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The Philippine Revolution (1896–1898), also called the Tagalog War by the Spanish, was a revolution and subsequent conflict fought between the Spanish colonial regime and the people and insurgents of the Philippines. The goal of the revolution was to gain independence after more than 300 years of Spanish colonial rule.
See the fact file below for more information on the 1896 Philippine Revolution or alternatively, you can download our 22-page 1896 Philippine Revolution worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- After over three hundred years of Spanish colonial rule characterized by unenlightened government, obvious exploitation of the Indios (the term used to call to the indigenous people of the Philippines), belated and half-hearted attempts at reform, and other forms of resistance, the Philippine Revolution began on August 23, 1896, in the event that is commemorated as the “Cry of Pugadlawin.”
- Located in the outskirts of Manila, there gathered on that day members of a secret revolutionary society called the Katipunan or KKK (Kataas-taasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan nang mga Anak ng Bayan — Supreme and Venerable Society of the Children of the Nation, founded in July 1892), led by one of its founders, Andres Bonifacio.
- There, they tore up their cedulas (identification receipts issued for payment of taxes) as a sign of revolt against the Spanish government.
ROOTS OF REVOLUTION
- The roots of the revolution were sown earlier in the 19th century when Spain’s enforced isolation of the Philippines was destroyed with the opening of the country to foreign trade and the resulting development of an export economy by non-Spanish foreign traders (British, American, Chinese).
- Revolutionary and liberal movements within Europe and elsewhere as well as the persistence of friar autocratic rule, brought change in the political climate in the Philippines.
- The most significant event that probably caused the Revolution was the execution of GomBurZa.
- Gomburza, or GomBurZa, refers to three Filipino Catholic priests named Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora who were publicly executed by garrote on February 17, 1872 in Bagumbayan, [Philippines] by the Spaniards on charges of subversion arising from the 1872 Cavite mutiny. The name is a portmanteau of the priests’ surnames.
RISE OF FILIPINO NATIONALISM
- Before the start of the Philippine revolution, the first sign of Philippine nationalism arose in the 1880s and 1890s, with the Propaganda Movement, conducted both in Madrid and in the Philippines.
- This movement sought to “propagandize” Philippine situations in the hopes that desired reforms in the social, political, and economic life of the Filipinos would come about through peaceful means.
- The propaganda movement was not able to achieve the desired reforms, particularly the expulsion of the friars and their replacement by Filipino secular priests and equality before the law between Spaniards and Filipinos.
- It was largely because the Spanish friars used their power and resources to stop the activities of the Filipino ilustrados (educated Filipinos who led the movement).
- José Rizal decided to turn back to the Philippines, where he founded La Liga Filipina, the Manila chapter of the Propaganda Movement.
- Just days after its founding, Rizal was captured by colonial authorities and exiled to Dapitan, and the Liga was shortly disbanded.
KATIPUNAN: THE SECRET ORGANIZATION
- Spearheaded by Andres Bonifacio, along with Ladislaw Diwa, Deodato Arellano, Teodoro Plata, and Valentín Díaz they founded the Katipunan or Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (“Supreme and Venerable Association of the Children of the Nation”) in short KKK on July 7, 1892, in Manila.
- The secret organization was patterned by the rituals and organization of Freemasonry.
- The members of the organization, called Katipuneros, mostly came from the lower and middle classes. They also recruited supporters in the suburbs of Manila and in the provinces of Central Luzon. On the outbreak of the revolution in August 1896, membership in the Katipunan increased to about 30,000, which added some women.
- The revolution broke out prematurely on August 23, 1896, as a Spanish friar discovered them.
- The immediate response of the Spanish authorities to the outbreak of the revolution was the institution of a reign of terror, attempting to frighten the community into submission.
- Hundreds of suspected members of Katipunan and the revolution were arrested and jailed including prominent Filipinos who were shipped to exile to the Carolines or the Spanish penal colony in Africa (Fernando Po), and still, some were executed.
- One of these was Jose Rizal, who was shot by musketry on December 30, 1896.
- The revolution grew and spread throughout from Manila and Cavite to Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija, which is represented with the eight rays in the present Philippine flag.
EMILIO AGUINALDO: THE NEW LEADER OF REVOLUTION
- The early stages of the revolution were led by Andres Bonifacio, although he did not excel in the field of battle.
- Internal rivalry within the Katipunan organization led to the division of the ranks and with the execution of Bonifacio in May 1897 (found guilty to sedition and treason), the leadership of the revolution fell into another Katipunan member from Cavite, Emilio Aguinaldo, who distinguished himself in the battlefields in Cavite, wherein at that time won early major victories of the revolution.
- The first phase of the revolution ended unresolved, with both sides – Filipino and Spanish – unable to pursue hostilities to a successful conclusion.
- Thus, between November 18 and December 15, a truce (in Biak-na-Bato) was arranged for both sides, which led to a temporary cessation of hostilities.
- Aguinaldo accepted to go on temporary exile to Hong Kong after the Spanish government paid him and his revolutionary junta with $400,000 (Mexican peso).
- The truce was not successful as both sides entered the agreement in bad faith —none of them were really willing to abandon hostilities but were biding time and resources to resume the armed conflict.
THE ARRIVAL OF AMERICANS AND THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
- April 1898 marked the second phase of the Philippine Revolution as the Americans declared war against Spain after a U.S. Navy warship exploded and sunk in Havana harbor. This was known as the Spanish-American War.
- The U.S. Navy’s Asiatic Squadron, led by Commodore George Dewey, sailed to Manila and defeated the Spanish Navy.
- The subsequent Battle of Manila Bay only lasted for a few hours, destroyed Spanish ships, and the U.S. gained control in Manila.
- Meanwhile, Aguinaldo unofficially allied with the United States, went back to the Philippines and resumed attacks against the Spaniards.
- And on June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo issued the Philippine Declaration of Independence.
- In December of that year, the Spanish government ceded the Philippines to the United States through the Treaty of Paris. While it ended Spanish rule of the Philippines as well as the Spanish-American War, the Americans took possession of the Philippines.
- Independence was not really been achieved until 1946.
1896 Philippine Revolution Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the 1896 Philippine Revolution across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use 1896 Philippine Revolution worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Philippine Revolution (1896–1898), also called the Tagalog War by the Spanish, which was a revolution and subsequent conflict fought between the Spanish colonial regime and the people and insurgents of the Philippines. The goal of the revolution was to gain independence after more than 300 years of Spanish colonial rule.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- 1896 Philippine Revolution Facts
- Fight for Freedom
- Situational Survey
- Treaty of Paris
- Historical Ladder
- Through Painting
- Building Words
- Philippine Flag
- Next Chapter
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