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The United States and the Philippines from 1946 to 1972

September 8, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

The American flag comes down as the flag of the Phillipines rises in a black and white photo.
The American flag is lowered as the flag of the newly independent Philippines is raised on July 4, 1946.

The United States maintained influence on the domestic and foreign policies of the Philippines despite its formal recognition of Philippine independence in 1946. From influencing Philippine electoral politics to cultivating the archipelago as an anti-Communist bulwark in Southeast Asia, United States intervention in the Philippines continued well into the period of decolonization. The election of Ferdinand Marcos to the Philippine presidency in 1965, Marcos’s eventual declaration of martial law in 1972, and the continuation of the Marcos authoritarian regime (until 1986) all occurred with the support, both tacit and explicit, of the United States government. Anti-Marcos activists saw this connection as so glaring and apparent that they referred to Marcos’s rule as the “U.S.-Marcos Dictatorship.” This talk will trace the continued influence of U.S. foreign policy on the Philippine state from formal independence in 1946 to the declaration of martial law in 1972. We will track both the demands of U.S. foreign policy as well as the ways that Filipino political elites navigated this time period. We will also discuss the ways that activists and opposition figures continued to demand Philippine sovereignty while working against both corruption in Philippine government and the disproportionate influence of the United States and other nations on the Philippines.

This event recognizes the 75th anniversary of Filipino independence from the United States, 1946-2021.

Register by clicking here.

Our Speaker:
Mark John Sanchez is currently a Research Associate in the Office of the Chancellor at Vanderbilt University. In Fall 2022, he will begin a position as Assistant Professor in Asian Studies at Vanderbilt. Previously, he was a Lecturer on History & Literature at Harvard University, and he completed his Ph.D. in History at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is currently working on a monograph which focuses on the transnational roots of the anti-Marcos movement. The monograph highlights the ways that grassroots Filipino activists led the formation of a transnational movement and traces how local activists engaged with rights-based organizations, religious groups, the U.S. education system, pro-democracy activists, and leftist groups.

The event will be held over Zoom. Questions can go to Dr. Becky Butler,


September 8, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Carolina Asia Center
View Organizer Website

The Carolina Asia Center supports diverse Asia-related events. However, CAC co-sponsorship of any talk, seminar, documentary screening, film screening, performance or celebration does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein. As an academic institution, we value diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding.

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