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The 19th Century Philippines

19th century was called the Age of Enlightenment, but for the Filipinos it is one of the

darkest part of our past. Spaniards rule the Philippines and oppress Filipinos for a long time.

We’ve been under extreme privation and sufferings. There’s injustice, social and racial

discrimination, abusive economic system, cruel way of church, and government corruption. We

can’t even fight for our right cause we have no room in court, can’t even vocalize opinions cause

we will be punished when we talk. They see Filipino’s specially those who are in the bottom of

their so called social hierarchy slaves and fools – no rights to own land, no rights to speak, and

no rights for education. Large amount of taxes are being collected and reforms promised to the

Filipino people isn’t meet. Officials who are supposed to be there to maintain peace and order

abuse their powers and brought violence to the people. Friars who are supposed to strengthen

faith in religion and God are greedy and vicious individuals. Justice that’s supposed to be for

everyone is served only to those who are in the upper class of the social hierarchy. Law that’s

supposed to cover and followed by all people of the state can be bought by power and money.

That’s how cruel the Spanish government is during the 19th century. That’s how helpless Filipino

people is during their reign.

19th century is the sickening phase of our colorful past. The past we shouldn’t bury and

forget, because although it’s painful to recall these times. It is also the part of the history that

reminds us how Rizal, other propagandist and heroes fought hard to get back our freedom, to get

back our rights as Filipino people, to get back our peace, and to get back the land that is rightfully

ours. That is the time where true sense of nationalism arise. 19th century is the time that Rizal

showed us that knowledge and mind is a one great weapon, that if properly use the pen is really

mightier than any sword in the world.

Social Heirarchy (Peninsulare, Insulares, Tornatras, mestizo de espanol, mestizo de

sangley, sangley, indio, negritos)

Principalia (rich and opulent class)

Ilustrados (rising middle class)

Indios (lower and uneducated Filipino)


Headed by King of Spain appoint Gobernador-General (Capitan Heneral)

Portions of land (encomienda) are awarded

2 functions of Gobernor-General: ecclesiatical, political

Gobernor General- chief executive head of colony, head of Real Audencia (Spanish

Supreme Court), commanding officer of the Armed Forces

Union of Church and State

Residencia and Visitadores - official sent by King of Spain


Encomienda system - leashold system

Bandala System - monopoly of product by spaniards

Boletas or tickets - use in trading ships

Galleon trade