Philippines – Fall of Colonial Powers – 3

The Philippine Revolution: (1896 – 1898/99)

As the Philippines opened their markets, the Spanish began using the colony to extract raw materials and wreak havoc on the locals. However, development and awareness and the need for change also began seeking in the minds of the Filipinos.

Jose Rizal, Graciano Lopez Jaena, and others, demanded the social, political and economic position of the Filipinos be improved by the Spanish government. Thus, began the Filipino wave of propaganda.

Though the revolution began around the late 1860’s – early 1870’s, it took a more political form in the 1890’s when the first wave of propaganda failed and the Filipinos began looking for more uncompromising ways to claim justice from the Spanish. This new wave, led by Andres Bonifacio, was determined to seek reform from the Spanish through a movement called the Katipunan.

The Spanish authorities refused to grant the Filipinos independence and many of the revolutionaries were sentenced to death. Internal tensions also weakened the Katipunan, and thus, the Spanish regime managed to quieten the Filipinos.

However, this was not the complete defeat of the Filipinos. In 1898, a war broke out between the Spanish and United States. Manila fell into the hands of the Americans in May 1898, and the banished nationalists retuned to Philippines.

In the beginning, the Americans behaved as though they were helping the Filipinos in gaining independence against the Spanish. But by August 1898, it became obvious to the Filipinos that the Americans wanted to take over the Spanish as the new colonial power in the Philippines.

Thus, with the defeat of the Spanish in the Spanish – American War, the United States emerged as the new colonial power in the Philippines and was the dawn of a new phase in the history of Philippines.