Why did Filipinos fights against Spanish rule? How long had Spain controlled the Philippines?

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mrgreg eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Spanish history of colonization in the Philippines began in 1521 with the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan. The explorer immediately went about forming alliances on the island and attempted to establish a Spanish presence there. This attempt ultimately failed, but it put the islands in the sights of Spanish imperialists. In 1564, an expedition of 500 Spaniards conquered Cebu, establishing the first permanent Spanish presence in the archipelago. Spanish imperialism continued throughout the Philippines and by 1571, all of the islands were under Spanish control.

Throughout the following three centuries, there were a number of unsuccessful uprisings against Spanish rule. These were often in response to harsh policies of repression and forced labor inflicted on the Filipinos by the Spanish. Land was also commonly seized from the native Filipinos for use by the Spanish and a heavy tribute system was strictly enforced. There was also a strong desire among many Filipinos to abandon Spanish imposed Catholicism and return to their older animist religions. These rebellions were always brutally crushed, but the desire for independence did not disappear entirely.

The origins of the ultimate Filipino revolt and victory against Spain are often linked to the construction of the Suez canal in 1869. With the opening of this trade route, many Filipino sailors and merchants traveled to Europe where they were influenced by ideas of liberty and self-rule. In 1872, a short-lived rebellion broke out in the province of Cavite. While the revolt was unsuccessful, it did sow the seeds for further uprisings.

In 1892, sensing the weakness of the Spanish Empire, an organization of Filipino nationalists was created in Cavite with the goal of expelling the Spanish once and for all from the islands. In 1896, this group began its revolt in the capital of Manila. The fight for independence spread throughout the Philippines leading to many Filipino victories. In 1898, at the outset of the Spanish American War, the Philippines declared independence from Spain.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Spain had controlled the Philippines, legally at least, ever since Magellan "discovered" the chain of islands in 1521.  Actual colonization of the islands started in 1565.  By 1571, the Spaniards had reached Luzon (the northernmost and now main island of the country).  There, they set up Manila which is now the capital.

The Filipinos fought Spanish rule late in the 1800s.  They did this because they had heard of the rebellions against Spanish rule in Latin America and because they were influenced by Enlightenment ideas that people should govern themselves.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Spain established their first settlement in Philippines in 1565, and then expanded their presence and power there. By 1572 they gained control of many of the islands in the Philippines. During this period they wee also able to prevent any other country to gain a foothold there. Starting from that time,and up to 1898, Spain ruled over Philippines without break till they ceded the country to USA as a part of the treaty following Spanish-American war.

However the Spanish rule over Philippines was not entirely without opposition from the local Filipino people, particularly the people who practiced Muslim faith. There were almost continuous warfare between Spaniards and Muslims people of Mindanao and Sulu throughout the Spanish colonial rule.

Also oppressive practices of Spanish rule that furthered economic interests of Spain at the cost of Filipinos created resentment among local people. First major resistance occurred in 1822 in the form of revolt by Filipino workers against harsh treatment by government and factory bosses. This resulted in weakening of tobacco industry for many years.

The intensity of the Filipino resistance increased with the increasing exposure to ideas of freedom and equality which were sweeping the entire world as a result of increasing interaction between people of different regions of the world. Spread of such Ideas also created support for the Filipino cause among some liberal Spaniards.