During Rizal's time in the 19th century, Asia, Europe and America were living in turmoil as the Industrial, French and American revolutions were all taking place. Each of these events affected the world and the social and political circumstances had a huge influence on Rizal himself.
Each revolution changed different aspects of the global environment and contributed towards the modernization of the world and the birth of many nation states.
• The Industrial Revolution
The invention of the steam engine triggered an economic revolution that ended with the use of machinery in the manufacturing process. The economy of Europe was changed from feudalism to capitalism, from an agricultural economy to one that relied on machinery and wage labor. This revolution affected the Philippines and throughout the 19th century there was a radical transformation in the region's economy. New cities and ports were built and foreign firms increased rapidly.
• The French Revolution
Rather than affect the economic landscape of the Philippines, the French Revolution affected the political tone of the 19th century. The revolution was a period of social and political upheaval and in France the governmental structure was transformed from monarchy to a democratic government based on the principles of citizenship. Spain was particularly affected by this revolution and suffered a century of turbulent political disturbances.
• The American Revolution
Unlike the economic effects of the Industrial Revolution and the political effects of the French Revolution, the American Revolution played a role on the democratic aspirations of the Filipino reformist that was led by Rizal in the 19th century. The political upheaval of the American Revolution led to North America overthrowing the British Empire and rejecting their monarchy.
These three major events of the 18th and 19th centuries had an effect on Rizal and his work. The turbulent environments encourage Rizal to become a strong political figure, something that would eventually lead to his execution.
Dr. Jose Rizal
JOSE RIZAL is also the national hero of the Philippines. He is dubbed as the pride of the Malayan race. He was born on June 19, 1861, in Calamba, Laguna, Philippines and was the seventh child in a family of 11 children (2 boys and 9 girls). At the age of 3, Jose Rizal learned the alphabet from his mother; at 5, while learning to read and write, he already showed inclinations to be an artist. He astounded his family and relatives by his pencil drawings and sketches and by his moldings of clay. He wrote a Tagalog poem at 8, “Sa Aking Mga Kabata".
In 1877, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree with an average of “excellent” from the Ateneo Municipal de Manila at the age of 16. The same year, he enrolled in Philosophy and Letters at the University of Santo Tomas, at the same time took courses leading to the degree of surveyor and expert assessor at the Ateneo. He finished the course on March 21, 1877 and passed the Surveyor’s examination on May 21, 1878. Because of his age, 17, he was not granted license to practice the profession until December 30, 1881.
In 1878, he enrolled in medicine at the University of Santo Tomas. On May 3, 1882, he sailed for Spain where he continued his studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid. On June 21, 1884, at the age of 23, he was conferred the degree of Licentiate in Medicine and on June 19,1885, at the age of 24, he finished his course in Philosophy and Letters with a grade of “excellent.” Having traveled extensively in Europe, America and Asia, he mastered 22 languages: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Malayan, Portuguese, Russian, Sanskrit, Spanish, Tagalog, and other native dialects. A genius, he was an architect, artists, businessman, cartoonist, educator, economist, ethnologist, scientific farmer, historian, inventor, journalist, linguist, musician, mythologist,...
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