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History of the Philippines

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History of the Philippines

The history of the Philippines is believed to have begun with the arrival of the first humans using rafts or primitive boats, at least 67,000 years ago as the 2007 discovery of Callao Man showed. Spanish colonization and settlement began with the arrival of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi's expedition on February 13, 1565 who established the first permanent settlement of San Miguel on the island of Cebu. The expedition continued northward reaching the bay of Manila on the island of Luzon on June 24, 1571, where they established a new town and thus began an era of Spanish colonization that lasted for more than three centuries. Spanish rule achieved the political unification of almost the whole archipelago, that previously had been composed by independent kingdoms, pushing back south the advancing Islamic forces and creating the first draft of the nation that was to be known as the Philippines. The Philippine Revolution against Spain began in August 1896, culminating the establishment of the First Philippine Republic. However, the Treaty of Paris, at the end of the Spanish–American War, transferred control of the Philippines to the United States. This agreement was not recognized by the insurgent First Philippine Republic Government which, on June 2, 1899, proclaimed a Declaration of War against the United States. The Philippine-American War which ensued resulted in massive casualties. Philippine president Emilio Aguinaldo was captured in 1901 and the U.S. government declared the conflict officially over in 1902. www.wikipedia.com

The first Europeans to visit (1521) the Philippines were those in the Spanish expedition around the world led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Other Spanish expeditions followed, including one from New Spain (Mexico) under López de Villalobos, who in 1542 named the islands for the infante Philip, later Philip II. War came suddenly to the Philippines on Dec. 8 (Dec. 7, U.S. time), 1941, when Japan attacked without warning. Japanese troops invaded the islands in many places and launched a pincer drive on Manila. MacArthur’s scattered defending forces (about 80,000 troops, four fifths of them Filipinos) were forced to withdraw to Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island, where they entrenched and tried to hold until the arrival of reinforcements, meanwhile guarding the entrance to Manila Bay and denying that important harbor to the Japanese. But no reinforcements were forthcoming. The Japanese occupied Manila on Jan. 2, 1942. MacArthur was ordered out by President Roosevelt and left for Australia on Mar. 11; Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright assumed command. Manuel Roxas became the first president of the Republic of the Philippines when independence was granted, as scheduled, on July 4, 1946. www.pinas.dlsu.edu.ph.com Ferdinand Magellan claimed the Philippines for Spain in 1521. During the next 300 years, Spanish Jesuit priests and conquistadors spread Catholicism and Spanish culture across the archipelago, with particular strength on the island of Luzon. The Spanish Philippines was actually controlled by the government of Spanish North America prior to Mexican independence in 1810.Throughout the Spanish colonial era, the people of the Philippines staged a number of uprisings. The final, successful revolt began in 1896, and was marred by the executions of Filipino national hero Jose Rizal (by the Spanish) and Andres Bonifacio (by rival Emilio Aguinaldo). The Philippines declared its independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. On July 4, 1946, the Republic of the Philippines was established. The early governments struggled to repair the damage caused by World War II. From 1965 to 1986, Ferdinand Marcos ran the country as a fiefdom. He was forced out in favor of Corazon Aquino, the widow of former president Ninoy Aquino, in 1986. www.asianhistory.about.com

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