The Philippine Revolution (called the Tagalog War by the Spanish), was
an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and Spanish colonial
The Philippine Revolution began in August 1896, upon the discovery of the anti-
colonial secret organization Katipunan by the Spanish authorities. The Katipunan, led
by Andrés Bonifacio, was a liberationist movement and shadow government spread
throughout much of the islands whose goal was independence from Spain through
armed revolt. In a mass gathering in Caloocan, the Katipunan leaders organized
themselves into a revolutionary government and openly declared a nationwide armed
revolution. Bonifacio called for a simultaneous coordinated attack on the
capital Manila. This attack failed, but the surrounding provinces also rose up in revolt. In
particular, rebels in Cavite led by Emilio Aguinaldo won early victories. A power struggle
among the revolutionaries led to Bonifacio's execution in 1897, with command shifting to
Aguinaldo who led his own revolutionary government. That year, a truce with the
Spanish was reached called the Pact of Biak-na-Bato and Aguinaldo was exiled to Hong
Kong. Hostilities, though reduced, never actually ceased.
On April 21, 1898, the United States began a naval blockade of Cuba, the first
military action of the Spanish–American War. On May 1, the U.S. Navy's Asiatic
Squadron under Commodore George Dewey decisively defeated the Spanish navy
in the Battle of Manila Bay, effectively seizing control of Manila. On May
19, Aguinaldo, unofficially allied with the United States, returned to the Philippines
and resumed hostilities against the Spaniards. By June, the rebels had gained
control over nearly all of the Philippines with the exception of Manila. On June
12, Aguinaldo issued the Philippine Declaration of Independence and the First
Philippine Republic was established. Neither Spain nor the United States recognized
Spanish rule in the islands officially ended with the Treaty of Paris of 1898 which
ended the Spanish–American War. In it Spain ceded the Philippines and other
territories to the United States. There was an uneasy peace around Manila with the
American forces controlling the city and the weaker Philippines forces surrounding
On February 4, 1899, in the Battle of Manila fighting broke out between the Filipino
and American forces, beginning the Philippine–American War. Aguinaldo immediately
ordered, "[t]hat peace and friendly relations with the Americans be broken and that
the latter be treated as enemies". In June 1899, the nascent First Philippine
Republic formally declared war against the United States.
The Philippines would not become an internationally-recognized, independent state
Felipe E. Agoncillo
Emmanuel G. Almeda
Deodato C. Arellano :: "Santol" :: Kataastaasang Sangunian :: First Supremo (1892-
Roman Basa :: "Liwanag" :: Kataastaasang Sangunian :: Supremo (1893-1894)
Andres de Castro Bonifacio :: ―Maypagasa‖ :: Kataastaasang Sangunian :: Kalihim
(1892-1893) :: Tagausig (1893-1894) :: Supremo (1894-96)
Procopio de Castro Bonifacio
Valentin Diaz, Treasurer (before 1895)
Ladislao Diwa :: ―Baliti‖ :: Kataastaasang Sangunian :: Tagausig (1892-1893)
Jose M. Dizon
Emilio D. Jacinto :: ―Pingkian‖ :: Kataastaasang Sangunian :: Tagausig (1894-1895) ::
Aniceto Ledesma Lacson
Vicente Rilles Lukban
Miguel C. Malvar
Guillermo Masangkay :: ―Alakdan‖ :: Kataastasang Sangunian (1894)
Enrique Pacheco, Secretary of Finance
Briccio B. Pantas :: ―Bungahan‖ :: Kataastaasang Sangunian :: Kalihim (1893)
Teodoro Plata :: ―Pangligtas‖ :: Kataastaasang Sangunian :: Kalihim (1892-1893)
Aguedo del Rosario, Secretary of the Interior
Jose Turiano Santiago :: ―Tik Tik‖ :: Kataastaasang Sangunian :: Kalihim (1894-
Pio A. Valenzuela :: ―Dimas Ayaran‖ :: Tagausig (895) :: Mangagamot (1896)
Women of the Katipunan
Marina Dizon-Santiago :: Women's Division Head
Gregoria de Jesus :: "Lakambini"
Mariano Limjap, Manila
Manuel Mitra Luz, Batangas
Roman Tanbiensang Ongpin, Manila
The U.S. Occupation (1898-1946)
The first Philippine Republic was short-lived. Spain had lost a war with the
United States. The Philippines was illegally ceded to the United States at the
Treaty of Paris for US$20 million, together with Cuba and Puerto Rico.
A Filipino-American War broke out as the United States attempted to establish
control over the islands. The war lasted for more than 10 years, resulting in the
death of more than 600,000 Filipinos. The little-known war has been described
by historians as the "first Vietnam", where US troops first used tactics such as
strategic hamleting and scorched-earth policy to "pacify" the natives.
The United States established an economic system giving the colonizers full
rights to the country's resources. The Spanish feudal system was not
dismantled; in fact, through the system of land registration that favored the
upper Filipino classes, tenancy became more widespread during the US
occupation. A native elite, including physicians trained in the United States, was
groomed to manage the economic and political system of the country. The U.S.
also introduced western modells of educational and health-care systems which
reinforced elitism and a colonial mentality that persists to this day, mixed with
the Spanish feudal patron-client relationship
Militant peasant and workers' groups were formed during the U.S. occupation
despite the repressive situation. A movement for Philippine
independence, involving diverse groups, continued throughout the occupation.
A Commonwealth government was established in 1935 to allow limited self-rule
but this was interrupted by the Second World War and the Japanese
occupation. The guerilla movement against Japanese fascism was led mainly
by socialists and communists, known by their acronym, HUKS.
Shortly after the end of the Second World War, flag independence was
regained although the U.S. imposed certain conditions, including the
disenfranchisement of progressive political parties, the retention of U.S. military
bases and the signing of economic agreements allowing the U.S. continued
control over the Philippine economy.
In the 1950s America was the center of covert and overt conflict between the Soviet Union and the
United States. Their varying collusion with national, populist, and elitist interests destabilized the
region. The United States CIA orchestrated the overthrow of the Guatemalan government in 1954.
In 1958 the military dictatorship of Venezuela was overthrown. This continued a pattern of regional
revolution and warfare making extensive use of ground forces.
In 1957, Dr. François Duvalier came to power in an election in Haiti. He later declared himself
president for life, and ruled until his death in 1971.
in 1959, Alaska (3 January) and Hawaii (21 August) becomes in new states of United States.
In 1959 Fidel Castro overthrew the regime of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba, establishing
a communist government in the country. Although Castro initially sought aid from the US, he was
rebuffed and later turned to the Soviet Union.
NORAD signed in 1959 by Canada and the United States creating a unified North American air
Brasília was built in 41 months, from 1956, and on April 21, 1960, became the capital of Brazil
Clockwise, from left: United Nations soldiers during the Korean
War, which was the first UN authorized conflict; Two atomic
explosions from the RDS-37 and Upshot-Knothole (Soviet and
American, respectively) nuclear weapons, symbolizing the
escalation of Cold War tensions between the two nations in the
1950s; Israeli troops prepare to fight the Egyptians during
the Suez Crisis of 1956; A replica of Sputnik I, the world's first
satellite, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957; Fidel Castro leads
theCuban Revolution in 1959; North Sea flood of 1953
With the final conquest of the American frontier(Red Indians),US capital started eyeing
new areas of investment. Arriving late on the scene as a world power the US could only
acquire new territory at the expense of established European states.
Cuba had long been eyed by the South as a means of expanding US slave empire. As
plans started for the construction of a canal across Central America, control of Cuba
became even more essential. Also the growing trade with China and Asia created a
need for a US base in the western Pacific. Philippines was ideal for this purpose. At the
time both were Spanish possessions.
Spain, weakened by 31/2 centuries of fighting was hardly in a position to oppose the
United States. The only issue for US was how to convince a public raised on the ideals
of the American Revolution and the civil war to accept an imperialistic war aimed at
capturing Cuba and the Philipines. The fortunate outbreak of popular rebellions against
Spanish rule in both places provided US government with the required justification.
The Spanish -Philipine war for independence(1896) was led by
Emilio Aguinaldo but by 1898 the Spaniards had crushed it and
exiled its leaders.Meanwhile Spain had also been fighting a
loosing battle with the Americans in which her colonies of
Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam were over run and her Atlantic
Fleet devastated outside Santiago, Cuba.
Hardly had Emilio Aguinaldo been exiled and the ‗rebellion‘
in the Philipine crushed by Spain, that Admiral Dewey
showed up with the US fleet to wipe out Spain‘s Pacific Fleet
in the Battle of Manila Bay.The Americans now unleashed the
Flipnos on the Spanish, holding out the promise of
U.S. employed only 69,000 troops but proved more ruthless then
the Spainards.Backed by modern cannons, Gatling guns and
naval canons, they demonstrated an unflinching willingness to kill
the Filipino; entire villages were destroyed, civilians
murdered, prisoners tortured and mutilated along with a host of
other atrocities. Many American officers and non-coms having
served in the Indian Wars, applied their old belief that ―the only
good Indian was a dead Indian‖ to the Filipinos.
Captain Elliott, of the 20 th Kansas Regiment, wrote home in a letter dated
February 27th:‖Talk about war being ‗hell,‘ this war beats the hottest estimate
ever made of that locality. Caloocan was supposed to contain seventeen
thousand inhabitants. The Twentieth Kansas swept through it, and now
Caloocan contains not one living native. Of the buildings, the battered walls of
the great church and dismal prison alone remain. The village of Maypaja, where
our first fight occurred on the night of the fourth, had five thousand people on
that day, — now not one stone remains upon top of another.
The Catholic Flipnos succumbed as easily to the US forces ,as
their savage ancestors had to the Spainards.Emilio Aguinaldo was
captured in March, 1902, and organized opposition from his
followers soon faded.
On 4 July 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt noted in the
declaration of termination, ―peace has been established in all
parts of the archipelago except in the country inhabited by the
Moro tribes, to which this proclamation does not apply.
Officially the Filipnos lost 20,000 military dead and minimum
200,000 civilian dead. Historians however place the numbers of
civilian dead at 500,000 or even higher.American losses in the war
were only .
The Americans continued to rule the islands until the Filipino
came to accept what American deemed the ignorance and
recalcitrance of a primitive race, own American values and
institutions, and run their society in ways acceptable to the United
States.This was achieved by 1946.
The Japanese military authorities immediately began organizing
a new government structure in the Philippines. Although the
Japanese had promised independence for the islands after
occupation, they initially organized a Council of State through
which they directed civil affairs until October 1943, when they
declared the Philippines an independent republic. Most of the
Philippine elite, with a few notable exceptions, served under the
Japanese. The Japanese-sponsored republic was headed by
President José P. Laurel. Philippine collaboration in Japanese-
sponsored political institutions began under Jorge B. Vargas, who
was originally appointed by Quezon as the mayor of Greater
Manila before Quezon departed Manila. The only political
party allowed during the occupation was the Japanese-
organized KALIBAPI. During the occupation, most Filipinos
remained loyal to the United States, and war crimescommitted
by forces of the Empire of Japan against surrendered Allied
forces, and civilians were documented.
When General MacArthur returned to the Philippines with his army late in 1944, he was
well supplied with information. It has been said that by the time MacArthur returned, he
knew what every Japanese lieutenant ate for breakfast and where he had his hair cut.
But the return was not easy. The Japanese Imperial General Staff decided to make the
Philippines their final line of defense, and to stop the American advance toward Japan.
They sent every available soldier, airplane and naval vessel into the defense of the
Philippines. The Kamikaze corps was created specifically to defend the Philippines. The
Battle of Leyte Gulf ended in disaster for the Japanese and was the biggest naval battle
of World War II, and the campaign to re-take the Philippines was the bloodiest campaign
of the Pacific War. But intelligence information gathered by the guerrillas averted a
bigger disaster—they revealed the plans of JapaneseGeneral Yamashita to entrap
MacArthur's army, and they led the liberating soldiers to the Japanese fortifications.
MacArthur's Allied forces landed on the island
of Leyte on October 20, 1944, accompanied by Osmeña,
who had succeeded to the commonwealth presidency
upon the death of Quezon on August 1, 1944. Landings
then followed on the island of Mindoro and around
the Lingayen Gulf on the west side of Luzon, and the
push toward Manila was initiated.
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was restored. Fighting was
fierce, particularly in the mountains of northern Luzon, where Japanese troops
had retreated, and in Manila, where they put up a last-ditch resistance. The
Philippine Commonwealth troops and the recognized guerrilla fighter units rose
up everywhere for the final offensive. Filipino guerrillas also played a large
role during the liberation. One guerrilla unit came to substitute for a regularly
constituted American division, and other guerrilla forces
of battalion and regimental size supplemented the efforts of the U.S.
Army units. Moreover, the loyal and willing Filipino population immeasurably
eased the problems of supply, construction,civil administration and furthermore
eased the task of Allied forces in recapturing the country.
Fighting continued until Japan's formal surrender on September
2, 1945. The Philippines had suffered great loss of life and
tremendous physical destruction by the time the war was over. An
estimated 1 million Filipinos had been killed from all causes; of
these 131,028 were listed as killed in seventy-two war
crime events. U.S. casualties were 10,380 dead and 36,550
wounded; Japanese dead were 255,795.