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History, Filipino Resistance to Colonial Rule

largest landholders, local movement, enlightened ones, colonial government, political rights

In 1863 the colonial government introduced a system of free primary-school education. Institutions of higher learning remained limited, however, and only a few admitted non-Spaniards. The new Filipino elite became known as ilustrados (Spanish for “the enlightened ones”) because they could afford higher education. Some ilustrados studied abroad in Spain.

By the second half of the 19th century the ilustrados had begun to agitate for reforms in both the civil and ecclesiastical establishments. In Spain the revolution of 1868 had produced a democratic constitution that provided for equality and civil and political rights. In the Philippines the ilustrados asked that these rights be extended to Filipinos. Filipino priests also agitated for reforms. They wanted the church to follow official Vatican policy, which dictated that religious orders would relinquish control to indigenous diocesan priests in places that had been successfully converted to Christianity. The Spanish friars in the Philippines held considerable power, forming what was called a friarocracy. They conducted many functions of government on the local level, controlled education at all levels, and were the largest landholders. They resented that their influence was being questioned by Filipino priests, and their response was increasingly racist. They successfully resisted the local movement to replace them.

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largest landholders, local movement, enlightened ones, colonial government, political rights, religious orders, Institutions of higher learning, Christianity, Filipinos, functions of government, reforms, revolution, ilustrados, equality, Philippines, higher education, church, Spain, Spanish, century, local level, half, places, influence, levels, response

 
 

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