V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > F. The Pacific Region, c. 800–1914 > 2. The Philippines, 1800–1913
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1785)
2. The Philippines, 1800–1913
In the course of the 19th century, corruption in the church and bureaucracy and ethnic discrimination increased social and political discontent in the Spanish colony. A fledgling export economy developed, most notably in sugar, which strengthened ties to the outside world and weakened links with Spain. The number of Chinese in the country grew, and their economic role increased. Most significant, an elite of “Filipinos” emerged, a mixed group of mestizos, indios, and Spaniards born in the archipelago who saw themselves as representatives of a distinct Philippine nation. They spearheaded the movement for overthrow of the Spanish government. Muslim power in the south was still considerable in the first half of the 19th century. Sulu in particular enjoyed the fruits of a large regional market for slaves, which led to conflict with the Spanish and British who sought to halt the slave trade. However, by the 1880s the power of Sulu and the Muslim states of Mindanao had weakened. Partly out of fear of the encroachments of other imperial powers, Spain mounted a push into the Muslim areas and was able to establish its suzerainty over the region, even though it could not exercise real administrative control. With the Philippine revolution and the American takeover, Mindanao and Sulu were effectively incorporated into the Philippine state.  1
Mexican independence led to a decline in trade, and the Royal Philippine Company became bankrupt. Large numbers of Spaniards and mestizos moved to the Philippines after the independence wars in Latin America. The Spaniards took privileged positions in the bureaucracy, which grew rapidly. Ethnic inequalities intensified.  2
The Mexican mestizo Andres Novales led a revolt in the King's Own Regiment. The uprising, which resulted from tensions between mestizos and Spaniards in the bureaucracy and the military, deepened ethnic divisions and contributed to the development of Philippine nationalism.  3
A royal decree stated that friars should control most Philippine parishes. Indio and mestizo priests were demoted to curate rank.  4
Manila was opened to international commerce.  5
Removal of residence and work restrictions on the Chinese led to an increase in the Chinese population.  6
Apolinario de la Cruz led a major popular uprising against the Spanish after they refused to acknowledge a religious order he had founded.  7
The Spanish government outlawed private trading by provincial governors. This gave the Chinese new commercial opportunities, and they became an important economic presence in the colony.  8
The mercenary Oyanguren annexed Davao Gulf on Mindanao for Spain.  9
Spain attacked Sulu, destroyed the capital at Jolo, and forced the sultan to make concessions, which the Spanish interpreted as an acceptance of Spain's control over Sulu.  10
Establishment of Ateneo de Manila, a school open to all ethnic groups. Such schools contributed to the emergence of an indigenous intellectual elite known as the ilustrados, who were instrumental in the formation of Philippine national consciousness.  11
The government decreed that all parishes in the archdiocese of Manila be given to friars, displacing Filipino clerics. The struggle over religious appointments intensified, adding to Filipino resentment of the friars, who occupied 817 out of 967 parishes by 1898.  12
Rivalry between Buayan and Magindanao allowed the Spanish to acquire more territory in Mindanao, including Cotabato.  13
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.