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S. 2295, A Bill temporarily to provide for the administration of the affairs of civil government in the Philippine Islands (Philippine Organic Act), April 18, 1902

With the Philippine Organic Act, Congress prescribed a temporary U.S.-controlled civil government for the islands. Among other provisions, it created a bicameral legislature and designated two resident commissioners as nonvoting delegates to the U.S. House of Representatives. Congress replaced the 1902 act with the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916, which established the islands’ path to independence.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

Sec. 6. That whenever the existing insurrection in the Philippine Islands shall have ceased . . . the President, . . . shall order a census of the Philippine Islands to be taken; . . . to inform the President and Congress concerning the capacity, fitness, and readiness of all the people of the Philippine Islands, . . . for . . . a permanent popular representative government

S. 2295 page 1 S. 2295 page 2 Sec. 6. That whenever the existing insurrection in the Philippine Islands shall have ceased . . . the President, . . . shall order a census of the Philippine Islands to be taken; . . . to inform the President and Congress concerning the capacity, fitness, and readiness of all the people of the Philippine Islands, . . . for . . . a permanent popular representative government

Annexing the Philippines

In 1898 Congress declared war against Spain to support Cuba’s independence from Spanish rule. Hostilities quickly extended to other Spanish colonies, including the Philippines. At the end of the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States for $20 million. Congress passed an Organic Act establishing a civilian government for the Philippine Islands in 1902, after U.S. troops suppressed a Filipino nationalist movement. Except when occupied by Japan during World War II, the Philippines remained under U.S. control until Congress recognized its independence in 1946.