History of the Philippines

Brief history of the Philippines summarized

A brief review of the summarized history of the Philippines, an Asian archipelago.

The beginning of the Philippines

The Philippines is named after King Philip II of Spain (1556-1598) and was a Spanish colony for more than 300 years.

Today the Philippines is an archipelago of 7,000 islands. However, it is believed that during the last ice age they were linked to the Asian mainland via a land bridge, allowing humans to walk from there.

The first people in the Philippines were hunter-gatherers. However, between 3,000 BC and 2,000 BC, people learned to farm. They cultivated rice and domestic animals. Beginning in the 10th century AD, Filipinos traded with China and in the 12th century AD, Arab traders came to the Philippines and introduced Islam.

Then in 1521, Ferdinand Magellan sailed across the Pacific. He landed in the Philippines and claimed them for Spain. Magellan baptized a chief named Humabon and hoped to make him a puppet ruler on behalf of the Spanish crown.

Magellan demanded that other chiefs submit to Humabón, but a chief named Lapu Lapu refused. Magellan led a force to crush it. However, the Spanish soldiers were scattered and Magellan was killed.

The Spanish did not gain a foothold in the Philippines until 1565, when Miguel López de Legazpi led an expedition that built a fort in Cebu. Later, in 1571, the Spanish landed on Luzon. Here they built the city of Intramuros (later called Manila), which became the capital of the Philippines.

The Spanish conquistadors marched inland and conquered Luzon. They created a feudal system. The Spanish owned vast properties worked by Filipinos.

Along with the conquistadors were the friars who converted the Filipinos to Catholicism. The friars also built schools and universities.

The Spanish colony in the Philippines brought prosperity. Every year, the Chinese export products such as silk, porcelain and lacquer to the Philippines. From there they were re-exported to Mexico.

The years passed without incident in the Philippines until in 1762 the British captured Manila. They held it for two years, but returned it in 1764 under the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1763.

The Philippines in the 19th century

In 1872 there was a rebellion in Cavite, but it was quickly put down. However, nationalist sentiment continued to grow aided by a writer named José Rizal (1861-1896). He wrote two novels, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me, Don’t Touch Me) and El Filibusterismo (The Filibusterism), which fanned the fires of nationalism.

In 1892 José Rizal founded a movement called the Philippine League, which called for reform rather than revolution. As a result, Rizal was arrested and exiled to Dapitan in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Andrés Bonifacio formed a more extreme organization called the Katipunan. In August 1896 they started a revolution. José Rizal was accused of supporting the revolution, although he did not, and was executed on December 30, 1896. However, his execution only inflamed Philippine public opinion and the revolution grew.

Then, in 1898, came the war between the US and Spain. On April 30, 1898, the Americans defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. Meanwhile, Filipino revolutionaries had surrounded Manila.

Its leader, Emilio Aguinaldo, declared the independence of the Philippines on June 12. However, as part of the peace treaty, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States. The Americans planned to take control.

The war between the American forces in Manila and the Filipinos began on February 4, 1899. The Philippine-American War lasted until 1902 when Aguinaldo was captured.

Philippines in the 20th century

The US government in the Philippines was paternalistic. They called their policy “benevolent assimilation.” They wanted to “Americanize” the Filipinos, but they never succeeded. However, they did a good thing. Many American teachers were sent to the Philippines on a ship called the Thomas and increased literacy.

In 1935 the Philippines became a Commonwealth and was semi-independent. Manuel Quezon became president. The United States promised that the Philippines would be fully independent in 1945.

However, in December 1941, Japan attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. On December 10, 1941, Japanese troops invaded the Philippines. They captured Manila on January 2, 1941. On May 6, 1942, the entire Philippines was in Japanese hands.

However, US troops returned to the Philippines in October 1944. They recaptured Manila in February 1945.

The Philippines became independent on July 4, 1946. Manuel Roxas was the first president of the newly independent nation.

Ferdinand Marcos (1917-1989) was elected president in 1965. He was re-elected in 1969. However, the Philippines is plagued by poverty and inequality. In the 1960s a program of agrarian reform began. However, many peasants became frustrated with their slow progress and a communist insurgency began in the countryside.

On September 21, 1972, Marcos declared martial law. He imposed a curfew, suspended Congress and arrested opposition leaders.

The Marcos dictatorship was excessively corrupt and Marcos and his cronies became rich.

Then, in 1980, opposition leader Benigno Aquino went into exile in the United States. When he returned on August 21, 1983, he was shot. Aquino became a martyr and the Filipinos were enraged by the murder of him.

In February 1986, Marcos called for elections. The opposition rallied behind Cory Aquino, Benigno’s widow. Marcos claimed victory (a clear case of electoral fraud). Cory Aquino also claimed victory and ordinary people took to the streets to show her support for her. Marcos’s followers deserted him and he bowed to the inevitable and went into exile.

Things did not go well for Corazon Aquino. (He survived 7 coup attempts). Also, the American bases in the Philippines (Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base) were unpopular with many Filipinos who thought they should go. In 1992 Mount Pinatubo erupted and covered Clark in volcanic ash, forcing the Americans to flee. They left Subic Bay in 1993.

In 1992 Fidel Ramos became president. He improved the infrastructure in the Philippines, including the supply of electricity. Industry was privatized and the economy began to grow faster.

However, in the late 1990s, the Philippine economy entered a crisis. Meanwhile, in 1998 Joseph Estrada, known as Erap, became president. Estrada was charged with corruption and indicted in November 2000. Estrada was not convicted.

However, the people demonstrated against him and the military withdrew their support. Estrada was forced out of office and Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo replaced him. She was reelected in 2004.

Philippines today

Today the Philippines is still poor, but things are changing. Since 2010, the Philippine economy has grown about 6% annually. Today there are reasons to be optimistic about the future. Currently, the population of the Philippines is 103 million.

Share the brief history of the Philippines summarized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button