Tydings–McDuffie Act

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Senator Millard Tydings is one of the authors of the Philippine Independence Act.

The Tydings–McDuffie Act (officially the Philippine Independence Act, Pub.L. 73–127, 48 Stat. 456, enacted March 24, 1934) was a United States federal law which provided for self-government of the Philippines and for Filipino independence from the United States after a period of ten years. It also established strict limitations on Filipino immigration. It was authored in the 73rd United States Congress by Senator Millard E. Tydings of Maryland and Representative John McDuffie of Alabama,[1] and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, all Democrats.

In 1934, Manuel L. Quezon, the President of the Senate of the Philippines, headed a "Philippine Independence mission" to Washington, D.C. It successfully lobbied Congress and secured the act's passage.[1]


The Tydings–McDuffie Act specified a procedural framework for, within two years of its enactment, the drafting of a Constitution for the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The act specified a number of mandatory constitutional provisions, and required approval of the constitution by the U.S. President and by the Filipino people. The act mandated U.S. recognition of independence of the Philippine Islands as a separate and self-governing nation after a ten-year transition period.[2]

Prior to independence, the act allowed the U.S to maintain military forces in the Philippines and to call all military forces of the Philippine government into U.S. military service. The act empowered the U.S. President, within two years following independence, to negotiate matters relating to U.S. naval reservations and fueling stations of in the Philippine Islands.[2]

The act reclassified all Filipinos, including those who were living in the United States, as aliens for the purposes of immigration to America. A quota of 50 immigrants per year was established.[2]


One effect of the act was to pave the way for the Filipino Repatriation Act of 1935.[3]

In 1943, Tydings introduced a similar bill for independence of Puerto Rico, a territory of the US. While its political parties supported the bill, Luis Muñoz Marín, leader of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) did not, and he was influential in persuading Congress not to pass the bill.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Zaide, Sonia M. (1994). The Philippines: A Unique Nation. All-Nations Publishing Co. pp. 314–315. ISBN 971-642-071-4. 
  2. ^ a b c The Philippine Independence Act (Tydings-McDuffie Act) (approved March 24, 1934), The Corpus Juris.
  3. ^ Jeffrey D. Schultz (2000). Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics: African Americans and Asian Americans. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 275. ISBN 978-1-57356-148-8.