Numerous independence bills were submitted to the U.S. Congress, which passed the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Bill on December 30, 1932. U.S. President Herbert Hoover vetoed the bill on January 13, 1933. Congress overrode the veto on January 17, and the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act became U.S. law. The law promised Philippine independence after 10 years, but reserved several military and naval bases for the United States, as well as imposing tariffs and quotas on Philippine exports. The law also required the Philippine Senate to ratify the law. Quezon urged the Philippine Senate to reject the bill, which it did. Quezon himself led the twelfth independence mission to Washington to secure a better independence act. The result was the Tydings–McDuffie Act of 1934 which was very similar to the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act except in minor details. The Tydings–McDuffie Act was ratified by the Philippine Senate. The law provided for the granting of Philippine independence by 1946.
The Tydings–McDuffie Act provided for the drafting and guidelines of a constitution for a ten-year "transitional period" as the Commonwealth of the Philippines before the granting of Philippine independence. On May 5, 1934, the Philippines Legislature passed an act setting the election of convention delegates. Governor-General Frank Murphy designated July 10 as the election date, and the Convention held its inaugural session on July 30. The completed draft Constitution was approved by the Convention on February 8, 1935, approved by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt on March 23, and ratified by popular vote on May 14. The first election under the new 1935 constitution was held on September 17, and on November 15, 1935 the Commonwealth was put into place.
On July 4, 1901, executive authority over the islands was transferred to the president of the Philippine Commission, who had the title of "civil governor"–a position appointed by the President of the United States and approved by the United States Senate. For the first year a military governor, Adna Chaffee, ruled parts of the country still resisting American rule, concurrent with civil governor William Howard Taft. Disagreements between the two were not uncommon. The following year, on July 4, 1902, the civil governor became the sole executive authority of the islands. Chaffee remained as Commander of the Philippine Division until September 30, 1902.
The title was changed to "Governor-General" in 1905 by Act of Congress (Public 43 - February 6, 1905).
Roosevelt, Franklin D (November 14, 1935), Proclamation 2148 on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, The American Presidency Project, University of California at Santa Barbara, "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."
Chapter 10: Insular Government 1901-1935, Americans in the Philippines[unreliable source?]
Philippine Academy of Social Sciences (1967). Philippine social sciences and humanities review. pp. 40.
Dolan, Ronald E., ed. (1991-16). "United States Rule". Philippines: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0748-8.Check date values in: |date= (help)
Elliott, Charles Burke (1917). The Philippines: To the End of the Commission Government, a Study in Tropical Democracy. The Bobbs-Merrill Company.
Kalaw, Maximo M. (March 2007) . The Present Government of the Philippines. Read Books. ISBN 978-1-4067-4636-5.
*Seekins, Donald M. (1993), "The First Phase of United States Rule, 1898-1935", in Dolan, Ronald E., Philippines: A Country Study (4th ed.), Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress
Zaide, Sonia M. (1994). The Philippines: A Unique Nation. All-Nations Publishing Co. ISBN 971-642-071-4.