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Comparative History : Cuba and Philippine Under Spanish Rule

in full-page cartoons

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Lee, Jiyeon
Term Paper, AP European History Class, June 2009

Table of Contents
I. Introduction
II. Cuba under Spanish Rule
II.1 History of Cuba under Spanish Rule
II.1.1 Beginning of Spanish Colonization
II.1.2 Temporary British Occupation of Cuba
II.1.3 Anti-slavery and Independence movements in the early 19th century
II.1.4 US Desire of Annexing Cuba
II.1.5 First War of Independence : The Ten Years War
II.1.6 Second War of Independence : The War of 1895
II.1.7 Spanish American War and Cuban Independence.
II.2 Economy of Cuba under Spanish Rule
II.3 Culture and Society of Cuba under Spanish Rule
III. The Philippines under Spanish rule
III.1 History of the Philippines under Spanish Rule
III.1.1 Early Colonization
III.1.2 Other Foreign Influences on the Philippines
III.1.3 The Rise of the Ilustrados
III.1.4 Philippine Revolution (1896)
III.1.5 Spanish-American War and start of colonization by US
III.2 Economy of the Philippines under Spanish Rule
III.3 Society of the Philippines under Spanish Rule
III.3.1 Roman Catholicism in Philippines
III.3.2 Change of the Social System
IV. Spanish Colonial Policy
IV.1 Spanish Colonial Policy in the Philippines
IV.1.1 Early Colonial Policy
IV.1.2 Beginning of Reform
IV.1.3 Late Colonial Policy
IV.2 Spanish Colonial Policy in Cuba
IV.2.1 Early Colonial Policy
IV.2.2 Beginning of Reform
IV.2.3 Late Colonial Policy
V. Compare and Contrast Cuba and the Philippines under Spanish rule
VI. Conclusion

I. Introduction
            Spain was one of the earliest countries to start the age of exploration and conquer various parts of the world. From the 15th century, Spain with its newly unified monarchy became a great empire, colonizing much of America and also Africa. Notably Cuba, an island country in the Caribbean, and the Philippines, also an island country in the Pacific Ocean, were the countries that were colonized by Spain. The period of colonization was similar in both countries. In fact, the Philippines followed Cuban independence movement and the Philippine revolutionary government wrote its first constitution based on the first Cuban Constitution. However, both countries also have differences. This paper will discuss the colonial history of both Cuba and the Philippines, and then find out about the differences and similarities between the two countries¡¯ history of colonization.

II. Cuba under Spanish Rule

II.1 History of Cuba under Spanish Rule

II.1.1 Beginning of Colonization
            Island of Cuba was first discovered by Christopher Columbus on October 28, 1492. At that time, Cuba was inhabited by the native tribe called Ciboney and Taino. Christopher named the island ¡®Juana¡¯ in honor of Don Juan, son of Queen Isabella, but the Indian name of the island at that time was ¡®Cubanacan¡¯. Slowly, the name ¡®Cuba¡¯ was settled by the Spanish. In 1511, by the direction of King Ferdinand, the governor-general of Hispaniola, Diego Columbus, commissioned Diego Velasquez to conquer and settle Cuba. Diego Velasquez with his 300 men killed the chief Hatuey and established the towns of Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba, and Havana. Cuba in the early period served as a supply base for Spanish expansion to Mexico and Florida. After harsh and inhumane treatment from the Spanish, the native Aborigines were driven near to extinction by the middle of 16th century.

II.1.2 Temporary British Occupation of Cuba
            The tension between three European powers; Britain, Spain, and France was moved to the Caribbean. In 1754, the Seven Years¡¯ War erupted in which Spain allied with France to compete Britain. As a result, Havana was taken by Britain and for about a year, Cuba was colonized by Britain. During the British occupation, Havana grew to the 3rd largest city of the new world. However, when Peace of Paris was signed, Cuba was returned to Spain and Spanish Colonization was continued.

II.1.3 Anti-slavery and Independence movements in the early 19th century
            In the early 19th century, British colonies in the North America gained Independence from Britain, and also, in 1820s, many of other countries in Latin America were liberated. Haitian Revolution also inspired many blacks to plan ¡°romantic¡± conspiracy. Influenced by this international wave of independence, anti-Spanish movements such as massive slave revolt(1812) led by Jose Antinio Aponte also started in Cuba. However, Cuba overall remained faithful to Spain for mainly three reasons: Cuba highly depended on the trade with Spain, Spain protected Cuba from slave revolts and piracy, and Cuba disliked the growth of US intervention as much as it disliked Spanish colonization.
            The first military independence movement started in 1826 led by Francisco de Aguero and Andres Manuel Sanchez but they were both executed by the Spanish. Several other movements such as the ¡°Gran Legion del Aguila Negra¡± occurred but were unsuccessful. Cubans still had no right to send representatives to Spanish Parliament and repression by Spanish got even harsher. Even though Spain signed treaties to end slave trade in 1817 and also in 1835, it never kept its promise. Slave revolts were intensified and Spanish repressed those revolts by killing Blacks massively.

II.1.4 Anti-slavery and Independence movements in the early 19th century
            Continuous Black revolts and British attempts to abolish slavery tempted Cuban Creoles to advocate Cuban annexation to the US where slavery was still legal. Also, many of educated Cubans liked the idea because they wanted higher development and democratic freedom. However, their attempts were foiled when the American Civil War ended with the nouthern victory.
            In 1805, Thomas Jefferson planned obtaining Cuba by sending secret agents to negotiate with the Cuban governor. Also in 1823, US president James Monroe included Cuba in his proclamation of the ¡®Monroe Doctrine¡¯. There was an attempt to buy Cuba from Spain. Various US attempts were made to attain Cuba from Spain, but they were never accomplished until the end of Spanish-American War.

II.1.5 First War of Independence : The Ten Years War
            Carlos Manuel de Cespedes was a typical amall sugar planter. In 1868, he held a public meeting at his farm in Oriente province and declared that they all should follow the path of Boliviar and San Martin. The Ten Years War(also known as The Big War) was initiated on 10 October 1868 when Carlos Manuel de Cespedes freed his slaved and issued a declaration ¡®Grito de Yara¡¯. On 10 April 1869, a constitutional assembly took place in the town of Guaimaro, and Cespedes was elected as president. Ignacio Aramonte y Loynaz and Antonio Zambrana wrote the assembly¡¯s Constitution and became Secretaries of the assembly. The assembly later named itself ¡®Congress of Representatives¡¯, and Cespedes became the first president on 12 April, 1869.
            In the developed western regions, the majority were reluctant to rick war with Spain and only favored reforms. However, in the eastern region where Cespedes came, believed they should defeat Spain. Less developed and large eastern region lacked proper communication because road and railways were not well constructed. This served as an advantage for the revolutionary force by hindering the deployment of Spanish troops.
            However, due to the political disagreement among the members, Cespedes was deposed by the Assembly. The war culminated in 1872 and 1973. However, after the deposition of Cespedes and the death of Aramonte, the Assembly¡¯s force was highly weakened.
            As a result, the Congress of Representatives was finally dissolved on 8 February 1878. The new general Martinez Campos suggested compromise and the peace treaty in Zanjon was established, promising some reforms. The Ten Years War on 10 February 1878, making Cuban leaders such as Gomez and Maceo to be sent into exile.

II.1.6 Second War of Independence : The War of 1895
            Even though the Ten Years War ended with the peace treaty, the mature national conscience established itself in Cuba. On the Spanish side, the war increased the anti-Cuban animosity and distrust by the most intransigent peninsulares.
            Therefore, the War of Independence started on 24 February 1895, led by prominent Cuban writer and philosopher Jose Marti who was considered as Father of the Country by all Cubans. In response, the Spanish government sent General Valeriano Weyler and increased the troops in Cuba to the number of 180000.
            On September 1897, the new government was established in the constitutional convention that took place in La Playa. Bartolome Maso was elected the first president. In response, Spanish decided to offer some Cuban autonomy on domestic matters because the increased tension between US and Spain made the Spanish feel nervous about its continuous colonization of Cuba. However, the new government of Cuba rejected the idea and called for independence.

II.1.7 Spanish American War and Cuban Independence.
            Worried about the American people living in Cuba, the American government decided to send the battleship Maine. However, 15 February 1898, the ship exploded, killing hundreds of sailors.
            Due to this incident and American people¡¯s sympathy for Cuban independence struggle, many Americans called for war. As a result, in 1898, United States declared war on Spain. US landed troops in Cuba on 6th June, 1898. After of Spanish fleets and been lost and land battles near Santiago de Cuba were lost, the Spanish requested a peace treaty. On 10 December 1898, Spain signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Spanish colonization of Cuba.

II.2 Early Common Era to Early Modern Era (200CE-1757CE)
            In the early period, there was little industry in Cuba besides ship repairing, the curing of pork, the salting of beef, and the tanning of leather (1). In 1750, there were about a hundred small sugar plantations, mostly close to Havana. This economic backwardness of Cuba in the early period is because of two reasons: there were few rivers suitable to power water mills which were responsible for the wealth of other colonies in the Caribbean, and there was no large-scale home market in Spain for luxuries such as sugar. Tobacco was one of Cuba's profitable crops.
            The phrase that would best describe the economy of Cuba under Spanish rule is 'Plantation economy with slavery system'. Sugar and tobacco became Cuba's primary export product, and the island quickly became the prime Spanish base in the Caribbean.
            Plantation required extreme amount of human labor. Native aborigines alone could never satisfy the plantation owners¡¯ demand of human labor. The native population¡¯s week immunity against Spanish diseases and European people¡¯s growing support for humane treatment of native population instigated the growth of African slave trade.
            Because Spain restricted Cuba¡¯s trade with foreign countries and Cuba¡¯s access to slave trade, Cuba¡¯s sugar plantation couldn¡¯t keep up with the rapidly advancing ones of British Barbados or French Saint Domingue. However, the temporary colonization of Havana by British in the Seven Years¡¯ War caused the massive influx of African slaves. Also, Haitian Revolution motivated many French plantation owners to move into Cuba, bringing slaves and expertise in sugar refining in the 1790s. Water mills were also used successfully for the first time in the west Cuba after French planters and technicians fleeing from the Haitian Revolution had brought to Cuba the ideas of the overshot water wheel (2). Haitian Revolution also increased the demand for Cuban sugar by destroying Haitian sugar production. Thanks to these factors, Cuban sugar plantation became the most powerful producer of sugar in the 1800s. The exports of sugar from Cuba by 1800 already exceeded that of hides, tobacco, cane brandy, and nuts, overtaking Jamaica as the biggest producer of sugar in the Caribbean. The graph below illustrates the development of Cuban sugar plantation. Indeed, Cuban output of sugar which remained insignificant until 1800s skyrocketed in the early 1800s. Considering that the Haitian Revolution ended in 1804 and that it may had took some time for the French sugar plantation owners to settle down and start business, this dramatic increase of sugar output makes sense. Also, beginning in the 1860s, output of Sugar went over 700000 metric tons.

North America: Output of Sugar(in thousands of metric tons) (3)
Year Cuban Sugar Output Year Cuban Sugar Output
1785 1835 168
1786 13 1837
1787 12 1838 149
1788 14 1839 132
1840 163
1800 29
1801 32 1855 354
1802 42 1856 361
1803 32
1804 39 1865 622
1805 35 1866 607
1867 761
1868 738

            By the turn of the 18th and the 19th century, therefore, Cuba was plainly a very promising part of Spanish Empire (4). 1860s marks the highest point of Cuban sugar output. Owing to Cuba¡¯s big size and abundance of natural resources, Cuba became great sugar producer internationally. New technology such as water mills, enclosed furnaces, and steam engines contributed to Cuba¡¯s dominant position in sugar producing, higher than any other colonies in the Caribbean. Moreover, sugar plantation motivated improvement of transportation system in Cuba, building new roads and railways. Indeed, the prosperity of Cuba that sugar plantation brought attracted many of Spanish immigrants, affecting the social hierarchy and system of Cuba.

II.3 Culture and Society of Cuba under Spanish Rule
            After a long time of colonization by Spain, Cuban culture and society was deeply influenced by not only Spain but also Africa. Cuba became the melting pot of many different cultures, thanks to its openness to foreign influence during the colonial period.
            The population of Cuba was mixed complexly, owing to the intermarriage between Spanish, Africans, and Native Aborigines. Intermarriage between different ethnicities led to the advent of mulattos and creoles. Cuban social hierarchy during the Spanish rule was strict: Spanish natives on top, and then Creoles, and then mulattos and natives. The tension between the Creoles and Spanish natives led to many frictions in Cuba. Also when slavery was abolished, Chinese laborers successfully migrated and adapted to Cuban life, making them take significant portions of Cuban population.
            Owing to the Spanish colonization, Catholicism was introduced in Cuba and became the most dominant religion. Also, in Cuba, many different cultures were mixed and the most evident example is Cuban music. Rumba music resulted from the fusion of African and Cuban music, and Cuban classical music is renowned to successfully combine the European and Cuban characteristics.

III. The Philippines under Spanish rule

III.1 History of the Philippines under Spanish Rule

III.1.1 Early Colonization
            The Philippines was first discovered when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed on the island Homonhon in 1521. Magellan claimed the island to be the land of Spain and named it ¡®Islas de San Lazaro¡¯. He formed friendly relationship with the native people and brought them Roman Catholicism.
            The first Spanish settlement was established in 1565 when Conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, arrived at Island Cebu. He defeated the Muslim force and established the capital at Manila, seeing Manila Bay as a profitable harbor with abundant food supplies

III.1.2 Other Foreign Influences on the Philippines
            In the 17th century, the Netherlands continuously attempted to take over the Philippine in order to gain spices.
            Also in 1762, Spain went to war against Britain. On 24, September 1762, British force took Manila from Spain. However, in 1764, the war ended and British sailed out of the Philippines. The Philippines were returned to Spain. The easy British victory showed Spain¡¯s disregard for its faraway dominion and the fragility of its colonial administration.

III.1.3 The Rise of the Ilustrados
            The year 1863 marks a turning point in Filipino history. An educational reform was implemented, which opened the system of higher education to Filipinos and modernized the curriculum (5). In 1863, Queen Isabella commanded the establishment of public school system in Spanish. This was the Spainish attempt to ¡®spainalize¡¯ the native people of the Philippines. However, this attempt consequently backfired by increasing the number of educated Filipinos and causing the rise of the new social class, the Ilustrados. The growth of the Ilustrados were even fastened by the opening of Suez Canal which made the travel to Spain quicker and easier. This new enlightened class of Filipinos would later form the major force of the Philippines¡¯ independence movement, a result that the Spanish had not expected. The most prominent one of all was Jose Rizal. He inspired the desire for independence by writing novels. Filipino intellectuals (some of them having studied in Spain) began agitating for Filipino sef-government or independence.

III.1.4 Philippine Revolution (1896)
            A secret society called the Katipunan which aimed to overthrow the Spanish rule was established by Andres Bonifacio. Philippine Revolution was initiated in 1896. After the death of Rizal, the Katipunan was divided into two forces, and the force led by Mariano Alvarez was defeated by the force led by Emilio Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo continued its revolutionary war against Spain and finally reached to the town Biak-na-Bato.
            In Biak-na-Bato, Republic of Biak-na-Bato was established and the first Constitution was written based on the first Cuban Constitution. In response, Spain offered compromise. The Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed on December 15, 1897. According to the pact, the Spanish government was to pay 400,000 pesos to Philippines for the surrender of the revolutionary force and the exile of Aguinaldo. In consequence, the revolution was settled and Aguinaldo¡¯s force was exiled to Hong Kong. However, the payment by the Spanish was never fully accomplished.
            Not all generals agreed with the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. General Francisco Makabulos established Central Executive Committee and resumed armed conflict.

III.1.5 Spanish-American War and start of colonization by the U.S.
            The Spanish-American War began and the Spanish force was finally defeated by the US Force led by Commodore George Dewey. In consequence, Aguinaldo was able to return to the Philippines on May 19, 1898. Aguinaldo quickly took control of the country and declared independence of the Philippines on June 12, 1898. The First Philippine Republic was established, with Asia¡¯s first democratic constitution.
            However, by the Treaty of Paris which ended the Spanish-American War, the Philippines were handed over to the United States. This would start the second colonization of the Philippines by the United States.

III.2 Economy of the Philippines under the Spanish Rule
            During the early part of Spanish rule, the Philippines wasn¡¯t an economically profitable colony. Spain did not really develop the local economy but regulated the commerce of the Philippines strictly.
            When Spanish explorers first came to the Philippines, they were highly disappointed. No rich spices, no precious gums, no abundance of rar metals or drugs, were there to allure Spanish cupidity (6). Its only spice was an inferior brand of cinnamon, and neither gold nor silver seemed to be present in large quantities (7). However, the Spanish in Manila saw profit to be made by reexporting to Mexico the Chinese products that had been entering the islands for centuries. China was only opening its port in Macao to the Portuguese and so, this entrepot trade seemed very profitable. Hence came the lucrative "galleon trade".
            The Manila Galleons sailed from the Fort of Manila to the Fort of Acapulco, Mexico. The Manila Galleons shipped imports from China such as silk and porcelain which were paid for with Mexican Silver. Only one galleon was permitted to sail and its Manila-bound cargo was legally limited in value to 250,000 pesos. However, these limited were often violated by merchants who were desperate to earn money from this lucrative and also dangerous trade.
            The galleon trade collapsed when the British seized both outgoing and incoming galleons during their attack against Manila. Also, Europe which was beginning to contact directly with Asia no longer needed the Manila entrepot trade. Moreover, the advent of manufactured textile thanks to the Industrial Revolution made Chinese silk seem outdated to the consumers. The last Manila galleon sailed in 1811 and the galleon trade was ended.
            The reform enforced by Jose de Basco y Vargas started cultivation of cash crops such as tobacco and sugar cane. These cultivation brought huge profit to only a few plantation owners. The large gap between the rich and the poor was generated in the sugar-producing areas of central Luzon and the Visayas. Industrial Revolution called for raw materials and the Philippines was not exempt from the obligation to furnish its mother land with resources. Spanish colonial officials inspired the growth of export. Many foreign firms which were authorized and established in the 19th century became active in trade, insurance, banking, and currency exchange. The advent of steam ship and opening of Suez Canal in 1869 shortened the voyage between Europe and Asia and further accelerated the economic boom in the Philippines.
            However, this economic growth was followed by a heavy human toll. The concentration on cash crops shrank the land for rice cultivation and therefore, food had to be imported and sold at the high price for the native population. The islands¡¯ economy slid into recession often. Indeed, these rural areas were neglected even after the reforms took place.

III.3 Society of the Philippines under Spanish Rule

III.3.1 Roman Catholicism in Philippines
            One of the great influences that Spain left was Roman Catholicism. Large amount of total local population was converted to Roman Catholicism, making Roman Catholic the dominant religion of the country. The absence of other religions (except Islam) and the pageantry of the church appealed to the local people. Many of indigenous social customs were incorporated into Roman Catholic observances.

III.3.2 Change of the Social System
            Before the Spanish arrived, the Philippine society was communal. People shared the land which was owned communally. However, after the Spanish arrived, this communal system changed to oligarchy. The Spanish sought to govern Philippine by cooperating with local leaders. At the lower level of administration, the Spanish tried to rule the natives indirectly by giving local leaders some political power to govern their traditional villages.
            This indirect rule of Spain led to the division of social classes. The local leaders formed the indigenous upper class called the principalia who had local wealth, high status and other privileges. Communal ownership was changed into private ownership and the society came to reflect the characteristics of oligarchy.
            The social pyramid also existed in the Philippines. At the top were the peninsulares, Spaniards who came from Spain, and then came criollos, Spaniards who were born in the Philippines. Spanish mestizos ranked next, Chinese mestizos the next, and finally indios, the native population, at the bottom. Chinese who kept in contact with the Philippines even before the Spaniards came moved into the Philippines and became influential politically. Famous Jose Rizal and Aguinaldo were both Chinese mestizos.

IV. Spanish Colonial Policy
            Spanish Imperialism in America is better explained politically rather than economically. Even though Spain gained economic profit, especially gold, from its colonies, its main reason for starting the colonization was to become internationally dominant and strong country. The unified monarchy was eager to become a powerful empire in Europe, and it couldn¡¯t let its rival country Portugal to take the lead in the wave of Imperialism. Therefore, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella accepted Columbus¡¯ proposal and so began the Spanish conquests of various parts of the world including America.

IV.1 Spanish Colonial Policy in the Philippines

IV.1.1 Early colonial policy
            Spain was always politically, socially, economically, and culturally behind other European countries. Had Spain been more energetic, and still more liberal, her prosperity in the Indian Archipelago might have rivaled that which she once enjoyed in the western world (8). Thanks to Spain¡¯s backwardness and its stubbornness to stay consistent, the Philippines was a country isolated and neglected.
            Spain¡¯s primary preoccupation was to protect the prestige of Spain-and, of course, to promote Christianity (9).The spread of Christianity was pervasive, but not profound. The native people¡¯s indigenous tribal structure and its values didn¡¯t change. Because Filipino priests enjoyed many privileges, they were often disliked by the native population. The Cyclopaedia of India writes Spanish missionary work this way :

            "Spain has in all her conquests kept prominently before her the propagation of Christianity in the form embodied in her Church. The Philippines, therefore, present a spectacle which contrasts strongly with the Dutch dependencies in the East. Spain appears in the Archipelago in her religious earnestness, her ecclesiastical assumption, and her gorgeous establishments. The native of the Philippines have generally been converted and received into the Catholic Church." (10)

            Unlike Latin America where central rule existed before the Spanish arrived, the Philippines, a politically fragmented country, was easy for the Spanish to take over. The native population of the Philippines was mostly docile. The predominant and harsh policies were the repartimiento and the encomienda system. The repartimiento system was a draft of labor to build roads or to cut and transport timber for the construction of ships (11). The encomienda was trusteeship labor system. The crown granted a person a number of native people to take care of. The person who receives the grant should be responsible for instructing natives and converting them to Roman Catholicism. In return, the receiver could freely exploit the native people by forcing labor or demanding tribute. These harsh systems were disliked greatly by the native population.
            Because the Philippines was very remote islands which were too far to travel from Spain, the Spanish administrators of the Philippines were left relatively free on their own will. Inept Spanish bureaucrats grabbed property with cavalier disregard for the rights of the natives. One priest, Francisco de Ortega, vividly described the brutality of Spanish troops as they entered villages :

            "They first send in an interpreter, not with gifts or to speak of God, but to demand tribute. The people, never having been subjects of a king or a lord, are puzzled and shocked when forced to hand over their necklaces or bracelets, their only property ... Some refuse, others submit reluctantly and still others flee to the hills, terrified by this strange new race of armed man. The Spaniards pursue them, firing their arquebuses and killing without mercy, then return to the village to slaughter all the pigs and poultry, carry off all the rice and burn all the houses." (12)

IV.1.2 Beginning of Reform
            King Philip, listening to the criticisms by friars like Francisco, responded by issuing reform in 1583. He first attacked the notorious encomienda system. Also, he permitted only tax collectors and inspectors other than friars to enter native villages. The provincial Spanish officers were to be rotated and the governor was to be allowed only limited power. On the contrary, the monastic orders and the friars' rule over the native land was uncontested.
            The friars¡¯ power became absolute. They derived their power from the enormous influence of the monastic orders. The clergy never moved and continued to rule over the same land. The priests learned the local language and custom, and often had children with native women despite their vows of celibacy.
            Another wave of reform came when the British opened Manila to foreign enterprises for the first time and ended the galleon trade. The brief introduction to free trade gradually convinced a few farsighted Spaniards that Spain¡¯s hold over the Philippines could not continue without reforms.
            Influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, Charles decided to reform Spanish policy in the Philippines. He curbed the friars¡¯ monopoly over education, gave land to peasants, promoted industry and built roads and canals. Also, he sent a new governor, Jose de Basco y Vargas, to renovate the Philippines' economy. He envisioned the large-scale cultivation of silk, tobacco, spices, and sugar canes. The state-owned tobacco industry was a huge success. However, the decrease in rice cultivation caused food shortage in many areas. He allowed the first foreign ship to enter Manila but only allowed cargo from China and India to protect Spanish merchants who monopolized western goods. Nevertheless, many foreign entrepreneurs began to enter the Philippines with their own products.
            In the mean time, the friars had become accustomed to absolute authority and feared that even tiniest concessions would jeopardize their immense power and ultimately destroy their organization. The forces for and against change collided for a long time.
            However, Charles III sought to subdue the monastic orders as part of an effort to bring the Spanish Catholic hierarchy under his control. General Carlos Maria de la Torre became the governor of the Philippines. De la Torre introduced various reforms, opened the universities to natives, and pledged freedom of the press. He abolished censorship, introduced the right for free speech and free assembly (13). However, on the pretense that de la Torre was too moderate, General Rafael de Izquierdo came to replace the position of governor. He was a very brutal ruler who favored peninsulares over criollos.

IV.1.3 Late Colonial Policy
            Advent of independence movement alarmed the Spanish administration. As the death of Jose Rizal illustrates, the Spanish strictly suppressed the seditious force. However, when revolutionary force led by Aguinaldo became too strong, Queen Maria Cristina ordered compromise. The Cuban revolt was deleting the Spanish treasury and there was no free time to deliberate over the Philippines¡¯ condition when Cuba was seriously revolting. Also, Antonio Canovas del Castillo, the conservative prime minister, had been assassinated, and a new liberal minister Praxedes Mateo Sagasta was appointed. A proponent of conciliation, Sagasta ordered to discuss peace. Finally the peace was accomplished by the Pact of Biak-ba-nato but that peace proved to be only a truce. The war was resumed and continued until the Spanish ceded the Philippines to the United States.

IV.2 Spanish Colonial Policy in Cuba

IV.2.1 Early colonial policy
            The Spanish captain-general who himself depended on the viceroy of Mexico ruled Cuba. The captain-general was the chief of a small bureaucracy of officials who had been appointed to their posts by the home administrators in Seville. Most of the officials in Cuba was badly paid, so they sought to gain additional profit by personal businesses.
            Cuba like the rest of the Spanish Empire had its won criollo aristocracy which consisted of rich families. They ran plantations and lived in luxurious houses. Early Cuba was characterized by the relatively small number of slaves, the relatively large number of free blacks and mulattos, and the importance of urban life.

IV.2.2 Beginning of Reform
            The economic reforms introduced by King Carlos III. transformed initially week Cuba into a prosperous sugar colony. He lifted many of the old bureaucratic restraints on trade and allowed foreign investors to put money into Cuba¡¯s plantation. New technology was also introduced to foster the sugar industry.
            The remaining Spanish restriction of Cuban economy was foiled temporarily by the British occupation of Havana 1762. British opened the Cuban market to foreigners, which had been formally closed to foreigners. Slave trade began to grow substantially. Initially, the Spanish limited the Cuban slave trade on the ground that it would by politically dangerous to have so many new slaves in the island. However, such fear proved to be overcautious when no significant slave revolt occurred after the British increased slave trade. Moreover, old Spanish taxes such as payment on all goods coming in from Spain, payment to the navy, payment on all exports to Spain, and payment to help the government in Madrid were all disappeared. Most restrictions on trade were abolished for good.
            The Napoleonic wars were the midwife of Latin American independence (14). Cut off from Spain by the destruction of the Spanish fleet at Trafalgar, enriched by the economic reformation by Kind Carlos III, and politically inspired by the American as well as the French Revolution, some criollos in South America began to consider political autonomy from Spain. However, those ideas didn¡¯t prosper due to the fear from Haitian Revolution. No Cuban planter was ready to risk a quarrel with Spain if there was the danger of the opportunity of slave revolts. Instead, threatened by the British campaign to abolish the slave trade, Cuban planters sought annexation of Cuba by the United States. However, annexationists¡¯ dream was foiled with the South¡¯s defeat in the American Civil War.
            After that, they began to pursue some constitutional reforms in the 1860s. They desired a reduction of the powers of the captain-general, a constitutional assembly, taxation accompanied by representation, and an extension of the powers of the municipal councils. (15)
            The Cuban reformers of the 1860s were two enlightened captain-generals: Francisco Serrano y Dominguez and Domingo Dulce y Garay. In 1865, they went to Madrid to discuss the island¡¯s political future. The Junta de Informacion in Madrid discussed every aspect of constitutional reform as well as slavery. However, coup d¡¯etat in Madrid which brought intolerant General Narvaez to power made those efforts completely in vain.

IV.2.3 Late Colonial Policy
            In 1868, the Ten Years War erupted. Recent international events in part inspired these independent movements. Spain¡¯s lack of success in the Dominican Republic and the failure of Napoleon III in Mexico made Cubans think that European powers including Spain was declining. Political conditions in Spain (abdication of Isabella II, reign of Amadeo of Savoy, the proclamation of a Republic, Carlist War in 1872) made the Spanish army in Cuba impossible to receive adequate attention or supplies. Indeed, the colonial government failed to react decisively. Poorly informed of incidents in Oriente, and troubled by political turmoil in Spain, Captain Lersundi paid little attention on the news of the uprisings. When the town of Bayamo fell to revolutionary forces, the rebellion rapidly spread all over Cuba by the inspired native population.
            This was the time when General Martinez Campos came to Cuba, promising reforms. Through the peace treaty of Zanjon, he granted more autonomy to Cuba and gave freedom to the rebels. Also, as a prime minister of Cuba, Martinez declared the slavery to end in Cuba. Gomez, Maceo and many other Cuban leaders went into exile, and Cuba¡¯s first war of Independence ended.
            When the War of Independence broke in 1895, Martinez Campos was required to toughen measures against the rebels and the native population. However, Martinez refused to follow the orders such as ethnic cleansing and ultimately resigned from his position. He was later replaced by Valeriano Weyler who was much more violent toward the natives. Martinez¡¯s attempts to reform Spanish colonial style were foiled.
            After some fights between Cuban force and Weyler¡¯s force, Welyer was order to return to Spain. Cuban successes, the assassination of Weler¡¯s protector, minister Canovas del Castillo, and growing American concern about the Cuban situation convinced Madrid that it was time to attempt appeasement (16). The new liberal minister Praxedes Sagasta sent General Ramon Blanco to Cuba as a new Captain-General. General Blanco proclaimed Cuba¡¯s autonomy. This compromise loosened Cuban situation a bit, but this time, the relationship between Spain and the United States worsened. Eventually, the Spanish American War broke out, and after several defeats, Spain had to call for the peace treaty which liberated Cuba.

V. Compare and Contrast between Cuba and the Philippines under Spanish rule
            The history of Cuba and that of the Philippines are very much comparable in that both countries were colonized by the same country, Spain, during the similar period. However, both countries were not exactly the same.
            First of all, Cuba and the Philippines are alike in that they were culturally influenced by the Spanish. In Cuba where many indigenous Spanish people immigrated into, the native Spanish and Creoles took the highest position in social class system. Also, Roman Catholics spread largely in Cuba. In the Philippines, the communal society with no central rule was converted into oligarchic society. Roman Catholic became the dominant religion. Thanks to the Spanish education, a new elite social class called the Illustrados emerged. Both countries haven¡¯t completely abandoned what they got from the Spanish colonization.
            Both countries are also similar in that they haven¡¯t managed to develop economically or politically under Spanish rule. Both countries were neglected by the Spanish administration for several centuries because of their remoteness from Spain. Unlike other countries such as Britain, Spain which was itself always economically backward didn¡¯t try to develop its own colonies. Even though they constructed roads and railways in part of reform policy, it was only to promote larger profit from plantations by facilitating transportation. It neither advanced local economy by encouraging commerce nor tried to industrialize its colonies. Cuba and the Philippines both relied on agriculture. Especially, Cuba was unable to move forward from its economy based on sugar plantation because it lacked industrial infrastructure and the rich owners of plantation who didn¡¯t want the industrialization to take place exerted strong influence on Cuban politics. The Philippines¡¯ situation was no different.
            Moreover, because the Philippines and Cuba was colonized at the same time, they were simultaneously affected by some colonial policies or reforms, organized by Spain. Notably, the economic and administrational reforms of King Carlos III affected both countries. Also, both countries gained some autonomy from Spain when a new liberal minister, Praxedes Mateo Sagasta, was replaced by a conservative minister, Antonio Canovas del Castillo. In addition, the Philippines and Cuba both went through some attempts made by moderate Spanish leaders (such as Martinez Campos in Cuba and Carlos Maria de la Torre in the Philippines) to reform the Spanish colonial policy, but ultimately they were all foiled when conservative and brutal leaders replaced the moderate leaders. The periodic similarity between the two countries¡¯ colonization brought about some coincidences like these.
            However, Cuba and the Philippines differ in that they had different purposes of colonization. The Philippines was not a profitable colony but rather a strategically important colony. For Spain, obtaining the Philippines was important because it was only place that hindered Portugal from totally dominating the East Indies. Since Spain was not interested in gaining economic profit from the Philippines, it largely restricted the Philippine¡¯s commerce. On the other hand, Cuba was a very profitable colony. Initially, Cuba wasn¡¯t different from the Philippines in that Spain regulated Cuban trade greatly at first. However, the abundance of resources and suitable climate allowed Cuba to become the greatest producer of sugar and tobacco. Also, Cuba was lucky in that temporary British occupation and the French plantation owners who escaped from Haitian Revolution helped Cuba to grow economically powerful.

Output of Sugar(in thousands of metric tons) (17)
Cuba (17) The Philippines (18)
Year Sugar Output Year Sugar Output
1849 227 1849 23
1850 268 1850 29
1855 354 1855 36
1856 361 1856 48
1865 622 1865 47
1866 607 1866 42
1867 761 1867 56
1868 738 1868 75

            The graphs above illustrate the difference between the Philippines¡¯ and Cuban economic power. In 1668 when Cuban sugar production was reaching its peak, the Philippines produced 75000 metric tons which was only about one tenth of Cuban production.
            The two colonies difference in importance can be seen from the Spanish attitude when both countries rebelled to gain independence in the late 19th century. Because Spain was too busy trying not to loose Cuba which was more economically important, Queen Maria Cristina was hasty enough to allow the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in order to end the conflict in the Philippines quickly.

VI. Conclusion
            Overall, Cuba and the Philippines are similar in that they were colonized by the same country and threw the Spanish rule at the same time. This periodic similarity generated some common historical facts between the two countries. They were both treated inhumanely by the Spanish and had to be exploited for the sake of Spain. Roman Catholicism came to dominate both countries. They sometime shared political and administrational changes that were ordered from their mother country. However, economical difference made the two countries vary. Cuba which became an economically important colony thanks to its great sugar plantation was valued more importantly and administered more strictly than the Philippines which was not much profitable and also remote.

Notes (1)      Bethell 1993, p.1
(2)      Bethell 1993, p.7
(3)      B.R.Mitchell, 2003 the Americas, p.188-189
(4)      Bethell 1993, 1993, p.7
(5)      World History at KMLA
(6)      Cyclopaedia of India, p.550
(7)      Karnow 1989, p.55
(8)      Cyclopaedia of India, p.550
(9)      Karnow 1989, p.48
(10)      Cyclopaedia of India, p.551
(11)      Karnow 1989, p.50
(12)      Karnow 1989, p.50
(13)      World History at KMLA
(14)      Bethell 1993, p.9
(15)      Bethell 1993, p.17
(16)      Bethell 1993, p.32
(17)      B.R. Mitchell, 2003 the Americas, p.188-189
(18)      B.R. Mitchell, 2003 Africa, Asia & Oceania, p.213

Bibliography Note : websites quoted below were visited in October 2008.
1.      Article: History of Cuba, from Wikipedia,
2.      Article: Cuba, from Wikipedia,
3.      Article: History of the Philippines, from Wikipedia,
4.      Article: Philippines, from Wikipedia,
5.      Jerry Wilkinson, History of Cuba, from Keys Historeum,
6.      Brief History of Cuba, from Florida International University,
7.      Article: History of Cuba, from,
8.      History of Cuba Briefly, from,
9.      Philippine History, from PINAS,
10.      Article: History of the Philippines, from Knowledgerush,
11.      Article: Spanish Colonization of the Americas, from Wikipedia,
12.      Philippine History ? Spanish Colonization, from Philippine country guide,
13.      Spanish Discovery and Colonization, from Travel & history,
14.      Article: Spanish Empire, from Wikipedia,
15.      Stanley Karnow, In Our Image-America¡¯s Empire in the Philippines, Ballantine Books, 1989
16.      Leslie Bethell, Cuba-A Short History, Cambridge University Press, 1993
17.      Edward Balfour(Editor), Cyclopaedia of India, International Book Distributors 2nd ed. vol.iv (1873)
18.      B.R.Mitchell, International Historical Statistics-The Americas 1750-2000, PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, 2003
19.      B.R.Mitchell, International Historical Statics-Africa, Asia, & Oceania 1750-2000, PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, 2003
20.      The Philippines, 1863-1898, from World History at KMLA,

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