Civilian control of the Philippines emerged early in the era of American administration, diminishing the authority of the military and facilitating Filipino participation in the regime. Throughout this period American public servants relied on Filipino collaboration, cooperation, and eventually permission to accomplish their tasks. Many Americans found this dynamic frustrating. They were supposed to be the experts in charge of creating a modern state on these Pacific islands. Administrators, civil servants, educators, and public health officials embraced a progressive agenda that relied upon efficiency, technology, and expertise to develop the Philippines. From the beginning of the Insular Government, structural limits constrained Americans' ability to implement reforms. Filipino demands for independence shaped policy in Washington and confined colonial development within boundaries established by the colonized elite.
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