HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 51 no. 1-4 (2005)

Pacification through Land Redistribution: The Case of Hacienda de Imus, 1900-1913

Rene R. Escalante

Discipline: Development, History



By 1900, McKinley was already under pressure to end the military campaign in the Philippines because he did riot want the Philippine War to affect his reelection bid. One of the specific instructions that he gave to the Second Philippine (Taft) Commission was to conduct a thorough investigation and settle the controversies surrounding the titles of land; held or claimed by individuals and religious groups. In doing so, the Commission was asked to recommend a wise and peaceful measure that would settle the controversies and redress the wrongs that had caused strife and bloodshed in the past. In their report, the Taft Commission recommended that it is to the best interest of everybody to buy the friar haciendas and sell them out in small holdings 10 their tenants. This move would result in the waning of anti-friar sentiment among the Filipinos and the gradual pacification of those provinces with friar haciendas.

This paper will examine the implementation of the American friar lands policy from a microeconomic point-of-view. Specifically, it will focus on how the policy was implemented, taking the Hacienda de Imus as case study. The discussion will focus on the process, involved from the time the insular government bought the hacienda until the time it was distributed to the tenants. It will identify the families who partook of the benefices when the hacienda was distributed and their political behavior after they received the land. This paper will show that many of those who had a share in the Hacienda de Imus abandoned the resistance movement and were co-opted by the new administration. Clearly, the American friar lands policy contributed greatly to the pacification of the Philippines, particularly in the Province of Cavite.