Manuel L. Quezon's most notable achievement was the passing of the Jones Act that ensured independence for the Philippines from the United States. He was president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944 and made several major changes to the social and economic conditions in the country.Continue Reading
Quezon started life in a remote province of the Philippines as the son of a rice farmer, but quickly rose to political power. He went from governor of his local Tayabas region to president of the country in 10 years. He was influential in revising a key law that gave Filipinos a majority in the Philippine Commission and negotiated the Jones Act that allowed Filipinos to be self-legislating.
When Quezon became president, he led the first Independence Mission to the U.S. Congress and succeeded in getting the Tydings-McDuffie Independence Law passed in 1934, gaining the Philippines commonwealth status. Building a long-term friendship with American Lieutenant Douglas MacArthur was vital to many of his achievements. Their close bond gained him favor in the United States and provided military support when he had to fend off aggression from neighboring Japan. Quezon would never witness his country gain full independence in 1946, dying of tuberculosis two years earlier.Learn more about Modern Asia