The First 200 Years of Spanish Rule
(1560-1760)




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Felipe Segundo
(Philip II)
King of Spain

  • Following the discovery of the islands for Spain by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, the archipelago was made a colony of Spain.
  • The islands became known as the Philippines, named after the King of Spain, Felipe II (Philip II).
  • The Spaniards were able to conquer the archipelago with little bloodshed due to the absence of centralized authority and very low population that was scattered all over the 7,000 islands
  • Spanish rule was principally based in Manila, which became the center of the Galleon trade between Mexico and the Philippines.
  • Manila became the transshipment port for trade between Mexico and China:  the Chinese sent silks to Manila in exchange for Mexican silvers.
  • The Spaniards based in Manila were the middle men in the Galleon trade.
  • In the 19th century, agricultural exports of the Philippines grew, which were made of up sugar, rice, hemp, indigo, bananas, coconuts and pineapple.





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