Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism

Topics: Colonialism, United States, Philippines Pages: 5 (1767 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Colonialism and Neo-colonialism

Approximately, five hundred years have passed in the Philippine archipelago. A lot of things happened within this period of time. Having been under the governing powers of foreign countries, the transition of norms, cultures, and traditions was widely spread. Centuries of Hispanic and American colonization have passed, and due to continuous struggles of the Philippines, it is now on its own; or not? Western colonization in the Philippines started from the arrival of the Spaniards on 1521. Then, the domination of the Americans on 1898 followed. Both colonizers came in the Philippines for natural resources, labor power, and the trade and market of our country. They both used an affable approach to the Filipino indigenous people and then took over the governance of the country as they spread influence after getting trust from the native people. It all started from the purpose of colonizers to discover new lands for the expansion of their colonies. Colonialism is a consequent on voyage to discovery which brings into being the lands that were just discovered (Ashcroft et al. 28). Portugal and Spain went out on an expedition to discover the rest of the world with their ultimate goals: “Gospel, Gold, and Glory”. The accidental discovery of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan established the start of Philippine colonialism (Agoncillo 69-71). Their ultimate goals were achieved. Spaniards brought Christianity in the Philippines that is accepted by most of the Filipino community. Through their domination amongst the natural resources of the country, they obtained much of an addition to their wealth. As they had completely colonized the Philippines, they got hold of glory. Colonialism is a significant term that is used to define a specific form of cultural exploitation (Ashcroft et al. 40) which happen to be the situation of the Philippines during the Hispanic period. Aside from the self-management of the Spaniards of the country’s natural resources, several colonial policies were introduced to the Philippines that gave much advantage to the colonizers while it deprived the rights of the Filipinos. Spaniards collected too much tax to the point that only those who had a high position can afford it. Polo y Servicio Personal, a policy that obliged 16 to 60 years old Filipino or Chinese male mestizos to give service to community projects for forty days. The Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade that limited the trade of the country only to Spain benefitted only a very small coterie of privileged Spaniards – the Spanish governor, merchants with consular duties and rights, and the Spanish residents in Manila. These colonial policies were introduced for a good purpose by the Spaniards but resulted to a economic, political, and cultural exploitation (Agoncillo 80-85). Despite the negative aspects of the Spanish colonialism in the Philippines, still, it cannot be denied that as the Spaniards colonize the country, Philippine improvement also started. A more systematic form of government was set up. Encomienda, a grant from the Spanish crown to a meritorious Spaniard to exercise control over a specific place, was introduced. Filipinos were united to Christianity. Infrastructures, telecommunications, and public utilities were developed (Agoncillo 80-85). Therefore, it can be said that colonialism is an inevitable act that is always linked to improvement. Just like what Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin said in their book Post colonial studies : the key concepts Second Edition: An other (the colonized) existed as a primary means of defining the colonizer and of creating a sense of unity beneath such differences as class and wealth and between the increasingly polarized life of the industrialized cities that developed the wealth and that of the traditional countryside to which its beneficiaries retreated or retired. The colonialist system permitted a notional idea of...
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