The Philippines Under Spanish Rule (1600s-1800s)
REASONS FOR SPANISH COLONIZATION When King Charles send an expedition to the East, his purpose was for commercial. But when Legazpi succeeded laying foundation in the Philippines, the Spanish claim the archipelago in two reasons: first, since the Philippines was discovered under the patronage of Spain, Philippines therefore was owned by Spain; second, since Spain, being in actual possession of the Philippines, it had the right to colonize it. As such, the Philippines was in possession of the King of Spain and therefore, a crown colony. POLITICAL CHANGES The Central Government The Laws of the Indies were applied in the Philippines. Spanish then made an organized central government in the Philippines.By this, the central government was so powerful that everything has to be done with its knowledge and consent. The central government was headed by the governor and governor-general who was appointed by the King of Spain. However, there were only two branches: the executive and the judicial. There were no legislative because the laws were made by the Spaniards in Spain. The governor-general was so powerful that he was also the vice royal patron in the Philippines and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. This power was best shown in the right of cumplase. Cumplase was the right of the governor to suspend the operation of a Royal decree in the Philippines. TheAudiencia The Audiencia is a court where the judicial powers of the government were exercised. The lower courts were also one, therefore the Audiencia was the highest court. Here, civil and criminal cases were concerned. Local Government Under the central government was the provincial government. This was headed by the alcalde mayor. His salary was small but he could collect a part of the tribute to increase his income. This right was called indulto de comercio. Under the provincial government was the municipal government which is headed by the gobernadorcillo. Today, it is equivalent to the mayor. He was aided in the administration by deputies called tenientes, and subordinate officials called alguaciles. The City and Its Government During the first century of Spanish rule, there were only two cities: Cebu and Manila. By the seventeenth century, the Philippines had six cities as a result of the continuation of the Spaniards conquest. Because of the increase in the number of cities, the cities had a different government form than that of the town. It was called ayuntamiento, consisted of two alcaldes, twelve regidores, a chief police secretary, a city secretary, and other officials. However, each barangay in a town was headed by a cabeza de barangay who had no salary. Propagating the Catholic Faith In line with the Augustinian Order brought by Legazpi, several missionaries arrived in the Philippines to spread Catholicism. Some of them are as follows: Franciscan missionaries (1577)
Dominican missionaries (1587)
Recollect missionaries (1606)
These missionaries worked hard to propagate the Catholic faith. As a result of their work, many natives converted to the Catholic religion. The Union of Church and State Because the early Kings of Spain contributed a lot in propagating the Catholic faith, they became closely identified with the Church. There was a union of the church and state. This union was also introduced in the Philippines. Government officials and church officials became close with each other. As their bond grew, government officials became church officials. Likewise, clergy became government officials. The Church Organization To administer the parishes efficiently, the Catholic Church was divided into districts. Districts are then divided into parishes and missions. Districts represented geographic regions that had different dialects. While, the parishes represented villages and missions represented areas that were not yet conquered and converted into Catholicism. The Inquisition The...
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