Quezon, Manuel Luis

Quezon, Manuel Luis

(mänwĕl lo͞oēs` kā`sōn), 1878–1944, first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935–44). While a law student, he joined (1899) Emilio AguinaldoAguinaldo, Emilio
, 1869–1964, Philippine leader. In the insurrection against Spain in 1896 he took command, and by terms of the peace that ended it he went into exile at Hong Kong (1897).
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's insurrectionary army and fought the U.S. forces until 1901. He was imprisoned briefly after the insurrection. Admitted (1903) to the bar, he was elected (1905) governor of Tabayas prov. (renamed Quezon in his honor in 1946). As a member (1907–9) of the first Philippine assembly, he became floor leader of the majority nationalist party. He served (1909–16) as resident commissioner to the United States, crusading tirelessly for Philippine independence, and was instrumental in securing (1916) passage of the Jones Act, which increased self-government in the Philippines and gave the islands a pledge of future independence. On his return to the Philippines, he was elected (1916) to the first Philippine senate and was unanimously chosen president of that body—at the time the highest elective office in the land. He continued his ardent crusade for independence, strongly opposing the high-handed administration (1921–27) of Governor-General Leonard WoodWood, Leonard,
1860–1927, American general and administrator, b. Winchester, N.H. After practicing medicine briefly in Boston, he entered the army in 1885 and was made an assistant surgeon; in 1891 he was promoted to captain.
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, and after Wood's death effecting the appointment of the more sympathetic Henry Stimson. In 1934 he helped bring about passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Bill, which established the Commonwealth of the Philippines and promised complete independence in 1946. Quezon was elected (1935) president of the new commonwealth. As president he initiated administrative reforms, undertook many defense measures, and greatly expanded his power. Reelected in 1941, he escaped to the United States after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in World War II and conducted a government-in-exile there until his death.


See his autobiography, The Good Fight (1946) and biographies by S. H. Gwekoh (1948), E. Goettel (1970), and C. Quirino (1971).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Quezon, Manuel Luis


Born Aug. 19, 1878, in Baler; died Aug. 1, 1944, in Saranac Lake, USA. Philippine political leader and statesman. Leader of the Nationalist Party (from 1924).

Quezon played a prominent role in the negotiations with the USA (1934) that resulted in the Tydings-McDuffie Law, which granted autonomy to the Philippines. In 1935 he was elected president, the first head of the autonomous government. In 1936, Quezon proclaimed a program of “social justice”—a plan of reforms in workers’ and agricultural legislation; he also legalized the Communist Party. In 1939–40 he exhibited a tendency toward personal dictatorship, and he intensified the struggle against the workers’ and peasant movement. In 1942, after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, Quezon moved to the USA, where he headed the Philippine government in exile. A province and the capital of the Philippines are named after him.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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