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The Philippines Part 2
Colonial rule (1565–1946)
Spanish rule brought what is now the Philippines into a single unified administration. From 1565 to 1821, the Philippines was governed as part of the Mexico-based Viceroyalty of New Spain, and then was administered directly from Madrid following the Mexican War of Independence. Manila galleons were constructed in Bicol and Cavite. Manila became the western hub of the trans-Pacific trade.In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the area, claimed the islands for Spain, and was then killed at the Battle of Mactan. Colonization began when Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi arrived from Mexico in 1565, establishing control of Cebu, Panay, and Luzon., The Spaniards established Manila, at what is now Intramuros, as the capital of the Spanish East Indies in 1571. The Spanish considered their war with the Muslims in Southeast Asia an extension of the Reconquista,
Under Spanish rule, Catholic missionaries converted most of the lowland inhabitants to Christianity. They also founded schools, a university, hospitals, and churches. To defend their settlements, the Spaniards constructed and manned a network of military fortresses across the archipelago. The Spanish also decreed the introduction of free public schooling in 1863. Slavery was also abolished. As a result of these policies the Philippine population increased exponentially.
During its rule, Spain quelled various indigenous revolts, as well as defending against external military challenges The Philippines was expensive during Spanish rule. War against the Dutch from the West, in the 17th century, together with conflict with the Muslims in the South and combating Japanese-Chinese Wokou piracy from the North nearly bankrupted the colonial treasury. The constant wars caused a high desertion rate among the Latino soldiers sent from Mexico and Peru, and also to Filipino warriors and laborers levied by Spain. Due to repeated wars, lack of wages, dislocation and near starvation almost half of the soldiers sent from Latin America and the warriors and laborers recruited locally either died or deserted. Immigration blurred the racial caste system Spain maintained in towns and cities. Increasing difficulty in governing the Philippines led to the Royal Fiscal of Manila writing to King Charles III of Spain, advising him to abandon the colony. However, this was successfully opposed by the religious and missionary orders that argued that the Philippines was a launching pad for further religious conversion in the Far East.
In the 19th century, Philippine ports opened to world trade and shifts started occurring within Filipino society. Many Spaniards born in the Philippines and those of mixed ancestry were wealthy, and an influx of Hispanic American immigrants opened up government positions traditionally held by Spaniards born in the Iberian Peninsula. However, ideas of rebellion and independence began to spread through the islands. Many Latin-Americans and Criollos staffed the Spanish army in the Philippines. However, the onset of the Latin American wars of independence led to doubts about their loyalty. This was compounded by a Mexican of Filipino descent, Isidoro Montes de Oca, becoming captain-general to the revolutionary leader Vicente Guerrero during the Mexican War of Independence. To prevent the union of both Latinos and Filipinos in rebellion against the empire, the Latino and Criollo officers stationed in the Philippines were soon replaced by Peninsular officers born in Spain. These Peninsular officers were less committed to the people they were assigned to protect and were often predatory, enriching themselves before returning to Spain, putting the interests of the metropolis over the interest of the natives.The Philippines survived on an annual subsidy provided by the Spanish Crown, usually paid through the provision of 75 tons of silver bullion being sent from the Americas. Financial constraints meant the 200-year-old fortifications in Manila did not see significant change after being first built by the early Spanish colonizers. British forces occupied Manila from 1762 to 1764 during the Seven Years' War, however they were unable to extend their conquest outside of Manila as the Filipinos stayed loyal to the remaining Spanish community outside Manila. Spanish rule was restored through the 1763 Treaty of Paris. The Spanish–Moro conflict lasted for several hundred years. In the last quarter of the 19th century, Spain conquered portions of Mindanao and the Moro Muslims in the Sulu Sultanate formally recognized Spanish sovereignty.
The Katipunan started the Philippine Revolution in 1896. Katipunan chapters in Cavite Province, primarily the Magdiwang and the Magdalo had an internal dispute that led to the Tejeros Convention and an election in which Bonifacio lost his position and Emilio Aguinaldo was elected as the new leader of the revolution. In 1898, the Spanish–American War began, and this war reached Spanish forces in the Philippines. Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite, on June 12, 1898, and the First Philippine Republic was declared in the Barasoain Church in the following yearRevolutionary sentiments were stoked in 1872 after three activist Catholic priests were accused of sedition and executed. This would inspire a propaganda movement in Spain, organized by Marcelo H. del Pilar, José Rizal, and Mariano Ponce, lobbying for political reforms in the Philippines. Rizal was eventually executed on December 30, 1896, on charges of rebellion. This radicalized many who had previously been loyal to Spain. As attempts at reform met with resistance, Andrés Bonifacio in 1892 established the militant secret society called the Katipunan, who sought independence from Spain through armed revolt.
The islands were ceded by Spain to the United States alongside Puerto Rico and Guam as a result of the latter's victory in the Spanish–American War. As it became increasingly clear the United States would not recognize the First Philippine Republic, the Philippine–American War broke out. War resulted in the deaths of at least 200,000 and at most, 1 million Filipino civilians, mostly due to famine and disease. After the defeat of the First Philippine Republic, the archipelago was administered under an American Insular Government. The Americans then suppressed other rebellious proto-states: mainly, the waning Sultanate of Sulu, as well as the insurgent Tagalog Republic and the Republic of Zamboanga.
During this era, a renaissance in Philippine culture occurred, including an expansion of Philippine cinema and literature. Daniel Burnham built an architectural plan for Manila which would have transformed it into a modern city. In 1935, the Philippines was granted Commonwealth status with Manuel Quezon as president and Sergio Osmeña as vice president. He designated a national language and introduced women's suffrage and land reform.
Plans for independence over the next decade were interrupted by World War II when the Japanese Empire invaded and the Second Philippine Republic, under Jose P. Laurel, was established as a puppet state.
In a report by Karl L. Rankin, from mid-1942 through mid-1944, the Japanese occupation of the Philippines was opposed by large-scale underground guerrilla activity. The largest naval battle in history, according to gross tonnage sunk, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, occurred when Allied forces began liberating the Philippines from the Japanese Empire. Many atrocities and war crimes were committed during the war, including the Bataan Death March and the Manila massacre. Allied troops defeated the Japanese in 1945. By the end of the war it is estimated that over a million Filipinos had died. On October 11, 1945, the Philippines became one of the founding members of the United Nations.
Efforts to end the Hukbalahap Rebellion began during Elpidio Quirino's term, however, it was only during Ramon Magsaysay's presidency was the movement decimated. Magsaysay's successor, Carlos P. Garcia, initiated the Filipino First Policy, which was continued by Diosdado Macapagal, with celebration of Independence Day moved from July 4 to June 12, the date of Emilio Aguinaldo's declaration, and pursuit of a claim on the eastern part of North Borneo.
In 1965, Macapagal lost the presidential election to Ferdinand Marcos. Early in his presidency, Marcos initiated numerous infrastructure projects but, together with his wife Imelda, was accused of massive corruption and embezzling billions of dollars in public funds. Nearing the end of his term, Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972. This period of his rule was characterized by political repression, censorship, and human rights violations.
On August 21, 1983, Marcos' chief rival, opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr., was assassinated on the tarmac at Manila International Airport. Marcos eventually called snap presidential elections in 1986. Marcos was proclaimed the winner, but the results were widely regarded as fraudulent. The resulting protests led to the People Power Revolution, which forced Marcos and his allies to flee to Hawaii and Aquino's widow, Corazon Aquino, was installed as president.
The return of democracy and government reforms beginning in 1986 were hampered by national debt, government corruption, coup attempts, disasters, a persistent communist insurgency, and a military conflict with Moro separatists, during Corazon Aquino's administration. The administration also faced a series of natural disasters, including the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991. Aquino was succeeded by Fidel V. Ramos whose modest economic performance, at 3.6% growth rate, was overshadowed by the onset of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Ramos' successor, Joseph Estrada was overthrown by the 2001 EDSA Revolution and he was succeeded by his Vice President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on January 20, 2001. Arroyo's 9-year administration was tainted by graft and political scandals. On November 23, 2009, 34 journalists and several civilians were massacred in Maguindanao.
During Benigno Aquino III's administration, a clash which took place in Mamasapano, Maguindanao killed 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force that put the efforts to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law into law in an impasse.
Former Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte won the 2016 presidential election, becoming the first president from Mindanao. Duterte launched an intensified anti-drug campaign. The implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law led to the creation of the autonomous Bangsamoro region in Mindanao
Geography and environment
The Philippines is an archipelago composed of about 7,641 islands with a total land area, including inland bodies of water, of 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi). This makes it the 5th largest island country in the world. The 36,289 kilometers (22,549 mi) of coastline makes it the country with the fifth longest coastline in the world. The Exclusive economic zone of the Philippines covers 2,263,816 km2 (874,064 sq mi). It is located between 116° 40', and 126° 34' E longitude and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N latitude and is bordered by the Philippine Sea to the east, the South China Sea to the west, and the Celebes Sea to the south. The island of Borneo is located a few hundred kilometers southwest and Taiwan is located directly to the north. The Moluccas and Sulawesi are located to the south-southwest and Palau is located to the east of the islands.
Most of the mountainous islands are covered in tropical rainforest and volcanic in origin. The highest mountain is Mount Apo. It measures up to 2,954 meters (9,692 ft) above sea level and is located on the island of Mindanao. The Galathea Depth in the Philippine Trench is the deepest point in the country and the third deepest in the world. The trench is located in the Philippine Sea.
The longest river is the Cagayan River in northern Luzon. Manila Bay, upon the shore of which the capital city of Manila lies, is connected to Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the Philippines, by the Pasig River. Subic Bay, the Davao Gulf, and the Moro Gulf are other important bays.