The nationalistic and patriotic forces gained momentum
during World War I. The Ceylon National Congress was founded
in 1919. It demanded definite constitutional reforms. A new constitution
was promulgated in 1920, under the governor Sir William Menning.
It was amended in 1924 to satisfy nationalist demands. It
(1) an elected majority in the legislature,
(2) an increase in the number of elected members
(3) communal representation.
The British granted a new constitution in 1932,
which enabled Ceylonese leaders to exercise political power and
thus to gain experience in the art of administration. The constitution
of 1932 was in operation for over 15 years and provided a very valuable
experience to the people and their leaders in the democratic process.
Following the general elections in 1956, in which
the government party was defeated by nationalists, Ceylon transformed
itself into a Republic. Solomon Bandaranaike, the leader
of the Socialist Party, became the first Prime Minister. Mrs
Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka was the first woman in
the world to become a Prime Minister. The country’s name
was changed from Ceylon was changed to Sri Lanka, just after its
After 1880, nationalism and a passion for reform,
blossomed in the Philippines. On returning to the Philippines from
Europe, the Filipino students were able to arouse nationalistic
feelings in the people. The nationalists in the Philippines
formed the Katipunam under the dynamic leadership of Andres
Bonifacio with the sole aim of expelling the Spaniards from
the island. There were revolts around Manila and a truce was concluded
with the Spaniards in December 1897. In the meantime, war broke
out between the USA and Spain. The USA won a brilliant victory at
Manila Bay in May, 1898. Spain was forced to sign a peace treaty
on December 10, 1898, under which the Philippines was ceded to the
USA. However, the Filipino leaders refused to recognize US sovereignty
over the islands. This led to two years of warfare between the US
and the Philippines. Finally the Philippines accepted the US rule
in March, 1901.
In 1916, the Jones Act was passed by the US Congress,
granting a measure of autonomy to the Philippines. However, the
struggle for complete independence from the US rule, continued.
During World War II, the US had promised liberation to the Philippines
from its rule. The USA fulfilled this promise, by formally recognizing
the Philippines as an independent republican state, on July 4, 1946.