Colonisation of the Philippines

Colonisation of the Philippines 1521 to 1946

The Philippines became a colony of Spain in 1521. The Philippines was a Spanish colony for 377 years.

The Philippines became a United States colony on 11th April 1899. The Philippines was a US colony for 47 years.

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Colonisation of the Philippines 1521 to 1946.

The Philippines became a colony of Spain in 1521.
Spanish rule of The Philippines ended on 10th December 1898.
The Philippines was a Spanish colony for 377 years.


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The Philippines became a United States colony on 11th April 1899.
The Philippines gained independence from the United States on 4th July 1946.
The Philippines was a US colony for 47 years.

Spanish Colonisation of the Philippines

The Spanish made landfall on 17th March 1521, and on the 31st March 1521, Magellan claimed possession of the islands he had seen for the king of Spain, calling them the ‘Archipelago of Saint Lazarus (Archipelago of Saint Lazarus)’. It was in In 1543, that Ruy Lopez de Villalobos named the islands ‘Las Islas Filipinas (the Philippine Islands)’ after Philip II of Spain.

Treaty of Paris 1898

On the 10th December 1898, at the end of the Spanish-US war, the Treaty of Paris ceding the Philippines to the United States was signed. This became effective on the 11th April 1899.

United States Colonisation of the Philippines

On the 11th April 1899, at the end of the Spanish-US war, the Treaty of Paris ceded the Philippines to the United States for US$20 million.
Washington originally defined its colonial intentions as being for the preparation of a Philippines government for eventual independence, and legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1934 to provide for a 10 year period of transition to independence. This was interrupted by the Japanese invasion in 1941.
The first general election of the Commonwealth of the Philippines was held in 1935, and this was also the first direct election of the President of the Philippines, Manuel L. Quezon.
Eventual independence from the United States was finally given on July 4, 1946.


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