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Philippines, protest during the US era

Pierre Rousset


The United States ruled the Philippines for nearly 50 years from 1898 to 1946, one of the few American colonies. At the inception of the colonial era, for the US as for Spain, control of the Philippines was geographically and strategically linked to access to China and to the maritime commercial routes in the Pacific and Indian oceans. As the colonial status of the Philippine archipelago developed importance, the US government found itself in the contradictory position of responding to domestic economic interests seeking to open the region for capital investment and other domestic economic sectors seeking protection from global markets. To consolidate control over the Philippines, the US engaged in military suppression of popular resistance, co-optation of social elites, and upon independence, providing ideological legitimacy for the new regime. The US goal never sought to build a classical colonial empire but to create a new form of imperialism through modern economic and geopolitical domination. To ensure maintenance of the system, reformist elites in the Philippines and US found common ground for an orderly transition to independence instead of autonomy driven through national liberation. In December 1935, the US granted the Philippines commonwealth status, creating an institutional framework for granting full independence 11 years later in 1946: a process that radically influenced ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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