Capital – Manila
During the geographical exploitation Magellan, the Portuguese navigates discover Philippines in 1521. It consist of a group of 7000 islands of which the 5 Luzon, the Visayan Island, Mindanao, Palawan & the Sulu Archipelago. It is situated in the pacific ocean Soult’s of Farmosa and is named after the Spanish king Philip – II. The population of the Philippines constitutes mainly the Malai, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish & the Americans.
Western contact: The contact of the Philippines with the west began in 1521 for the 1st time due to Magellan’s great voyage to circus navigates the globe. By the end of the 16th century the Spaniard’s conquered the longer part of the islands and it remained under Spanish control for a long time. Under the Spanish rule, the Philippines were partly assimilated to European culture & became the only Christian Europeanized nation of S.E. Asia. In course of time the Philippines became a verse to Spanish rule & staged an open revolt against the Spanish authority in 1896. Though the revolt was suppressed the government did not take steps to bring in reforms so much so on the eve of the Spanish – American war in 1898, sporadic revolts occurred in Philippines.
American occupation of the Philippines 1899: One of the plans of the Americans in the Spanish – American war was to give a serious blow to the Spanish naval base at manila and to have a strong naval base in the Far East. In the war of 1898 the American defeated Spain. In the face of strong opposition in the country the US president William McKinley annex the Iceland in 1899 to “educate the Philippinoes & uplift, the civilize & Christiane them”.
Nationalism in the Philippines: The nationalist leaders of the Philippines found that one master had been exchanged for another. They however continued the Gourilla was against the American until they were overcome by Americans. From 1901 to 1913, the U.S. administration in the Philippines was virtually guided by Mr. Taft (William Howardtaft), the governor of the Philippines. He had a soft corner for the ‘Philippines’ whom he formerly called “our little brown brothers”. He raised his popular slogan “the Philippine for the Philippinos’ to suit the nationalist sentiment of the people. The political aspirations of the people of the Philippines were given some recognition in 1907. With the elections of the 1st Philippine assembly. Thus the US granted self-government to Philippines gradually. From 1907 onwards it was the nationalist of the Philippines who control the Philippine assembly. The people of the island gradually began to appreciate the American rule. The nationalist founded several political parties, chief among whom were Partido federalist Partido Nacionalista, (Federal Party) & the Partido, Democrata, national to agitate for complete independent through constitutional methods.
Jones law – 1916: The 1st world war saw an uprising in the nationalist movement in the Philippines. President Woodrow Wilson democratic government granted some more rights to the people of Philippines by approving in August 1916 the jones bill. It recognized the independence of the Philippines as soon as a stable government can be established. It also provided for an elective Philippine senate in addition to an elective house of representatives which already existed.
Hare – Hawes Cutting Bill – 1932: While all this was going on the American public was losing interest in Philippines affairs. It had practically left to the government to decide whether to grant independence to the island or keep control over there. But the public was soon faced with the problem of immigration. The American felt that the only solution to the problem was to grant independence to the island. It was in this situation that 1932, Hare-Hawes cutting bill was passed.
The main provisions of the bill were
- Philippines will be granted independence after a transitory period of 10 years.
- Quota limits were applied to Philippines imports.
- Philippines was to be granted & annual immigrant quota of 50.
Tydings – Mc Duffe Act: (1934): With the return of the Republican Party in power in the USA (in 1921), there was a considerable cooking off in American enthusiasm for Philippines independence. The Philippino agitation for independence continued. Owing to the pressure of the American capitalists who were motivated by economic reasons, Tydings – Mc Duffe act was passed in 1934. According to this act, it was decided that the Philippines was to obtain full independence in 1946 after a probation period of self-government. The Philippines accepted this act on 1st may. 1934, on July 10th 1934 – the election were held for the constitution convention and in 1935 an autonomous common wealth was set up to grant greater liberty to the people of Philippines. Manvel Quezon & Sergio Osmena were elected first president and vice president of the common wealth respectively.
Second World War: The Philippines were occupied by the Japanese during the II world war. But the fear of the Japanese aggrandizement in Philippines was averted the fall of Japan in 1945. The Japanese occupied areas were liberated by the American troops. Thus the Philippines became fully independent on July 4th 1946.
Huk Rebellion: Inspite of some progress towards recovery and reconstruction, the Philippines also faced serious internal difficulties after independence. The Huk Balahap the pro-communist guerrillas created a lot of disturbances inside the islands. They advocated and reforms and collectivization of farm lands and resisted the newly independent republican government. The “Huk” rebellion was really the expression of the Asian agrarian revolution which was sweeping the continent at that time. Neither the Americans nor the Philippino governments were able to root out the Huks. After long and severe fighting, the Magsaysay government (from November 1955) however was able to drive them into the mountainous regions.
Post war developments: In 1946, Philippines was completely liberated. The 1st important elections were held in 1949. Quirino became the president of the country. His opponent Jose P. Laurel also got considerable good number of votes. But the task of the new president was in no way easy.
Raymond Magsaysay: It was at this time, the president appointed Magsaysay as secretary of defense. By 1956, the defense secretary was in a position to establish his name in the country. Magsaysay became the president by winning the elections of November 10th, 1953. As the new president took charge of his office, he decided to have direct contacts with the people and allowed everybody to approach him direct with his complaints. He ended the disorder by a combination of firmness’ and fair treatment of the poor farmers who supported the rebels. He insisted on integrity on the part of bureaucrats, initiated land reforms, opened credit, facilities to the farmers and constructed highways to connect forms and markets. He remained in power till 1975. When unfortunately was killed in an air crash and was succeeded by the vice – President Carlos Garcia.
In 1961, an election Doodad Macapagal was elected as the president from liberal party. He made every attempt to wipe out corruption and ring economic stability in the country but failed in his attempts. In 1965 new elections were again held and Ferdinand Marcos was also faced serious problems which it had to tackle to safeguard democrat. The problems of unemployment, shortage of food etc., were solved through legislation. During 1970, there was an increase of guerilla activity, by the new people’s army (NPA), the armed wing of the communist party of the Philippines and by the Moro national liberation front, a Muslim separatist
Martial law – 1973 constitution: In September 1972 President Marcos declared martial law. The bicameral congress was suspended opposition leaders were arrested. Press censorship was introduced. A new constitution was satisfied in 1973. It provided for a unicameral national assembly and a constitutional president and prime minister. Referendums in 1973, 75, 76 and 77 were held which approved the extension of Marco’s president terms.
In the meantime Marcos founded a new party known as the “new society movement party”. It won the majority in 1978 elections and Marcos was re- elected as president. In 1983 August Bangui Auino was shot dead after his exile in USA at manila airport. His death brought a turning point and united all the opposition in its criticism of Marcos. Though Marcos came to power, he was unable to control the economy on the basis of the U.S. pressure.
Presidential form of election was held on 7th February 1985. Corazon Aquino, the widow of Benigno Aquino was the opposition presidential candidate to Marcos. Though Marcos won the election Aquino secured 69% of votes & so Marcos was forced to step down. Marcos resigned and Aquino received worldwide support. She formed the government and a new constitution in February 1987. It gave a mandate rule to Aquino till June 30th 1992. Who was earlier in the defense services the present president of Philippines Mr. Ramos.
Foreign policy of the Philippines:
The Philippines & USA: In the realm of foreign policy the Philippines. Since independence has followed the lead of the U.S. The U.S. took every care for over all development of the Philippines. American technicians were sent to assist and advice the armed forces of the Philippines. In March 1947, the U.S. entered into extensive military agreements with the Philippine government by which the U.S. received several military bases on lease for 99 years from Philippines. In return she took responsibility of the defense of the islands in the event of an external aggression. In August 1950 both the countries signed a mutual defense treaty by which they agreed to consult each other in case the territorial integrity and political security of any one of them was in jeopardy due to armed attack of a third power in the pacific. The Philippines in also an active member of the American sponsored anti-communist organization. SEATO (1954). She later becomes an enthusiastic member of the ASEAN also.
Philippines & the UNO: Philippines were very active in drafting the charter of the UN and was one of the original. Signatories of the charter. She also became the member of the Security Council. When U.N. decided to send her troops to Korea, she also contributed by sending a contingent to the war front.
Philippines & china: Her relations with other Asiatic countries were also very cordial. She took part in the Bandung conference and condemned communist imperialism with other delegates. She has thus, not recognized red china. Her support to nationalist china was of great importance and significance to that country. She has been maintaining her, friendly term with Farmosa & Korea.
In this way, the Philippines have been struggling to maintain independence. Though at times it might have differed from USA it has always been anti-communist. It has never shown sympathies with the common elements in India or with the common countries the outside world. This factor has kept the U.S. & Philippines closer to each other. Like many other Asian countries, poverty and unemployment still remain the problem of the nation.