HomeDLSU Dialogue: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Cultural Studiesvol. 22 no. 1 (1987)

The Philippine Independence Mission to the United States. 1919-1934

Antonio C. Hila



It was virtually after the passage of the Jones Law in 1916, introduced no less than three times by Congressman William Atkinson Jones, when the Filipinos "clamor" for independence took definite shape and direction. For the Jones Law was received as the "first official promise of early American withdrawal." Consider thus its preamble which states: "It is, as it has always been, the purpose of the people of the U.S. to with· draw their sovereignty over the Philippine Islands and to recognize their independence as soon as a stable government can be established therein..."

The years that followed its passage saw the constitution of the so-called Independence Missions to the U.S. to "press for immediate independence." The· period (1919·1934) thus marked an important chapter in the colonial history of the country under the U.S. as it was practically in this span of about 15 years that Philippine political leaders, dominated by two contrasting yet colorful personalities. Sergio Osmeña and Manuel Quezon lobbied vigorously for the passage of an Independence Act that would set the political independence of the country in more concrete and definite terms than the "spirit" of the Jones Law.