The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 Vol 1, 1493-1529 by Emma Helen Blair and J. A. Robertson

Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Distributed Proofreaders Team The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with
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Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Distributed Proofreaders Team

The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898

explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century

Volume I, 1493-1529

Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.

Contents of Volume I

General Preface. _The Editors_. … 13 Historical Introduction. _Edward Gaylord Bourne._ … 19 Preface to Volume I … 89
Documents regarding the Line of Demarcation:

Papal Bulls of 1493: _Inter caetera_ (May 3), _Eximiae_ (May 3), _Inter caetera_ (May 4), _Extension de la concesion_ (September 25). Alexander VI; Rome, 1493. … 97 Treaty of Tordesillas. Fernando V and Isabel of Castile, and Joao II of Portugal; Tordesillas, June 7, 1494. … 115 [Note on correspondence of Jaime Ferrer regarding the Line of Demarcation–1493-95.] 130
Compact between the Catholic Sovereigns and the King of Portugal. Fernando V and Isabel of Castile, and Joao II of Portugal; Madrid, April 15, 1495. 131
Papal Bull, _Praecelsae_ Leo X; Rome, November 3, 1514. 136 Instructions from the King of Spain to his ambassadors. Carlos I of Spain; Valladolid, February 4, 1523. 139 Letter to Juan de Zuniga. Carlos I of Spain; Pamplona, December 18, 1523. 145
Treaty of Vitoria. Carlos I of Spain, and Joao III of Portugal; Vitoria, February 19, 1524
Junta of Badajoz: extract from the records in the possession and ownership of the Moluccas. Badajoz; April 14-May 13, 1524

Opinions concerning the ownership of the Moluccas. Hernando Colon, Fray Tomas Duran, Sebastian Caboto, and Juan Vespucci; Badajoz April 13-15, 1524 Letters to the Spanish delegates at the Junta of Badajoz. Carlos I of Spain; Burgos, March 21 and April 10, 1524

Treaty of Zaragoza. Carlos I of Spain and Joao III of Portugal; Zaragoza, April 29, 1529

Papal Bull, _Eximiae_. Alexander VI; Rome, November 16, 1501 Life and Voyage of Fernao de Magalhaes.

[Resume of contemporaneous documents–1518-27.] Letter of authorization to Falero and Magalhaes. Carlos I of Spain; Valladolid, March 22, 1518
Carta de el-rei de Castella para El-rei D. Manuel. Carlos I of Spain; Barcelona, February 28, 1519
Instructions to Juan de Cartagena. Carlos I of Spain; Barcelona, April 6, 1519
[1]Carta do rei de Castella a Fernando de Magalhaes e a Ruy Falero. Carlos I; Barcelona, April 19, 1519 … 294 Extracto de una carta de las Indias. 1522. … 296 De Molvccis Insulis. [Letter to the Cardinal of Salzburg, describing Magalhaes’s voyage to the Moluccas.] Maximillianus Transylvanus; Coloniae, 1523. … 305

Bibliographical Data … 339
Appendix: Chronological Tables … 345


Portrait of Fernao de Magalhaes; photographic reproduction from painting in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid. … _Frontispiece_
Signature of Fernao de Magalhaes; photographic facsimile, from original _Ms_. in Archivo General de Indias, Seville. … 273 Title-page of _De Molvccis Insulis_; photographic facsimile, from copy of the first edition, at Lenox Library. … 303 General map of the Philippine Archipelago. … _At end of volume_

General Preface

The entrance of the United States of America into the arena of world-politics, the introduction of American influence into Oriental affairs, and the establishment of American authority in the Philippine archipelago, all render the history of those islands and their, numerous peoples a topic of engrossing interest and importance to the reading public, and especially to scholars, historians, and statesmen. The present work–its material carefully selected and arranged from a vast mass of printed works and unpublished manuscripts–is offered to the public with the intention and hope of casting light on the great problems which confront the American people in the Philippines; and of furnishing authentic and trustworthy material for a thorough and scholarly history of the islands. For this purpose, the Editors reproduce (mainly in English translation) contemporaneous documents which constitute the best original sources of Philippine history. Beginning with Pope Alexander VI’s line of demarcation between the Spanish and the Portuguese dominions in the New World (1493), the course of history in the archipelago is thus traced through a period of more than three centuries, comprising the greater part of the Spanish regime.

In the selection of material, the Editors have sought to make the scope of the work commensurate with the breadth of the field, and to allot to each subject space proportioned to its interest; not only the political relations, but the social and religious, economic and commercial conditions of the Philippines have received due attention and care. All classes of writers are here represented–early navigators, officials civil and military, ecclesiastical dignitaries, and priests belonging to the various religious orders who conducted the missions among the Filipino peoples. To the letters, reports, and narratives furnished by these men are added numerous royal decrees, papal bulls and briefs, and other valuable documents. Most of this material is now for the first time made accessible to English-speaking readers; and the great libraries and archives of Spain, Italy, France, England, Mexico, and the United States have generously contributed to furnish it.

In the presentation of these documents, the Editors assume an entirely impartial attitude, free from any personal bias, whether political or sectarian. They aim to secure historical accuracy, especially in that aspect which requires the sympathetic interpretation of each author’s thought and intention; and to depict faithfully the various aspects of the life of the Filipinos, their relations with other peoples (especially those of Europe), and the gradual ascent of many tribes from barbarism. They invite the reader’s especial attention to the Introduction furnished for this series by Professor Edward Gaylord Bourne, of Yale University–valuable alike for its breadth of view and for its scholarly thoroughness. The Bibliographical Data at the end of each volume will supply necessary information as to sources and location of the documents published therein; fuller details, and of broader scope, will be given in the volume devoted to Philippine bibliography, at the end of the series.

In preparing this work, the Editors have received most friendly interest and aid from scholars, historians, archivists, librarians, and State officials; and from prominent ecclesiastics of the Roman Catholic church, and members of its religious orders. Especial thanks are due to the following persons: Hon. John Hay, Secretary of State, Washington; Sr. D. Juan Riano, secretary of the Spanish Legation, Washington; Hon. Bellamy Storer, late U.S. Minister to Spain; Hon. Robert Stanton Sickles, secretary of U.S. Legation, Madrid; Dr. Thomas Cooke Middleton, O.S.A., Villanova College, Penn.; Rev. Thomas E. Sherman, S.J., St. Ignatius College, Chicago; Rev. John J. Wynne, S.J., Apostleship of Prayer, New York; Rev. Ubaldus Pandolfi, O.S.F., Boston; Bishop Ignatius F. Horstmann, Cleveland; Bishop Sebastian G. Messmer, Green Bay, Wis.; Fray Eduardo Navarro Ordonez, O.S.A., Colegio de Agustinos, Valladolid, Spain; Rev. Pablo Pastells, S.J., Sarria, Barcelona, Spain; Charles Franklin Thwing, LL.D., President of Western Reserve University; Frederick J. Turner, Director of the School of History, University of Wisconsin; Richard T. Ely (director) and Paul S. Reinsch, of the School of Economics and Political Science, University of Wisconsin; Edward G. Bourne, Professor of History, Yale University; Herbert Putnam (librarian), Worthington C. Ford, P. Lee Phillips, A.P.C. Griffin, James C. Hanson, and other officials, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.; Wilberforce Eames (librarian) and Victor H. Paltsits, Lenox Library, New York; William I. Fletcher, librarian of Amherst College; Reuben G. Thwaites and Isaac S. Bradley, State Historical Society of Wisconsin; William C. Lane (librarian) and T.J. Kiernan, Library of Harvard University; John D. Fitzgerald, Columbia University, New York; Henry Vignaud, chief secretary of U.S. Legation, Paris; Sr. D. Duque del Almodovar del Rio, Minister of State, Madrid, Spain; Sr. Francisco Giner de los Rios, of University of Madrid, and Director of Institucion Libre de Ensenanza; Sr. Ricardo Velasquez Bosco, Madrid; Sr. D. Cesareo Fernandez Duro, of Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid; Sr. D. Eduardo de Hinojosa, Madrid; Sr. D. Pedro Torres Lanzas, Director of Archivo General de Indias, Seville; Sr. D. Julian Paz, Director of Archivo General, Simancas; Sr. D. Francisco de P. Cousino y Vazquez, Librarian of Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid.

Favors from the following are also acknowledged. Benj. P. Bourland, Professor of Romance Languages, Western Reserve University; Professor C.H. Grandgent, Department of Romance Languages, Harvard University; John Thomson, Free Library of Philadelphia; George Parker Winship, Carter-Brown Library, Providence, R.I.; Addison Van Name, Librarian of Yale University; Otto H. Tittmann, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and Dr. Otis T. Mason, Curator U.S. National Museum, Washington, D. C.; Rev. Laurence J. Kenny, S.J., St. Louis University; Rev. Henry J. Shandelle, S.J., Georgetown University, Washington; Rev. Thomas Hughes, S.J., and Rev. Rudolf J. Meyer, S.J., Rome, Italy; Dr. N. Murakami, Imperial University, Tokyo, Japan; Sr. D. Vicente Vignau y Balester, Director of Archivo Historico-Nacional, Madrid; Sr. D. Conde de Ramonones, Minister of Public Instruction, Madrid; Sr. D.W.E. Retana, Civil Governor of province of Huesca, Spain; Sr. D. Clemente Miralles de Imperial (director) and Sr. D. J. Sanchez Garrigos (librarian), of Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas, Barcelona; Rev. Julius Alarcon, S.J., Rev. Joaquin Sancho, S.J., Rev. J.M. de Mendia, S.J., and the late Rev. Jose Maria Velez, S.J., Madrid; Rev. T. M. Obeso, S.J., Bilbao; Rev. Jose Algue, S.J., Director of Observatory, Manila, Luzon; Fray Tirso Lopez, O.S.A., and Fray Antonio Blanco, O.S.A., Colegio de Agustinos, Valladolid; Sr. Antonio Rodriguez Villa, Biblioteca de la Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid; Sr. Roman Murillo y Ollo, Librarian, Real Academia Espanola, Madrid; and officials of Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid; Sr. Gabriel Pereira, Director of Bibliotheca Nacional, Lisbon; Sr. P.A. d’Azevedo, Director of Archivo Nacional (Torre do Tombo), Lisbon; Sr. Jose Duarte Ramalho Ortigao (director) and Sr. Jordao A. de Freitas (official), Bibliotheca Real da Ajuda, Lisbon; officials of Academia Real das Sciencias, Lisbon; and officials of U.S. Legations, Lisbon and Madrid.

_Emma Helen Blair_
_James Alexander Robertson_

Historical Introduction

_by Edward Gaylord Bourne_

The American people are confronted with two race problems, one within their own confines and long familiar but still baffling solution; the other, new, remote, unknown, and even more imperatively demanding intelligent and unremitting effort for its mastery.

In the first case there are some eight millions of people ultimately derived from various savage tribes in Africa but long since acclimatized, disciplined to labor, raised to civilized life, Christianized, and by the acquisition of the English language brought within a world of ideas inaccessible to their ancestors. Emancipated by the fortune of war they are now living intermingled with a ruling race, in it, but not of it, in an unsettled social status, oppressed by the stigma of color and harassed and fettered by race prejudice.

In the other case there are six or seven millions of Malays whose ancestors were raised from barbarism, taught the forms and manners of civilized life, Christianized, and trained to labor by Catholic missionaries three centuries ago. A common religion and a common government have effaced in large measure earlier tribal differences and constituted them a people; yet in the fullest sense of the word a peculiar people. They stand unique as the only large mass of Asiatics converted to Christianity in modern times. They have not, like the African, been brought within the Christian pale by being torn from their natural environment and schooled through slavery; but, in their own home and protected from general contact with Europeans until recent times, they have been moulded through the patient teaching, parental discipline, and self-sacrificing devotion of the missionaries into a whole unlike any similar body elsewhere in the world. They, too, by the fortunes of war have lost their old rulers and guides and against their will submit their future to alien hands. To govern them or to train them to govern themselves are tasks almost equally perplexing, nor is the problem made easier or clearer by the clash of contradictory estimates of their culture and capacity which form the ammunition of party warfare.

What is needed is as thorough and intelligent a knowledge of their political and social evolution as a people as can be gained from a study of their history. In the case of the Negro problem the historical sources are abundant and accessible and the slavery question is accorded, preeminent attention in the study of American history. In the Philippine question, however, although the sources are no less abundant and instructive they are and have been highly inaccessible owing, on the one hand, to the absolute rarity of the publications containing them, and, on the other, to their being in a language hitherto comparatively little studied in the United States. To collect these sources, scattered and inaccessible as they are, to reproduce them and interpret them in the English language, and to make it possible for university and public libraries and the leaders in thought and policy to have at hand the complete and authentic records of the culture and life of the millions in the Far East whom we must understand in order to do them justice, is an enterprise large in its possibilities for the public good.

In accordance with the idea that underlies this collection this Introduction will not discuss the Philippine question of today nor Philippine life during the last half century, nor will it give a short history of the Islands since the conquest. For all these the reader may be referred to recent publications like those of Foreman, Sawyer, or Worcester, or earlier ones like those of Bowring and Mallat, or to the works republished in the series. The aim of the Introduction is rather to give the discovery and conquest of the Philippines their setting in the history of geographical discovery, to review the unparalleled achievements of the early conquerors and missionaries, to depict the government and commerce of the islands before the revolutionary changes of the last century, and to give such a survey, even though fragmentary, of Philippine life and culture under the old regime as will bring into relief their peculiar features and, if possible, to show that although the annals of the Philippines may be dry reading, the history of the Philippine people is a subject of deep and singular interest.

The Philippine Islands in situation and inhabitants belong to the Asiatic world, but, for the first three centuries of their recorded history, they were in a sense a dependency of America, and now the whirligig of time has restored them in their political relations to the Western Hemisphere. As a dependency of New Spain they constituted the extreme western verge of the Spanish dominions and were commonly known as the Western Islands [2] _(Las Islas del Poniente)._ Their discovery and conquest rounded out an empire which in geographical extent far surpassed anything the world had then seen. When the sun rose in Madrid, it was still early afternoon of the preceding day in Manila, and Philip II was the first monarch who could boast that the sun never set upon his dominions. [3]

In one generation, 1486-1522, the two little powers of the Iberian Peninsula had extended their sway over the seas until they embraced the globe. The way had been prepared for this unparalleled achievement by the courage and devotion of the Portuguese Prince Henry the Navigator, who gave his life to the advancement of geographical discovery and of Portuguese commerce. The exploration of the west coast of Africa was the school of the navigators who sailed to the East and the West Indies, and out of the administration of the trade with Africa grew the colonial systems of later days.

In the last quarter of the fifteenth century the increasing obstructions in Egypt and by the Turks to the trade with the East Indies held out a great prize to the discoverer of an all-sea route to the Spice Islands. Bartholomew Diaz and Vasco da Gama solved this problem for Portugal, but the solution offered to Spain by Columbus and accepted in 1492 revealed a New World, the Indies of the West.

The King of Portugal, zealous to retain his monopoly of African and eastern exploration, and the pious sovereigns of Spain, desirous to build their colonial empire on solid and unquestioned foundations, alike appealed to the Pope for a definition of their rights and a confirmation of their claims. The world seemed big enough and with a spacious liberality Pope Alexander VI granted Ferdinand and Isabella the right to explore and to take possession of all the hitherto unknown and heathen parts of the world west of a certain line drawn north and south in the Atlantic Ocean. East of that line the rights of Portugal, resting on their explorations and the grants of earlier popes, were confirmed.

The documentary history of the Philippines begins with the Demarcation Bulls and the treaty of Tordesillas, for out of them grew Magellan’s voyage and the discovery of the islands; and without them the Philippines would no doubt have been occupied by Portugal and later have fallen a prey to the Dutch as did the Moluccas.

King John of Portugal was dissatisfied with the provisions of the Demarcation Bulls. He held that the treaty between Spain and Portugal in 1479 had resigned to Portugal the field of oceanic discovery, Spain retaining only the Canaries; and he felt that a boundary line only a hundred leagues west of the Azores not only was an infringement on his rights but would be a practical embarrassment in that it would not allow his sailors adequate sea room for their African voyages.

His first contention was hardly valid; the second, however, was reasonable and, as Columbus had estimated the distance from the Canaries to the new islands at over nine hundred leagues, the Catholic sovereigns were disposed to make concessions. By the treaty of Tordesillas, June 7, 1494, it was agreed that the Demarcation Line should be drawn three hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. [4] This treaty accepted the principle of the Papal arbitration but shifted the boundary to a position supposed to be half-way between the Cape Verde Islands and the newly discovered islands of Cipangu and Antilia. [5]

Neither in the Papal Bulls nor in the Treaty of Tordesillas was there any specific reference to an extension of the Line around the globe or to a division of the world. The arrangement seems to have contemplated a free field for the exploration and conquest of the unknown parts of the world, to the eastward for Portugal, and to the westward for Spain. If they should cross each other’s tracks priority of discovery would determine the ownership. [6]

The suggestion of the extension of the line around the globe and of the idea that Spain was entitled to what might be within the hemisphere set off by the Demarcation Line and its extension to the antipodes does not appear until the time of Magellan, and it is then that we first meet the notion that the Pope had divided the world between Spain and Portugal like an orange. [7]

The Portuguese reached India in 1498. Thirteen years later Albuquerque made conquest of Malacca of the Malay Peninsula, the great entrepot of the spice trade; but even then the real goal, the islands where the spices grow, had not been attained. The command of the straits, however, promised a near realization of so many years of labor, and, as soon as practicable, in December 1511, Albuquerque despatched Antonio d’Abreu in search of the precious islands. A Spanish historian of the next century affirms that Magellan accompanied d’Abreu in command of one of the ships, but this can hardly be true. [8] Francisco Serrao, however, one of the Portuguese captains, was a friend of Magellan’s and during his sojourn of several years in the Moluccas wrote to him of a world larger and richer than that discovered by Vasco da Gama. It is probable, as the historian Barros, who saw some of this correspondence, sugguests, that Serrao somewhat exaggerated the distance from Malacca to the Moluccas, and so planted the seed which bore such fruit in Magellan’s mind. [9]

The year after the Portuguese actually attained the Spice Islands, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, first of Europeans (1513), set eyes upon the great South Sea. It soon became only too certain that the Portuguese had won in the race for the land of cloves, pepper, and nutmegs. But, in the absence of knowledge of the true dimensions of the earth and with an underestimate of its size generally prevailing, the information that the Spice Islands lay far to the east of India revived in the mind of Magellan the original project of Columbus to seek the land of spices by the westward route. That he laid this plan before the King of Portugal, there seems good reason to believe, but when he saw no prospect for its realization, like Columbus, he left Portugal for Spain. It is now that the idea is evolved that, as the Moluccas lie so far east of India, they are probably in the Spanish half of the world, and, if approached from the west, may be won after all for the Catholic king. No appeal for patronage and support could be more effective, and how much reliance Magellan and his financial backer Christopher Haro placed upon it in their petition to King Charles appears clearly in the account by Maximilianus Transylvanus of Magellan’s presentation of his project: “They both showed Caesar that though it was not yet quite sure whether Malacca was within the confines of the Spaniards or the Portuguese, because, as yet, nothing of the longitude had been clearly proved, yet, it was quite plain that the Great Gulf and the people of Sinae lay within the Spanish boundary. This too was held to be most certain, that the islands which they call the Moluccas, in which all spices are produced, and are thence exported to Malacca, lay within the Spanish western division, and that it was possible to sail there; and that spices could be brought thence to Spain more easily, and at less expense and cheaper, as they come direct from their native place.” [10]

Equally explicit was the contract which Magellan entered into with King Charles: “Inasmuch as you bind yourself to discover in the dominions which belong to us and are ours in the Ocean Sea within the limits of our demarcation, islands and mainlands and rich spiceries, etc.” This is followed by an injunction “not to discover or do anything within the demarcation and limits of the most serene King of Portugal.” [11]

Las Casas, the historian of the Indies, was present in Valladolid when Magellan came thither to present his plan to the King. “Magellan,” he writes, “had a well painted globe in which the whole world was depicted, and on it he indicated the route he proposed to take, saving that the strait was left purposely blank so that no one should anticipate him. And on that day and at that hour I was in the office of the High Chancellor when the Bishop [of Burgos, Fonseca] brought it [_i.e._ the globe] and showed the High Chancellor the voyage which was proposed; and, speaking with Magellan, I asked him what way he planned to take, and he answered that he intended to go by Cape Saint Mary, which we call the Rio de la Plata and from thence to follow the coast up until he hit upon the strait. But suppose you do not find any strait by which you can go into the other sea. He replied that if he did not find any strait that he would go the way the Portuguese took.–This Fernando de Magalhaens must have been a man of courage and valiant in his thoughts and for undertaking great things, although he was not of imposing presence because he was small in stature and did not appear in himself to be much.” [12]

Such were the steps by which the Papal Demarcation Line led to the first circumnavigation of the globe, the greatest single human achievement on the sea. [13] The memorable expedition set out from Seville September 20, 1519. A year elapsed before the entrance to the strait named for the great explorer was discovered. Threading its sinuous intricacies consumed thirty-eight days and then followed a terrible voyage of ninety-eight days across a truly pathless sea. The first land seen was the little group of islands called Ladrones from the thievishness of the inhabitants, and a short stay was made at Guam. About two weeks later, the middle of March, the little fleet reached the group of islands which we know as the Philippines but which Magellan named the islands of St. Lazarus, from the saint whose day and feast were celebrated early in his stay among them. [14]

The calculations of the longitude showed that these islands were well within the Spanish half of the world and the success with which a Malay slave of Magellan, brought from Sumatra, made himself understood [15] indicated clearly enough that they were not far from the Moluccas and that the object of the expedition, to discover a westward route to the Spice Islands, and to prove them to be within the Spanish demarcation, was about to be realized. But Magellan, like Moses, was vouchsafed only a glimpse of the Promised Land. That the heroic and steadfast navigator should have met his death in a skirmish with a few naked savages when in sight of his goal, is one of the most pathetic tragedies in history. [16]

The difficulties, however, of approaching the Moluccas by the western route through the straits of Magellan (that Cape Horn could be rounded was not discovered till 1616), the stubborn and defiant attitude of the King of Portugal in upholding his claims, the impossibility of a scientific and exact determination of the Demarcation Line in the absence of accurate means for measuring longitude,–all these, reinforced by the pressure of financial stringency led King Charles in 1529 to relinquish all claims to or rights to trade with the Moluccas for three hundred and fifty thousand ducats. [17] In the antipodes a Demarcation Line was to be drawn from pole to pole seventeen degrees on the equator, or two hundred and ninety-seven leagues east of the Moluccas, and it was agreed that the subjects of the King of Castile should neither sail or trade beyond that line, or carry anything to the islands or lands within it. [18] If a later scientific and accurate determination should substantiate the original claims of either party the money should be returned [19] and the contract be dissolved. Although the archipelago of St. Lazarus was not mentioned in this treaty it was a plain renunciation of any rights over the Philippines for they lie somewhat to the west of the Moluccas.

The King of Spain, however, chose to ignore this fact and tacitly assumed the right to conquer the Philippines. It was, however, thirteen years before another attempt was made in this direction. By this time the conquest and development of the kingdom of New Spain made one of its ports on the Pacific the natural starting point. This expedition commanded by Rui Lopez de Villalobos was despatched in 1542 and ended disastrously. The Portuguese Captain-general in the Moluccas made several vigorous protests against the intrusion, asserting that Mindanao fell within the Portuguese Demarcation and that they had made some progress in introducing Christianity. [20]

Villalobos left no permanent mark upon the islands beyond giving the name “Felipinas” to some of them, in honor of “our fortunate Prince.” [21]

Nearly twenty years elapsed before another expedition was undertaken, but this was more carefully organized than any of its predecessors, and four or five years were absorbed in the preparations. King Philip II, while respecting the contract with Portugal in regard to the Moluccas, proposed to ignore its provisions in regard to other islands included within the Demarcation Line of 1529. In his first despatch relative to this expedition in 1559 he enjoins that it shall not enter the Moluccas but go “to other islands that are in the same region as are the Philippines and others that were outside the said contract, but within our demarcation, that are said to produce spices.” [22]

Friar Andres de Urdaneta, who had gone to the Moluccas with Loaisa in 1525, while a layman and a sailor, explained to the king that as _la isla Filipina_ was farther west than the Moluccas the treaty of Zaragoza was just as binding in the case of these islands as in that of the Moluccas, and that to avoid trouble some “legitimate or pious reason for the expedition should be assigned such as the rescue of sailors who had been lost on the islands in previous expeditions or the determination of the longitude of the Demarcation Line” [23]

It is clear from the sequel that King Philip intended, as has been said, to shut his eyes to the application of the Treaty of Zaragoza to the Philippines. As they did not produce spices the Portuguese had not occupied them and they now made no effectual resistance to the Spanish conquest of the islands. [24] The union of Portugal to the crown of Spain in 1580 subsequently removed every obstacle, and when the Portuguese crown resumed its independence in 1640 the Portuguese had been driven from the Spice Islands by the Dutch.

This is not the place to narrate in detail the history of the great expedition of Legaspi. It established the power of Spain in the Philippines and laid the foundations of their permanent organization. In a sense it was an American enterprise. The ships were built in America and for the most part equipped here. It was commanded and guided by men who lived in the New World. The work of Legaspi during the next seven years entitles him to a place among the greatest of colonial pioneers. In fact he has no rival. Starting with four ships and four hundred men, accompanied by five Augustinian monks, reinforced in 1567 by two hundred soldiers, and from time to time by similar small contingents of troops and monks, by a combination of tact, resourcefulness, and courage he won over the natives, repelled the Portuguese and laid such foundations that the changes of the next thirty years constitute one of the most surprising revolutions in the annals of colonization. A most brilliant exploit was that of Legaspi’s grandson, Juan de Salcedo, a youth of twenty-two who with forty-five men explored northern Luzon, covering the present provinces of Zambales, Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos, and the coast of Cagayan, and secured submission of the people to Spanish rule. [25] Well might his associates hold him “unlucky because fortune had placed him where oblivion must needs bury the most valiant deeds that a knight ever wrought.” [26] Nor less deserving of distinction than Legaspi and his heroic grandson was Friar Andres de Urdaneta the veteran navigator whose natural abilities and extensive knowledge of the eastern seas stood his commander in good stead at every point and most effectively contributed to the success of the expedition. Nor should the work of the Friars be ignored. Inspired by apostolic zeal, reinforced by the glowing enthusiasm of the Catholic Reaction, gifted and tireless, they labored in harmony with Legaspi, won converts, and checked the slowly-advancing tide of Mohammedanism. The ablest of the Brothers, Martin de Rada, was preaching in Visayan within five months.

The work of conversion opened auspiciously in Cebu, where Legaspi began his work, with a niece of Tupas, an influential native, who was baptized with great solemnity. Next came the conversion of the Moor [Moslem] “who had served as interpreter and who had great influence throughout all that country.” In 1568 the turning point came with the baptism of Tupas and of his son. This opened the door to general conversion, for the example of Tupas had great weight. [27]

It is a singular coincidence that within the span of one human life the Spaniard should have finished the secular labor of breaking the power of the Moslem in Spain and have checked his advance in the islands of the antipodes. The religion of the prophet had penetrated to Malacca in 1276, had reached the Moluccas in 1465, and thence was spreading steadily northward to Borneo and the Philippines. Iolo (Sulu) and Mindanao succumbed in the sixteenth century and when Legaspi began the conquest of Luzon in 1571 he found many Mohammedans whose settlement or conversion had grown out of the trade relations with Borneo. As the old Augustinian chronicler Grijalva remarks, and his words are echoed by Morga and by the modern historian Montero y Vidal: [28] “So well rooted was the cancer that had the arrival of the Spaniards been delayed all the people would have become Moors, as are all the islanders who have not come under the government of the Philippines.” [29]

It is one of the unhappy legacies of the religious revolution of the sixteenth century that it has fixed a great gulf between the Teutonic and the Latin mind, which proves impassable for the average intellect. The deadly rivalries of Catholic and Protestant, of Englishman and Spaniard, have left indelible traces upon their descendants which intensify race prejudice and misunderstanding. The Englishman or American looks with a contempt upon the economic blindness or incapacity of the Spaniard that veils his eyes to their real aims and achievements.

The tragedies and blunders of English colonization in America are often forgotten and only the tragedies and blunders of Spanish colonization are remembered. In the period which elapsed between the formulation of the Spanish and of the English colonial policies religious ideals were displaced by the commercial, and in the exaltation of the commercial ideal England took the lead. Colonies, from being primarily fields for the propagation of Christianity and incidentally for the production of wealth, became the field primarily for industrial and commercial development and incidentally for Christian work. The change no doubt has contributed vastly to the wealth of the world and to progress, but it has been fatal to the native populations. The Spanish policy aimed to preserve and civilize the native races, not to establish a new home for Spaniards, and the colonial legislation provided elaborate safeguards for the protection of the Indians. Many of these were a mere dead letter but the preservation and civilization of the native stock in Mexico, Central and South America, and above all in the Philippines stand out in marked contrast, after all allowances and qualifications have been made, with the fate, past and prospective, of the aborigines in North America, the Sandwich Islands, New Zealand, and Australia, and clearly differentiate in their respective tendencies and results the Spanish and English systems. The contrast between the effects of the Spanish conquest in the West Indies, Mexico, and the Philippines reflects the development of the humane policy of the government. The ravages of the first conquistadores, it should be remembered, took place before the crown had time to develop a colonial policy.

It is customary, too, for Protestant writers to speak with contempt of Catholic missions, but it must not be forgotten that France and England were converted to Christianity by similar methods. The Protestant ridicules the wholesale baptisms and conversions and a Christianity not even skin-deep, but that was the way in which Christianity was once propagated in what are the ruling Christian nations of today. The Catholic, on the other hand, might ask for some evidence that the early Germans, or the Anglo-Saxons would ever have been converted to Christianity by the methods employed by Protestants.

The wholesale baptisms have their real significance in the frame of mind receptive for the patient Christian nurture that follows. Christianity has made its real conquests and is kept alive by Christian training, and its progress is the improvement which one generation makes upon another in the observance of its precepts. One who has read the old Penitential books and observed the evidences they afford of the vitality of heathen practices and rites among the people in England in the early Middle Ages will not be too harsh in characterizing the still imperfect fruits of the Catholic missions of the last three centuries.

In the light, then, of impartial history raised above race prejudice and religious prepossessions, after a comparison with the early years of the Spanish conquest in America or with the first generation or two of the English settlements, the conversion and civilization of the Philippines in the forty years following Legaspi’s arrival must be pronounced an achievement without a parallel in history. An examination of what was accomplished at the very ends of the earth with a few soldiers and a small band of missionaries will it is believed reveal the reasons for this verdict. We are fortunate in possessing for this purpose, among other materials, a truly classic survey of the condition of the islands at the opening of the seventeenth century written by a man of scholarly training and philosophic mind, Dr. Antonio de Morga, who lived in the islands eight years in the government service. [30]

The Spaniards found in the population of the islands two sharply contrasted types which still survive–the Malay and the Negrito. After the introduction of Christianity the natives were commonly classified according to their religion as Indians (Christian natives), Moors [31] (Mohammedan natives), and Heathen (Gentiles) or Infidels. The religious beliefs of the Malays were not held with any great tenacity and easily yielded to the efforts of the missionaries. The native taste for the spectacular was impressed and gratified by the picturesque and imposing ceremonials of the church.

Their political and social organization was deficient in cohesion. There were no well established native states but rather a congeries of small groups something like clans. The headship of these groups or _barangays_ was hereditary and the authority of the chief of the _barangay_ was despotic. [32] This social disintegration immensely facilitated the conquest; and by tact and conciliation, effectively supported by arms, but with very little actual bloodshed, Spanish sovereignty was superimposed upon these relatively detached groups, whose essential features were preserved as a part of the colonial administrative machinery. This in turn was a natural adaptation of that developed in New Spain. Building upon the available institutions of the _barangay_ as a unit the Spaniards aimed to familiarize and accustom the Indians to settled village life and to moderate labor. Only under these conditions could religious training and systematic religious oversight be provided. These villages were commonly called _pueblos_ or _reducciones_, and Indians who ran away to escape the restraints of civilized life were said to “take to the hills” (_remontar_).

As a sign of their allegiance and to meet the expenses of government every Indian family was assessed a tribute of eight reals, about one dollar, and for the purpose of assessment the people were set off in special groups something like feudal holdings (_encomiendas_). The tribute from some of the _encomiendas_ went to the king. Others had been granted to the Spanish army officers or to the officials. [33] The “Report of the _Encomiendas_ in the Islands in 1591” just twenty years after the conquest of Luzon reveals a wonderful progress in the work of civilization. In the city of Manila there was a cathedral and the bishop’s palace, monasteries for the Austin, Dominican, and Franciscan Friars, and a house for the Jesuits. The king maintained a hospital for Spaniards; there was also a hospital for Indians in the charge of two Franciscan lay brothers. The garrison was composed of two hundred soldiers. The Chinese quarter or _Parian_ contained some two hundred shops and a population of about two thousand. In the suburb of Tondo there was a convent of Franciscans and another of Dominicans who provided Christian teaching for some forty converted Sangleyes (Chinese merchants). In Manila and the adjacent region nine thousand four hundred and ten tributes were collected, indicating a total of some thirty thousand six hundred and forty souls under the religious instruction of thirteen missionaries (_ministros de doctrina_), besides the friars in the monasteries. In the old province of La Pampanga the estimated population was 74,700 with twenty-eight missionaries; in Pangasinan 2,400 souls with eight missionaries; in Ilocos 78,520 with twenty missionaries; in Cagayan and the Babuyan islands 96,000 souls but no missionaries; in La Laguna 48,400 souls with twenty-seven missionaries; in Vicol and Camarines with the island of Catanduanes 86,640 souls with fifteen missionaries, etc., making a total for the islands of 166,903 tributes or 667,612 souls under one hundred and forty missionaries, of which seventy-nine were Augustinians, nine Dominicans, forty-two Franciscans. The King’s _encomiendas_ numbered thirty-one and the private ones two hundred and thirty-six. [34]

Friar Martin Ignacio in his _Itinerario_, the earliest printed description of the islands (1585), says: “According unto the common opinion at this day there is converted and baptised more than foure hundred thousand soules.” [35]

This system of _encomiendas_ had been productive of much hardship and oppression in Spanish America, nor was it altogether divested of these evils in the Philippines. The payment of tributes, too, was irksome to the natives and in the earlier days the Indians were frequently drafted for forced labor, but during this transition period, and later, the clergy were the constant advocates of humane treatment and stood between the natives and the military authorities. This solicitude of the missionaries for their spiritual children and the wrongs from which they sought to protect them are clearly displayed in the _Relacion de las Cosas de las Filipinas_ of Domingo de Salazar, the first bishop, who has been styled the “Las Casas of the Philippines.” [36]

That it was the spirit of kindness, Christian love, and brotherly helpfulness of the missionaries that effected the real conquest of the islands is abundantly testified by qualified observers of various nationalities and periods, [37] but the most convincing demonstration is the ridiculously small military force that was required to support the prestige of the Catholic king. The standing army organized in 1590 for the defense of the country numbered four hundred men! [38] No wonder an old viceroy of New Spain was wont to say: “_En cada fraile tenia el rey en Filipinas un capitan general y un ejercito entero_”– “In each friar in the Philippines the King had a captain general and a whole army.” [39] The efforts of the missionaries were by no means restricted to religious teaching, but were also directed to promote the social and economic advancement of the islands. They cultivated the innate taste for music of the natives and taught the children Spanish. [40] They introduced improvements in rice culture, brought Indian corn and cacao from America and developed the cultivation of indigo and coffee, and sugar cane. Tobacco alone of the economic plants brought to the islands by the Spaniards owes its introduction to government agency. [41]

The young capital of the island kingdom of New Castile, as it was denominated by Philip II, in 1603 when it was described by Morga invites some comparison with Boston, New York, or Philadelphia in the seventeenth century. The city was surrounded by a wall of hewn stone some three miles in circuit. There were two forts and a bastion, each with a garrison of a few soldiers. The government residence and office buildings were of hewn stone and spacious and airy. The municipal buildings, the cathedral, and the monasteries of the three orders were of the same material. The Jesuits, besides providing special courses of study for members of their order, conducted a college for the education of Spanish youth. The establishment of this college had been ordered by Philip II in 1585 but it was 1601 before it was actually opened. [42] Earlier than this in 1593 there had been established a convent school for girls, [43] the college of Saint Potenciana. In provisions for the sick and helpless, Manila at the opening of the seventeenth century was far in advance of any city in the English colonies for more than a century and a half to come. [44] There was first the royal hospital for Spaniards with its medical attendants and nurses; the Franciscan hospital for the Indians administered by three priests and by four lay brothers who were physicians and apothecaries and whose skill had wrought surprising cures in medicine and surgery; the House of Mercy, which took in sick slaves, gave lodgings to poor women, portioned orphan girls, and relieved other distresses; and lastly, the hospital for Sangleyes or Chinese shopkeepers in the Chinese quarter. [45] Within the walls the houses, mainly of stone and inhabited by Spaniards, numbered about six hundred. The substantial buildings, the gaily-dressed people, the abundance of provisions and other necessaries of human life made Manila, as Morga says, “one of the towns most praised by the strangers who flock to it of any in the world.” [46] There were three other cities in the islands, Segovia and Cazeres in Luzon, and the city of the “most holy name of Jesus” in Cebu, the oldest Spanish settlement in the archipelago. In the first and third the Spanish inhabitants numbered about two hundred and in Cazeres about one hundred. In _Santisimo nombre de Jesus_ there was a Jesuit college.

Although the Indians possessed an alphabet before the arrival of the Spaniards and the knowledge of reading and writing was fairly general they had no written literature of any kind. [47] A Jesuit priest who had lived in the islands eighteen years, writing not far from 1640, tells us that by that time the Tagals had learned to write their language from left to right instead of perpendicularly as was their former custom, but they used writing merely for correspondence. The only books thus far in the Indian languages were those written by the missionaries on religion. [48]

In regard to the religious life of the converted Indians the Friars and Morga speak on the whole with no little satisfaction. Friar Martin Ignacio in 1584 writes: “Such as are baptised, doo receive the fayth with great firmenesse, and are good Christians, and would be better, if that they were holpen with good ensamples.” [49] Naturally the Spanish soldiers left something to be desired as examples of Christianity and Friar Martin relates the story of the return from the dead of a principal native–“a strange case, the which royally did passe of a trueth in one of these ilandes,”–who told his former countrymen of the “benefites and delights” of heaven, which “was the occasion that some of them forthwith received the baptisme, and that others did delay it, saying, that because there were Spaniard souldiers in glory, they would not go thither, because they would not be in their company.” [50]

Morga writing in 1603 says: “In strictest truth the affairs of the faith have taken a good footing, as the people have a good disposition and genius, and they have seen the errors of their paganism and the truths of the Christian religion; they have got good churches and monasteries of wood, well constructed, with shrines and brilliant ornaments, and all the things required for the service, crosses, candlesticks, chalices of gold and silver, many brotherhoods and religious acts, assiduity in the sacraments and being present at divine service, and care in maintaining and supplying their monks, with great obedience and respect; they also give for the prayers and burials of their dead, and perform this with all punctuality and liberality.” [51] A generation later the report of the Religious is not quite so sanguine: “They receive our religion easily and their lack of intellectual penetration saves them from sounding the difficulties of its mysteries. They are too careless of fulfilling the duties of the Christianity which they profess and must needs be constrained by fear of chastisement and be ruled like school children. Drunkenness and usury are the two vices to which they are most given and these have not been entirely eradicated by the efforts of our monks.” [52] That these efforts were subsequently crowned with a large measure of success is shown by the almost universal testimony to the temperate habits of the Filipinos.

This first period of Philippine history has been called its Golden Age. Certainly no succeeding generation saw such changes and advancement. It was the age of Spain’s greatest power and the slow decline and subsequent decrepitude that soon afflicted the parent state could not fail to react upon the colony. This decline was in no small degree the consequence of the tremendous strain to which the country was subjected in the effort to retain and solidify its power in Europe while meeting the burden of new establishments in America and the Philippines. That in the very years when Spaniards were accomplishing the unique work of redeeming an oriental people from barbarism and heathenism to Christianity and civilized life, the whole might of the mother-country should have been massed in a tremendous conflict in Europe which brought ruin and desolation to the most prosperous provinces under her dominion, and sapped her own powers of growth, is one of the strangest coincidences in history.

Bending every energy for years to stay the tide of change and progress, suppressing freedom of thought with relentless vigor, and quarantining herself and her dependencies against new ideas, conservatism grew to be her settled habit and the organs of government became ossified. Policies of commercial restriction which were justifiable or at least rationally explicable in the sixteenth century lasted on, proof against innovation or improvement, until the eighteenth century and later. Consequently from the middle of the seventeenth century at the period of the rapid rise of colonial powers of France, Holland, and England, the Spanish colonies find themselves under a commercial regime which increasingly hampers their prosperity and effectually blocks their advancement.

The contrast between the Spanish possessions and those of the other maritime powers became more marked as time went on. The insuperable conservatism of the home government gave little opportunity for the development of a class of energetic and progressive colonial officials, and financial corruption honeycombed the whole colonial civil service.

Such conditions: the absence of the spirit of progress, hostility to new ideas, failure to develop resources, and the prevalence of bribery and corruption in the civil service, insure abundant and emphatic condemnation at the present day for the Spanish colonial system. But in any survey of this system we must not lose sight of the terrible costs of progress in the tropical colonies of Holland, France, and England; nor fail to compare the _pueblos_ of the Philippines in the eighteenth century with the plantations of San Domingo, or Jamaica, or Java, or with those of Cuba in the early nineteenth century when the spirit of progress invaded the island.

To facilitate the understanding of the historical materials which will be collected in this series and to lay the foundation for a just and appreciative comparison of the institutions of the Philippines with those of other European dependencies in the tropics, it will be my aim now to bring into relief the distinctive features of the work wrought in the islands which raised a congeries of Malay tribes to Christian civilization, and secured for them as happy and peaceful an existence on as high a plane as has yet been attained by any people of color anywhere in the world, or by any orientals for any such length of time.

Such a survey of Philippine life may well begin with a brief account of the government of the islands. This will be followed by a description of the commercial system and of the state of the arts and of education, religion, and some features of social life during the eighteenth century and in the first years of the nineteenth before the entrance of the various and distracting currents of modern life and thought. In some cases significant details will be taken from the works of competent witnesses whose observations were made somewhat earlier or later. This procedure is unobjectionable in describing a social condition on the whole so stationary as was that of the Philippines before the last half century.

From the beginning the Spanish establishments in the Philippines were a mission and not in the proper sense of the term a colony. They were founded and administered in the interests of religion rather than of commerce or industry. They were an advanced outpost of Christianity whence the missionary forces could be deployed through the great empires of China and Japan, and hardly had the natives of the islands begun to yield to the labors of the friars when some of the latter pressed on adventurously into China and found martyrs’ deaths in Japan. In examining the political administration of the Philippines, then, we must be prepared to find it a sort of outer garment under which the living body is ecclesiastical. Against this subjection to the influence and interests of the Church energetic governors rebelled, and the history of the Spanish domination is checkered with struggles between the civil and religious powers which reproduce on a small scale the mediaeval contests of Popes and Emperors.

Colonial governments are of necessity adaptations of familiar domestic institutions to new functions. The government of Spain in the sixteenth century was not that of a modern centralized monarchy but rather of a group of kingdoms only partially welded together by the possession of the same sovereign, the same language, and the same religion. The King of Spain was also the ruler of other kingdoms outside of the peninsula. Consequently when the New World was given a political organization it was subdivided for convenience into kingdoms and captaincies general in each of which the administrative machinery was an adaptation of the administrative machinery of Spain. In accordance with this procedure the Philippine islands were constituted a kingdom and placed under the charge of a governor and captain general, whose powers were truly royal and limited only by the check imposed by the Supreme Court (the _Audiencia_) and by the ordeal of the _residencia_ at the expiration of his term of office. Among his extensive prerogatives was his appointing power which embraced all branches of the civil service in the islands. He also was _ex officio_ the President of the _Audiencia_. [53] His salary was $8,000 [54] a year, but his income might be largely augmented by gifts or bribes. [55] The limitations upon the power of the Governor imposed by the _Audiencia_, in the opinion of the French astronomer Le Gentil, were the only safeguard against an arbitrary despotism, yet Zuniga, a generation later pronounced its efforts in this direction generally ineffectual. [56] The _residencia_ to which reference has been made was an institution peculiar in modern times to the Spanish colonial system, it was designed to provide a method by which officials could be held to strict accountability for all acts during their term of office. Today reliance is placed upon the force of public opinion inspired and formulated by the press and, in self-governing communities, upon the holding of frequent elections. The strength of modern party cohesion both infuses vigor into these agencies and neutralizes their effectiveness as the case may be. But in the days of the formation of the Spanish Empire beyond the sea there were neither free elections, nor public press, and the criticism of the government was sedition. To allow a contest in the courts involving the governor’s powers during his term of office would be subversive of his authority. He was then to be kept within bounds by realizing that a day of judgment was impending, when everyone, even the poorest Indian, might in perfect security bring forward his accusation. [57] In the Philippines the _residencia_ for a governor lasted six months and was conducted by his successor and all the charges made were forwarded to Spain. [58] The Italian traveler Gemelli Careri who visited Manila in 1696 characterizes the governor’s _residencia_ as a “dreadful Trial,” the strain of which would sometimes “break their hearts.” [59]

On the other hand, an acute observer of Spanish-American institutions of the olden time intimates that the severities of the _residencia_ could be mitigated and no doubt such was the case in the Philippines. [60] By the end of the eighteenth century the _residencia_ seems to have lost its efficacy. [61] The governorship was certainly a difficult post to fill and the remoteness from Europe, the isolation, and the vexations of the _residencia_ made it no easy task to get good men for the place. An official of thirty years experience, lay and ecclesiastical, assures us in the early seventeenth century that he had known of only one governor really fitted for the position, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas. He had done more for the happiness of the natives in three years than all his predecessors or successors. Some governors had been without previous political experience while others were deficient in the qualities required in a successful colonial ruler. [62]

The supreme court or _Audiencia_ was composed of four judges (_oidores,_ auditors) an attorney-general _(fiscal)_ a constable, etc. The governor who acted as president had no vote. [63] Besides the functions of this body as the highest court of appeal for criminal and civil cases it served as has been said as a check upon the governor. Down to 1715 the _Audiencia_ took charge of the civil administration in the interim between the death of a governor and the arrival of his successor, and the senior auditor assumed the military command. [64] Attached to the court were advocates for the accused, a defender of the Indians, and other minor officials. In affairs of public importance the _Audiencia_ was to be consulted by the governor for the opinions of the auditors. [65]

For the purposes of local administration the islands were subdivided into or constituted Provinces under _alcaldes mayores_ who exercised both executive and judicial functions, and superintended the collection of tribute. [66] The _alcaldes mayores_ were allowed to engage in trade on their own account which resulted too frequently in enlisting their interest chiefly in money making and in fleecing the Indians. [67]

The provincial court consisted of the _alcalde mayor,_ an assessor who was a lawyer, and a notary. The favoritism and corruption that honeycombed the civil service of Spain in the colonies in the days of her decline often placed utterly unfit persons in these positions of responsibility. A most competent observer, Tomas de Comyn, many years the factor of the Philippine Commercial Company, has depicted in dark colors, and perhaps somewhat overdrawn the evils of the system. [68]

The subdivision of the provinces was into _pueblos_ each under its petty governor or _gobernadorcillo._ The _gobernadorcillo_ was an Indian and was elected annually. In Morga’s time the right of suffrage seems to have been enjoyed by all married Indians, [69] but in the last century it was restricted to thirteen electors. [70] The _gobernadorcillo_ was commonly called the “captain.” Within the _pueblos_ the people formed little groups of from forty to fifty tributes called _barangays_ under the supervision of _cabezas de barangay_. These heads of _barangay_ represent the survival of the earlier clan organization and were held responsible for the tributes of their groups. Originally the office of _cabeza de barangay_ was no doubt hereditary, but it became generally elective. [71] The electors of the _gobernadorcillo_ were made up of those, who were or had been _cabezas de barangay_ and they after three years of service became eligible to the office of petty governor.

In the few Spanish towns in the islands the local government was similar to that which prevailed in America, which in turn was derived from Spain. That of Manila may be taken as an example. The corporation, _El Cabildo_ (chapter) consisted of two ordinary _alcaldes_, eight _regidores_, a registrar, and a constable. The _alcaldes_ were justices, and were elected annually from the householders by the corporation. The _regidores_ were aldermen and with the registrar and constable held office permanently as a proprietary right. These permanent positions in the _cabildo_ could be bought and sold or inherited. [72]

Turning now to the ecclesiastical administration, we find there the real vital organs of the Philippine governmental system. To the modern eye the islands would have seemed, as they did to the French scientist Le Gentil, priest-ridden. Yet it was only through the Friars that Spain retained her hold at all. [73] A corrupt civil service and a futile and decrepit commercial system were through their efforts rendered relatively harmless, because circumscribed in their effects. The continuous fatherly interest of the clergy more than counterbalanced the burden of the tribute. [74] They supervised the tilling of the soil, as well as the religious life of the people; and it was through them that the works of education and charity were administered. [75]

The head of the ecclesiastical system was the Archbishop of Manila, who in a certain sense was the Patriarch of the Indies. [76] The other high ecclesiastical digntaries were the three bishops of Cebu, of Segovia in Cagayan, and of Cazeres in Camarines; and the provincials of the four great orders of friars, the Dominicans, Augustinians, the Franciscans, the barefooted Augustinians, and the Jesuits. [77] In the earlier days the regular clergy (members of the orders) greatly outnumbered the seculars, and refused to acknowledge that they were subject to the visitation of bishop or archbishop. This contention gave rise, at times, to violent struggles. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the proportionate number of seculars increased. In 1750 the total number of parishes was 569, of which 142, embracing 147,269 persons, were under secular priests. The numbers in charge of the orders were as follows:

Villages. Souls.
Augustinians, 115 252,963
Franciscans, 63 141,193
Jesuits, 93 209,527
Dominicans, 51 99,780
Recollects, 105 53,384

making a total of 569 parishes and 904,116 souls. [78]

These proportions, however, fail to give a correct idea of the enormous preponderance of the religious orders; for the secular priests were mostly Indians and could exercise nothing like the influence of the Friars upon their cures. [79]

In these hundreds of villages the friars bore sway with the mild despotism of the shepherd of the flock. Spanish officials entered these precincts only on occasion. Soldiers were not to be seen save to suppress disorders. Spaniards were not allowed to live in these communities, and visitors were carefully watched. [80] As Spanish was little known in the provinces, the curate was the natural intermediary in all communications between the natives and the officials or outsiders. In some provinces there were no white persons besides the _alcalde mayor_ and the friars. Without soldiers the _alcalde mayor_ must needs rely upon the influence of the friars to enable him to execute his duties as provincial governor. In contemplating their services for civilization and good order Tomas de Comyn rises to enthusiasm. “Let us visit,” he writes, “the Philippine Islands, and with astonishment shall we there behold extended ranges, studded with temples and spacious convents, the Divine worship celebrated with pomp and splendour; regularity in the streets, and even luxury in the houses and dress; schools of the first rudiments in all the towns, and the inhabitants well versed in the art of writing. We shall see there causeways raised, bridges of good architecture built, and, in short, all the measures of good government and police, in the greatest part of the country, carried into effect; yet the whole is due to the exertions, apostolic labours, and pure patriotism of the ministers of religion. Let us travel over the provinces, and we shall see towns of 5, 10, and 20,000 Indians, peacefully governed by one weak old man, who, with his doors open at all hours, sleeps quiet and secure in his dwelling, without any other magic, or any other guards, than the love and respect with which he has known how to inspire his flock.” [81]

If this seems too rosy a picture, it still must not be forgotten that at this time the ratio of whites to Indians in the islands was only about one to sixteen hundred, [82] that most of these lived in Manila, and that the entire military force was not more than two thousand regular troops. [83] As has been intimated this condition lasted down until a comparatively recent period. As late as 1864 the total number of Spaniards amounted to but 4,050 of whom 3,280 were government officials, etc., 500 clergy, 200 landed proprietors, and 70 merchants; and in the provinces the same conditions prevailed that are described by Comyn. [84] In more than half of the twelve hundred villages in the islands “there was no other Spaniard, no other national authority, nor any other force to maintain public order save only the friars.” [85]

Recurring for a moment to the higher ecclesiastical organization, the judicial functions of the church were represented by the archbishop’s court and the commissioner of the Inquisition. The Episcopal court, which was made up of the archbishop, the vicar-general, and a notary, tried cases coming under the canon law, such as those relating to matrimony and all cases involving the clergy. Idolatry on the part of the Indians or Chinese might be punished by this court. [86] The Holy Inquisition transplanted to New Spain in 1569 stretched its long arm across the great ocean to the Philippines, in the person of a commissioner, for the preservation of the true faith. The Indians and Chinese were exempted from its jurisdiction. Its processes were roundabout, and must have given a considerable proportion of its accused a chance to die a natural death. The Commissioner must first report the offense to the Court in New Spain; if a trial was ordered, the accused must be sent to Mexico, and, if convicted, must be returned to the Philippines to receive punishment. [87]

The most peculiar feature of the old regime in the Philippines is to be found in the regulations of the commerce of the islands. In the _Recopilacion de leyes de los reinos de las Indias_, the code of Spanish colonial legislation, a whole title comprising seventy-nine laws is devoted to this subject. For thirty years after the conquest the commerce of the islands was unrestricted and their prosperity advanced with great rapidity. [88] Then came a system of restrictions, demanded by the protectionists in Spain, which limited the commerce of the islands with America to a fixed annual amount, and effectively checked their economic development. All the old travelers marvel at the possibilities of the islands and at the blindness of Spain, but the policy absurd as it may seem was but a logical application of the protective system not essentially different from the forms which it assumes today in our own relations to Porto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines.

The Seville merchants through whose hands the Spanish export trade to the New World passed looked with apprehension upon the importation of Chinese fabrics into America and the exportation of American silver to pay for them. The silks of China undersold those of Spain in Mexico and Peru, and the larger the export of silver to the East the smaller to Spain. Consequently to protect Spanish industry and to preserve to Spanish producers the American market, [89] the shipment of Chinese cloths from Mexico to Peru was prohibited in 1587. In 1591 came the prohibition of all direct trade between Peru or other parts of South America and China or the Philippines, [90] and in 1593 a decree–not rigorously enforced till 1604–which absolutely limited the trade between Mexico and the Philippines to $250,000 annually for the exports to Mexico, and to $500,000 for the imports from Mexico, to be carried in two ships not to exceed three hundred tons burden. [91] No Spanish subject was allowed to trade in or with China, and the Chinese trade was restricted to the merchants of that nation. [92]

All Chinese goods shipped to New Spain must be consumed there and the shipping of Chinese cloths to Peru in any amount whatever even for a gift, charitable endowment, or for use in divine worship was absolutely prohibited. [93] As these regulations were evaded, in 1636 all commerce was interdicted between New Spain and Peru. [94] A commerce naturally so lucrative as that between the Philippines and New Spain when confined within such narrow limits yielded monopoly profits. It was like a lottery in which every ticket drew a prize. In these great profits every Spaniard was entitled to share in proportion to his capital or standing in the community. [95] The assurance of this largess, from the beginnings of the system, discouraged individual industry and enterprise, and retarded the growth of Spanish population. [96] Le Gentil and Zuniga give detailed descriptions of the method of conducting this state enterprise [97] after the limits had been raised to $500,000 and $1,000,000 respectively for the outgoing and return voyage. The capacity of the vessel was measured taking as a unit a bale about two and one-half feet long, sixteen inches broad and two feet high. If then the vessel could carry four thousand of these bales, each bale might be packed with goods up to a value of one hundred and twenty-five dollars. The right to ship was known as a _boleta_ or ticket. The distribution of these tickets was determined at the town hall by a board made up of the governor, attorney-general, the dean of the _audiencia_, one _alcalde_, one _regidor_ and eight citizens. [98]

To facilitate the allotment and the sale of tickets they were divided into sixths. Tickets were ordinarily worth in the later eighteenth century in times of peace eighty dollars to one hundred dollars, and in war time they rose to upwards of three hundred dollars. [99] Le Gentil tells us that in 1766 they sold for two hundred dollars and more, and that the galleon that year went loaded beyond the limit. [100] Each official as the perquisite of his office had tickets. The regidores and alcaldes had eight.

The small holders who did not care to take a venture in the voyage disposed of their tickets to merchants or speculators, who borrowed money, usually of the religious corporations, at twenty-five to thirty per cent per annum to buy them up and who sometimes bought as many as two or three hundred. [101] The command of the Acapulco galleon was the fattest office within the gift of the Governor, who bestowed it upon “whomsoever he desired to make happy for the commission,” and was equivalent to a gift of from $50,000 to $100,000. [102] This was made up from commissions, part of the passage-money of passengers, from the sale of his freight tickets, and from the gifts of the merchants. Captain Arguelles told Careri in 1696 that his commissions would amount to $25,000 or $30,000, and that in all he would make $40,000; that the pilot would clear $20,000 and the mates $9,000 each. [103] The pay of the sailors was three hundred and fifty dollars, of which seventy-five dollars was advanced before the start. The merchants expected to clear one hundred and fifty to two hundred per cent. The passenger fare at the end of the eighteenth century was $1,000 for the voyage to Acapulco, which was the hardest, and $500 for the return. [104] Careri’s voyage to Acapulco lasted two hundred and four days. The ordinary time for the voyage to Manila was seventy-five to ninety days. [105] Careri’s description of his voyage is a vivid picture of the hardships of early ocean travel, when cabin passengers fared infinitely worse than cattle today. It was a voyage “which is enough to destroy a man, or make him unfit for anything as long as he lives;” yet there were those who “ventured through it, four, six and some ten times.” [106]

Acapulco in New Spain had little reason for existence, save for the annual fair at the time of the arrival of the Manila ship, and the silver fleet from Peru. That event transformed what might more properly be called “a poor village of fishermen” into “a populous city,” for the space of about two weeks. [107]

The commerce between the Philippines and Mexico was conducted in this manner from 1604 to 1718, when the silk manufacturers of Spain secured the prohibition of the importation of Chinese silk goods into New Spain on account of the decline of their industry. A prolonged struggle before the Council of the Indies ensued, and in 1734 the prohibition was revoked and the east and west cargoes fixed at $500,000 and $1,000,000 respectively. [108] The last _nao_, as the Manila-Acapulco galleon was called, sailed from Manila in 1811, and the final return voyage was made in 1815. After that the commerce fell into private hands, the annual exports were limited to $750,000 and the ports of San Blas (Mexico), Guayaquil (Ecuador), and Callao (Peru) were opened to it.

Other changes were the establishment of direct communication with Spain and trade with Europe by a national vessel in 1766. [109] These expeditions lasted till 1783 and their place was taken in 1785 by the Royal Philippine Company, organized with a capital of $8,000,000, and granted the monopoly of the trade between Spain and the islands. [110] The Manila merchants resented the invasion of their monopoly of the export trade, and embarrassed the operations of the company as much as they could. [111] It ceased to exist in 1830.

By this system for two centuries the South American market for manufactures was reserved exclusively for Spain, but the protection did not prevent Spanish industry from decay and did retard the well-being and progress of South America. Between Mexico and the Philippines a limited trade was allowed, the profits of which were the perquisites of the Spaniards living in the Philippines and contributed to the religious endowments. But this monopoly was of no permanent advantage to the Spanish residents. It was too much like stock-jobbing, and sapped all spirit of industry. Zuniga says that the commerce made a few rich in a short time and with little labor, but they were very few; that there were hardly five Spaniards in Manila worth $100,000, nor a hundred worth $40,000, the rest either lived on the King’s pay or in poverty. [112] “Every morning one could see in the streets of Manila, in the greatest poverty and asking alms, the sons of men who had made a fine show and left much money, which their sons had squandered because they had not been well trained in youth.” [113] The great possibilities of Manila as an entrepot of the Asiatic trade were unrealized; for although the city enjoyed open trade with the Chinese, Japanese, and other orientals, [114] it was denied to Europeans and the growth of that conducted by the Chinese and others was always obstructed by the lack of return cargoes owing to the limitations placed upon the trade with America and to the disinclination of the Filipinos to work to produce more than was enough to insure them a comfortable living and pay their tributes. That the system was detrimental to the economic progress of the islands was always obvious and its evils were repeatedly demonstrated by Spanish officials. Further it was not only detrimental to the prosperity of the islands but it obstructed the development of Mexico.

Grau y Monfalcon in 1637 reported that there were fourteen thousand people employed in Mexico in manufacturing the raw silk imported from China. This industry might be promoted by the relaxation of the restrictions on trade. It would also be for the advantage of the Indians of Peru to be able to buy for five pence a yard linen from the Philippines, rather than to be compelled to purchase that of Rouen at ten times the price. [115] But such reasoning was received then as it often is now, and no great change was made for nearly two centuries.

We have now passed in review the political, ecclesiastical, and commercial administration of the Philippines in the olden time; and a general survey of some of the more striking results of the system as a whole may now be made. This is especially necessary on account of the traditional and widely prevalent opinion that the Spanish colonial system was always and everywhere a system of oppression and exploitation; whereas, as a matter of fact, the Spanish system, as a system of laws, always impeded the effectual exploitation of the resources of their colonies, and was far more humane in its treatment of dependent peoples than either the French or English systems.

If, on the one hand, the early conquistadores treated the natives with hideous cruelty, the Spanish government legislated more systematically and benevolently to protect them than any other colonizing power. In the time of the first conquests things moved too rapidly for the home government in those days of slow communication, and the horrors of the clash between ruthless gold-seekers and the simple children of nature, as depicted by the impassioned pen of Las Casas and spread broadcast over Europe, came to be the traditional and accepted characteristic of Spanish rule. [116] The Spanish colonial empire lasted four hundred years and it is simple historical justice that it should not be judged by its beginnings or by its collapse.

The remoteness of the Philippines, and the absence of rich deposits of gold and silver, made it comparatively easy for the government to secure the execution of its humane legislation, and for the church to dominate the colony and guide its development as a great mission for the benefit of the inhabitants. [117] To the same result contributed the unenlightened protectionism of the Seville merchants, for the studied impediments to the development of the Philippine-American trade effectually blocked the exploitation of the islands. In view of the history of our own Southern States, not less than of the history of the West Indies it should never be forgotten that although the Philippine islands are in the Tropics, they have never been the scene of the horrors of the African slave trade or of the life-wasting labors of the old plantation system.

Whether we compare the condition of the natives of the other islands in the Eastern Archipelago or of the peasants of Europe at the same time the general well-being of the Philippine mission villagers was to be envied. A few quotations from unimpeachable witnesses, travelers of wide knowledge of the Orient, may be given in illustration and proof of this view. The famous French explorer of the Pacific, La Perouse, who was in Manila in 1787, wrote: “Three million people inhabit these different islands and that of Luzon contains nearly a third of them. These people seemed to me no way inferior to those of Europe; they cultivate the soil with intelligence, they are carpenters, cabinet-makers, smiths, jewelers, weavers, masons, etc. I have gone through their villages and I have found them kind, hospitable, affable,” etc. [118]

Coming down a generation later the Englishman Crawfurd, the historian of the Indian Archipelago, who lived at the court of the Sultan of Java as British resident, draws a comparison between the condition of the Philippines and that of the other islands of the East that deserves careful reflection.

“It is remarkable, that the Indian administration of one of the worst governments of Europe, and that in which the general principles of legislation and good government are least understood,–one too, which has never been skillfully executed, should, upon the whole, have proved the least injurious to the happiness and prosperity of the native inhabitants of the country. This, undoubtedly, has been the character of the Spanish connection with the Philippines, with all its vices, follies, and illiberalities; and the present condition of these islands affords an unquestionable proof of the fact. Almost every other country of the Archipelago is, at this day, in point of wealth, power, and civilization, in a worse state than when Europeans connected themselves with them three centuries back. The Philippines alone have improved in civilization, wealth, and populousness. When discovered most of the tribes were a race of half-naked savages, inferior to all the great tribes, who were pushing, at the same time, an active commerce, and enjoying a respectable share of the necessaries and comforts of a civilized state. Upon the whole, they are at present superior in almost everything to any of the other races. This is a valuable and instructive fact.” [119]

This judgment of Crawfurd in 1820 was echoed by Mallat (who was for a time in charge of the principal hospital in Manila), in 1846, when he expressed his belief that the inhabitants of the Philippines enjoyed a freer, happier, and more placid life than was to be found in the colonies of any other nation. [120]

Sir John Bowring, who was long Governor of Hong Kong, was impressed with the absence of caste: “Generally speaking, I found a kind and generous urbanity prevailing,–friendly intercourse where that intercourse had been sought,–the lines of demarcation and separation less marked and impassable than in most oriental countries. I have seen at the same table Spaniard, Mestizo and Indian–priest, civilian, and soldier. No doubt a common religion forms a common bond; but to him who has observed the alienations and repulsions of caste in many parts of the eastern world–caste, the great social curse–the binding and free intercourse of man with man in the Philippines is a contrast worth admiring.” [121] Not less striking in its general bearing than Crawfurd’s verdict is that of the German naturalist Jagor who visited the islands in 1859-1860.

“To Spain belongs the glory of having raised to a relatively high grade of civilization, improving greatly their condition, a people which she found on a lower stage of culture distracted by petty wars and despotic rule. Protected from outside enemies, governed by mild laws, the inhabitants of those splendid islands, taken as a whole, have no doubt passed a more comfortable life during recent centuries than the people of any tropical country whether under their own or European rule. This is to be accounted for in part by the peculiar conditions which protected the natives from ruthless exploitation. Yet the monks contributed an essential part to this result. Coming from among the common people, used to poverty and self-denial, their duties led them into intimate relations with the natives and they were naturally fitted to adapt the foreign religion and morals to practical use. So, too, in later times, when they came to possess rich livings, and their pious zeal, in general, relaxed as their revenues increased, they still contributed most essentially to bring about conditions, both good and bad, which we have described, since, without families of their own and without refined culture, intimate association with the children of the soil was a necessity to them. Even their haughty opposition to the secular authorities was generally for the advantage of the natives.” [122] Similar testimony from a widely different source is contained in the charming sketch “Malay Life in the Philippines” by William Gifford Palgrave, whose profound knowledge of oriental life and character and his experience in such divergent walks in life as soldier and Jesuit missionary in India, pilgrim to Mecca, and English consul in Manila, give his opinion more than ordinary value.

“To clerical government,” he writes “paradoxical as the statement may sound in modern European ears, the Philippine islands owe, more than to anything else, their internal prosperity, the Malay population its sufficiency and happiness. This it is that again and again has stood a barrier of mercy and justice between the weaker and stronger race, the vanquished and the victor; this has been the steady protector of the native inhabitants, this their faithful benefactor, their sufficient leader and guide. With the ‘Cura’ for father, and the ‘Capitan’ for his adjutant, a Philippine hamlet feels and knows little of the vexations inseparable from direct and foreign official administration; and if under such a rule ‘progress,’ as we love to term it, be rare, disaffection and want are rarer still.”

As compared with India, the absence of famines is significant; and this he attributes in part to the prevalence of small holdings. “Not so much what they have, but rather what they have not, makes the good fortune of the Philippines, the absence of European Enterprise, the absence of European Capital. A few European capitalist settlers, a few giant estates, a few central factories, a few colossal money-making combinations of organized labour and gainful produce, and all the equable balance of property and production, of ownership and labour that now leaves to the poorest cottager enough, and yet to the total colony abundance to spare, would be disorganized, displaced, upset; to be succeeded by day labour, pauperism, government relief, subscriptions, starvation. Europe, gainful, insatiate Europe would reap the harvest; but to the now happy, contented, satiate Philippine Archipelago, what would remain but the stubble, but leanness, want, unrest, misery?” [123]

The latest witness to the average well-being of the natives under the old system whom I shall quote is Mr. Sawyer. “If the natives fared badly at the hands of recent authors, the Spanish Administration fared worse, for it has been painted in the darkest tints, and unsparingly condemned. It was indeed corrupt and defective, and what government is not? More than anything else it was behind the age, yet it was not without its good points.

“Until an inept bureaucracy was substituted for the old paternal rule, and the revenue quadrupled by increased taxation, the Filipinos were as happy a community as could be found in any colony. The population greatly multiplied; they lived in competence, if not in affluence; cultivation was extended, and the exports steadily increased.–Let us be just; what British, French, or Dutch colony, populated by natives can compare with the Philippines as they were until 1895?” [124]

These striking judgments, derived from such a variety of sources, are a sufficient proof that our popular ideas of the Spanish colonial system are quite as much in need of revision as popular ideas usually are.

Yet one must not forget that the Spanish mission system, however useful and benevolent as an agency in bringing a barbarous people within the pale of Christian civilization, could not be regarded as permanent unless this life is looked upon simply as a preparation for heaven. As an educative system it had its bounds and limits; it could train to a certain point and no farther. To prolong it beyond that stage would be to prolong carefully nurtured childhood to the grave, never allowing it to be displaced by self-reliant manhood. The legal status of the Indians before the law was that of minors, and no provision was made for their arriving at their majority. The clergy looked upon these wards of the State as the school-children of the church, and compelled the observance of her ordinances even with the rod. La Perouse says: “The only thought was to make Christians and never citizens. This people was divided into parishes, and subjected to the most minute and extravagant observances. Each fault, each sin is still punished by the rod. Failure to attend prayers and mass has its fixed penalty, and punishment is administered to men and women at the door of the church by order of the pastor.” [125] Le Gentil describes such a scene in a little village a few miles from Manila, where one Sunday afternoon he saw a crowd, chiefly Indian women, following a woman who was to be whipped at the church door for not having been to mass. [126]

The prevalence of a supervision and discipline so parental for the mass of the people in the colony could but react upon the ruling class, and La Perouse remarks upon the absence of individual liberty in the islands: “No liberty is enjoyed: inquisitors and monks watch the consciences; the oidors (judges of the Audiencia) all private affairs; the governor, the most innocent movements; an excursion to the interior, a conversation come before his jurisdiction; in fine, the most beautiful and charming country in the world is certainly the last that a free man would choose to live in.” [127]

Intellectual apathy, one would naturally suppose, must be the consequence of such sedulous oversight, and intellectual progress impossible. Progress in scientific knowledge was, indeed, quite effectually blocked.

The French astronomer Le Gentil gives an interesting account of the conditions of scientific knowledge at the two Universities in Manila. These institutions seemed to be the last refuge of the scholastic ideas and methods that had been discarded in Europe. A Spanish engineer frankly confessed to him that “in the sciences Spain was a hundred years behind France, and that in Manila they were a hundred years behind Spain.” Nothing of electricity was known but the name, and making experiments in it had been forbidden by the Inquisition. Le Gentil also strongly suspected that the professor of Mathematics at the Jesuit College still held to the Ptolemaic system. [128]

But when we keep in mind the small number of ecclesiastics in the islands we must clear them of the charge of intellectual idleness. Their activity, on the other hand, considering the climate was remarkable. [129] An examination of J.T. Medina’s monumental work [130] on printing in Manila and of Retana’s supplement [131] reveals nearly five hundred titles of works printed in the islands before 1800. This of course takes no account of the works sent or brought to Spain for publication, which would necessarily comprise a large proportion of those of general rather than local interest, including of course the most important histories. To these should be added no small number of grammars and dictionaries of the native languages, and missionary histories, that have never been printed. [132] The monastic presses in the islands naturally were chiefly used for the production of works of religious edification, such as catechisms, narratives of missions, martyrdoms, lives of saints, religious histories, and hand-books to the native languages. Simpler manuals of devotion, rosaries, catechisms, outlines of Christian doctrine, stories of martyrdoms, etc., were translated for the Indians. Of these there were about sixty in the Tagal, and from three to ten or twelve each in the Visayan, Vicol, Pampanga, Ilocan, Panayan, and Pangasinan languages. [133]

If, as is credibly asserted, the knowledge of reading and writing was more generally diffused in the Philippines than among the common people of Europe, [134] we have the singular result that the islands contained relatively more people who could read, and less reading matter of any but purely religious interest, than any other community in the world. Yet it would not be altogether safe to assume that in the eighteenth century the list of printed translations into the native languages comprised everything of European literature available for reading; for the Spanish government, in order to promote the learning of Spanish, had prohibited at times the printing of books in Tagal. [135] Furthermore, Zuniga says explicitly that “after the coming of the Spaniards they (_i.e._ the people in Luzon) have had comedies, interludes, tragedies, poems, and every kind of literary work translated from the Spanish, without producing a native poet who has composed even an interlude.” [136] Again, Zuniga describes a eulogistic poem of welcome addressed by a Filipino villager to Commodore Alava. This _loa_, as this species of composition was called, was replete with references to the voyages of Ulysses, the travels of Aristotle, the unfortunate death of Pliny, and other incidents in ancient history. The allusions indicate some knowledge at any rate outside the field of Christian doctrine, even if it was so slight as not to make it seem beyond the limits of poetic license to have Aristotle drown himself in chagrin at not being able to measure the depths of the sea, or to have Pliny throw himself into Vesuvius in his zeal to investigate the causes of its eruption. The literary interests of the Indians found their chief expression however in the adaptation of Spanish plays for presentation on religious holidays. Zuniga gives an entertaining description of these plays. They were usually made up from three or four Spanish tragedies, the materials of which were so ingeniously interwoven that the mosaic seemed a single piece. The characters were always Moors and Christians, and the action centered in the desire of Moors to marry Christian princesses or of Christians to marry Moorish princesses. The Christian appears at a Moorish tournament or vice versa. The hero and heroine fall in love but their parents oppose obstacles to the match. To overcome the difficulties in case of a Moor and Christian princess was comparatively easy. A war opportunely breaks out in which, after prodigies of valor, the Moor is converted and baptized, and the wedding follows. The case is not so easy when a Christian prince loves a Moorish lady. Since he can never forsake his religion his tribulations are many. He is imprisoned, and his princess aids in his attempt to escape, which sometimes costs him his life; or if the scene is laid in war time either the princess is converted and escapes to the Christian army, or the prince dies a tragic death. The hero is usually provided with a Christ, or other image or relic, given him by his dying mother, which extricates him from his many plights. He meets lions and bears, and highwaymen attack him; but from all he escapes by a miracle. If, however, some principal personage is not taken off by a tragic end, the Indians find the play insipid. During the intermission one or two clowns come out and raise a laugh by jests that are frigid enough “to freeze hot water in the tropics.” After the play is over a clown appears again and criticizes the play and makes satirical comments on the village officials. These plays usually lasted three days. [137] Le Gentil attended one of them and says that he does not believe any one in the world was ever so bored as he was. [138] Yet the Indians were passionately fond of these performances. [139]

If one may judge from Retana’s catalogue of his Philippine collection arranged in chronological order, the sketch we have given of the literature accessible to Filipinos who could not read Spanish in the eighteenth century would serve not unfairly for much of the nineteenth. The first example of secular prose fiction I have noted in his lists is Friar Bustamente’s pastoral novel depicting the quiet charms of country life as compared with the anxieties and tribulations of life in Manila. [140] His collection did not contain so far as I noticed a single secular historical narrative in Tagal or anything in natural science.

Sufficient familiarity with Spanish to compensate for this lack of books of secular knowledge was enjoyed by very few Indians in the country districts and these had learned it mainly while servants of the curate. It was the common opinion of the Spanish authorities that the Friars purposely neglected instructing the Indians in Spanish, in order to perpetuate their hold upon them; but Zuniga repels this charge as unjust and untrue. [141]

It is obvious that it was impracticable for the Indians to learn Spanish under the mission system. For the pastor of a pueblo of several hundred families to teach the children Spanish was an impossibility. A few words or simple phrases might be learned, but the lack of opportunity for constant or even frequent practice of the language in general conversation would make their attainments in it far below those of American grammar-school children in German in cities where that has been a compulsory study. [142] As long as the mission system isolated the pueblos from contact with the world at large, it of necessity followed that the knowledge of Spanish would be practically limited to such Indians as lived in Manila or the larger towns, or learned it in the households of the Friars. Slavery with its forced transplanting has been the only means by which large masses of alien or lower races have been lifted into the circle of European thought and endowed with a European language. If such a result is secured in the future in any large measure for the Filipino, it can be accomplished only by the translation of English or Spanish literature into the Tagal and other languages, on a scale not less generous than the work of the Friars in supplying the literature of religious edification. This will be a work of not less than two or three generations, and of a truly missionary devotion.

We have now surveyed in its general aspects the old regime in the Philippines, and supplied the necessary material upon which to base a judgment of this contribution of Spain to the advancement of civilization. In this survey certain things stand out in contrast to the conventional judgment of the Spanish colonial system. The conquest was humane, and was effected by missionaries more than by warriors. The sway of Spain was benevolent, although the administration was not free from the taint of financial corruption. Neither the islands nor their inhabitants were exploited. The colony in fact was a constant charge upon the treasury of New Spain. The success of the enterprise was not measured by the exports and imports, but by the number of souls put in the way of salvation. The people received the benefits of Christian civilization, as it was understood in Spain in the days of that religious revival which we call the Catholic Reaction. This Christianity imposed the faith and the observances of the mediaeval church, but it did for the Philippine islanders who received it just what it did for the Franks or Angles a thousand years earlier. It tamed their lives, elevated the status of women, established the Christian family, and gave them the literature of the devotional life.

Nor did they pay heavily for these blessings. The system of government was inexpensive, and the religious establishment was mainly supported by the landed estates of the orders. Church fees may have been at times excessive, but the occasions for such fees were infrequent. The tenants of the church estates found the friars easy landlords. Zuniga describes a great estate of the Augustinians near Manila of which the annual rental was not over $1,500, while the annual produce was estimated to be not less than $70,000, for it supported about four thousand people. [143] The position of women was fully as good among the Christian Indians of the Philippines as among the Christian people of Europe. But conspicuous among the achievements of the conquest and conversion of the islands in the field of humanitarian progress, when we consider the conditions in other European tropical colonies, have been the prohibition of slavery and the unremitting efforts to eradicate its disguised forms. These alone are a sufficient proof that the dominating motives in the Spanish and clerical policies were humane and not commercial. Not less striking proof of the comfortable prosperity of the natives on the whole under the old Spanish rule has been the steady growth of the population. At the time of the conquest the population in all probability did not exceed a half-million. In the first half of the eighteenth century according to the historian of the Franciscans, San Antonio, the Christian population was about 830,000. At the opening of the nineteenth century Zuniga estimated the total at a million and a half as over 300,000 tributes were paid. The official estimate in 1819 was just short of 2,600,000; by 1845 Buzeta calculates the number at a little short of four millions. In the next half century it nearly doubled. [144]

In view of all these facts one must readily accord assent to Zuniga’s simple tribute to the work of Spain. “The Spanish rule has imposed very few burdens upon these Indians, and has delivered them from many misfortunes which they suffered from the constant warfare waged by one district with another, whereby many died, and others lived wretched lives as slaves. For this reason the population increased very slowly, as is now the case with the infidels of the mountain regions who do not acknowledge subjection to the King of Spain. Since the conquest there has been an increase in well-being and in population. Subjection to the King of Spain has been very advantageous in all that concerns the body. I will not speak of the advantage of knowledge of the true God, and of the opportunity to obtain eternal happiness for the soul, for I write not as a missionary but as a philosopher.” [145]

The old regime in the Philippines has disappeared forever. In hardly more than a generation the people have passed from a life which was so remote from the outside contemporary world that they might as well have been living in the middle ages in some sheltered nook, equally protected from the physical violence and the intellectual strife of the outside world, and entirely oblivious of the progress of knowledge. They find themselves suddenly plunged into a current that hurls them along resistlessly. Baptized with fire and blood, a new and strange life is thrust upon them and they face the struggle for existence under conditions which spare no weakness and relentlessly push idleness or incapacity to the wall. What will be the outcome no man can tell. To the student of history and of social evolution it will be an experiment of profound interest.

_Edward Gaylord Bourne_

_Yale University_, October, 1902.

Preface to Volume I

The history of the Philippine archipelago is fitly introduced by presenting a group of documents which relate to Pope Alexander VI’s Line of Demarcation between the respective dominions of Spain and Portugal in the recently-discovered New World. So many controversies regarding this line have at various times arisen, and so little on the subject has appeared in the English tongue, that we have thought it well to place before our readers the more important of the documents relating thereto, of which a brief synopsis is here given.

They begin with Alexander’s Bulls–two dated on the third and one on the fourth day of May, 1493. The first of these (commonly known as _Inter caetera_) grants to. Spain all the lands in the West, recently discovered or yet to be discovered, which are hitherto unknown, and not under the dominion of any Christian prince. The second (_Eximiae devotionis_, also dated May 3) grants to Spain the same rights in those discoveries which had formerly been conferred on Portugal in Africa. These grants are superseded by the Bull of May 4 (_Inter caetera_), which establishes the Demarcation Line, and grants to Spain all lands west and south thereof which were not already in the possession of any Christian prince. Still another Bull (dated September 25 of the same year) authorizes Spain to extend her sovereignty also over lands which shall be discovered to the East, including India–thus practically annulling both the Demarcation Line and previous concessions to Portugal. The latter power’s remonstrances against this infringement of her former rights lead to the Treaty of Tordesillas (June 7, 1494), in which, by mutual agreement between the sovereigns, a new line of demarcation is established to be drawn two hundred and seventy leagues farther west than that of Alexander VI; and another document (dated April 15, 1495) makes suitable arrangements for a scientific and equitable determination of this boundary. The final action of the Holy See in this matter is indicated by a Bull of Leo X (_Praecelsae_, dated November 3, 1514) granted to Portugal; it confirms all previous papal gifts to that power of lands in the East, and grants to her both past and future discoveries and conquests, there and elsewhere. Disputes arising between Spain and Portugal over the ownership of the Moluccas or Spice Islands (see letters of Carlos I to his ambassadors at Lisbon, February 4 and December 18, 1523; and the treaty of Vitoria, February 19, 1524), the Junta of Badajoz is convened (April 11-May 31, 1524) to settle this question; and that body fixes the Line of Demarcation three hundred and seventy leagues west of San Antonio, the most westerly of the Cape Verde Islands. (In this connection are presented the opinions of Hernando Colon, Sebastian Cabot, and other competent judges; and letters from Carlos I to the Spanish deputies.) This settlement proving ineffectual, the Moluccas are relinquished to Portugal by the treaty of Zaragoza (April 22, 1529), Spain retaining possession of the Philippine Islands, although the terms of that treaty placed them outside of her jurisdiction.

Reverting to a somewhat earlier date, we note incidentally the Bull of Alexander VI (_Eximiae_, November 16, 1501) which authorizes the Spanish monarchs to levy tithes on the natives and inhabitants of their newly-acquired possessions in the western world; and proceed to a summary of the life and voyages of Fernao de Magalhaes (commonly known as Magellan). Synopses are given of many documents published by Navarrete, dated from 1518 to 1527: a contract by Magalhaes and Falero to deliver to the House of Commerce of Seville one-eighth of all gains accruing to them from their future discoveries; a petition from the same men to Carlos I regarding the expedition which they are about to undertake; remonstrances against the undertaking, by the Portuguese ambassador in Spain, Magalhaes’s request for more money; various appointments in the fleet; restriction of the number of seamen; instructions to Magalhaes; a royal order that Ruy Falero shall not accompany the expedition; Magalhaes’s last will; the expense account of the fleet; an attempted mutiny on one of the ships; Francisco Albo’* journal of Magalhaes’s voyage; description of the cargo brought back to Spain by the “Victoria;” investigation of Magalhaes’s death; treaties with the natives of the Moluccas; advice given to the emperor by Diego de Barbosa; Brito’s account of Magalhaes’s voyage; and the confiscation of two of his ships by the Portuguese.

This resume is followed by various supplementary documents. A royal mandate (March 22, 1518) authorizes Falero and Magalhaes to undertake their expedition of discovery. A letter from Carlos to King Manuel of Portugal (February 28, 1519) assures him that nothing in this enterprise is intended to infringe upon Portuguese rights. A document written (April 6, 1519) to Juan de Cartagena, appointed inspector-general of Magalhaes’s fleet, gives detailed instructions as to his duties in that office, especially in regard to the equipment of the fleet, its trading operations in the Orient, the royal share of profits to be derived therefrom, and the current accounts of the enterprise; he is also charged with the necessary arrangements for the colonization of lands to be discovered, and commanded to furnish to the King information as to the treatment of the natives by their Spanish conquerors, and the general conduct of the officers of the expedition, etc. The fleet is ordered (April 19, 1510) to proceed directly to the Spice Islands, and all persons belonging to it are exhorted to obey Magalhaes. A letter (1522) to the King of Spain gives information about Magalhaes’s death, obtained from some Spanish ship-boys who had found their way to the Portuguese posts in India. The earliest published account of this noted expedition is the letter written (October 24, 1522) to Matthaeus Lang, archbishop of Salzburg, by a natural son of his named Maximilian Transylvanus (then a student at Valladolid), relating the events of Magallanes’s voyage to the Moluccas (1519-21), his death at the hands of hostile natives, and the further experiences of his followers in the Philippine archipelago and on their homeward voyage. The small remnant of this expedition–the ship “Victoria,” and eighteen men–reach Spain on September 6, 1522, the first persons thus completing the circumnavigation of the globe.

At this point should appear in the present series the relation of Magalhaes’s voyage written by Antonio Pigafetta, who himself accompanied the great discoverer. Printed books gave Pigafetta’s relation in abridged form, in both French and Italian, as early as 1525 and 1536 respectively; but apparently his own original work has never hitherto been adequately presented to the world. The Editors of the present series, desiring to supply this deficiency, purpose to publish an exact transcription from Pigafetta’s original manuscript, with accompanying English translation. They have not, however, been able to secure it in time for Volume II, where it should appear; it will accordingly be presented to their readers at a later period in this work.

_The Editors_

Documents Regarding the Line of Demarcation–1493-1529

Papal bulls: _Inter caetera_ (May 3), _Eximiae_ (May 3), _Inter caetera_ (May 4), _Extension de la concesion_ (September 25)–1493. Treaty of Tordesillas–June 7, 1494.
[Note on correspondence of Jaime Ferrer–1493-95.] Compact between the Catholic Sovereigns and the King of Portugal–April 15, 1495.
Papal bull, _Praecelsae_–November 3, 1514. Instructions from the King of Spain to his ambassadors–February 4, 1523.
Letter from Carlos I to Juan de Zuniga–December 18, 1523. Treaty of Vitoria–February 19, 1524.
Junta of Badajoz: extract from the records (April 14-May 13), opinions of cosmographers (April 13-15), letters to the Spanish delegates (March 21, April 10)–1524.
Treaty of Zaragoza–April 22, 1529.

_Sources_: See Bibliographical Data at end of this volun

_Translations_: The Papal Bulls are translated by Rev. Thomas Cooke Middleton, D.D., O.S.A.; the Treaty of Zaragoza, by Jose M. Asensio; the remaining documents of this group are compiled, translated, and arranged by James A. Robertson.

Papal Bulls of 1493

Inter Caetera–May 3

Alexander, etc., to the illustrious sovereigns, our very dear son in Christ, Ferdinand, King, and our very dear daughter in Christ, Helisabeth [Isabella], Queen, of Castile and Leon, Aragon, Sicily, and Granada health and apostolic benediction. Among other works well pleasing to his divine Majesty, and cherished of our heart, this assuredly ranks highest that in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be everywhere increased and spread, as well as that the health of souls be procured, and barbarous nations overthrown and brought to the faith itself. Wherefore inasmuch as by the favor of divine clemency, through no fitting merits of ours, we have been raised to this holy see of Peter, recognizing that as true Catholic kings and princes such as we have always known you to be, and as your illustrious deeds already known to almost the whole world declare, you not only eagerly desire but with every effort, zeal, and diligence, without regard to hardships, expenses, dangers, with the shedding even of your blood, are laboring to that end; recognizing besides that already you have long ago dedicated to this purpose your whole soul and all your endeavors–as witnessed in these times with so much glory to the divine name in your recovery of the kingdom of Granada from the yoke of the Moors–we therefore not unrighteously hold it as our duty to grant you even of our own accord and in your favor those things, whereby daily and with heartier effort you may be enabled for the honor of God himself and the spread of the Christian rule to accomplish your saintly and praiseworthy purpose so pleasing to immortal God. In sooth we have learned that, according to your purpose long ago, you were in quest of some far-away islands and mainlands not hitherto discovered by others, to the end that you might bring to the worship of our Redeemer and profession of the Catholic faith the inhabitants of them with the dwellers therein; that hitherto, having been earnestly engaged in the siege and recovery of the kingdom itself of Granada, you were unable to accomplish this saintly and praiseworthy purpose; but, at length, as was pleasing to the Lord, the said kingdom having been regained, not without the greatest hardships, dangers, and expenses, we have also learned that with the wish to fulfil your desire, you chose our beloved son Christopher Colon, whom you furnished with ships and men equipped for like designs, so as to make diligent quest for these far-away unknown countries through the sea, which hitherto no one has sailed; who in fine with divine aid nor without the utmost diligence sailing in the Ocean Sea, as said, through western waters towards the Indies, discovered certain very far-away islands and even mainlands, that hitherto had not been discovered by others. Therein dwell very many peoples living in peace, and, as reported, going unclothed, nor users of flesh meat. Moreover, as your aforesaid envoys are of opinion, these very peoples living in the said islands and countries believe in one God, Creator in heaven, besides being sufficiently ready in appearance to embrace the Catholic faith and be trained in good morals. Nor is hope lacking that, were they instructed, the name of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, would easily be introduced into the said countries and islands. Besides on one of these aforesaid chief islands the above-mentioned Christopher has already had put together and built a fortress [146] fairly well equipped, wherein he has stationed as garrison certain Christians, companions of his, who are to make search for other far-away and unknown islands and countries. In the islands and countries already discovered are found gold, spices, and very many other precious things of divers kinds and species. Wherefore, as becoming to Catholic kings and princes, after earnest consideration of all matters especially of the rise and spread of the Catholic faith, as was the fashion of your ancestors, kings of renowned memory, you have purposed with the favor of divine clemency to bring under your sway the said countries and islands with their inhabitants and the dwellers therein, and bring them to the Catholic faith. Hence in heartiest commendation in the Lord of this your saintly and praiseworthy purpose, desirous too that it be duly accomplished in the carrying to those regions of the name of our Savior, we exhort you very earnestly in the Lord and insist strictly–both through your reception of holy baptism, whereby you are bound to our apostolic commands, and through the bowels of the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, that inasmuch as with upright spirit and through zeal for the true faith you design to equip and despatch this expedition, you purpose also, as is your duty, to lead the peoples dwelling in those islands to embrace the Christian profession; nor at any time let dangers or hardships deter you therefrom, with the stout hope and trust in your hearts that almighty God will further your undertakings. Moreover, in order that with greater readiness and heartiness you enter upon an undertaking of so lofty a character as has been entrusted to you by the graciousness of our apostolic favor, we, moved thereunto by our own accord, not at your instance nor the request of anyone else in your regard, but of our own sole largess and certain knowledge as well as in the fulness of our apostolic power, by the authority of almighty God conferred upon us in blessed Peter and of the vicarship of Jesus Christ which we hold on earth, do by tenor of these presents give, grant, and assign forever to you and your heirs and successors, kings of Castile and Leon, all and singular the aforesaid countries and islands thus unknown and hitherto discovered by your envoys and to be discovered hereafter, providing however they at no time have been in the actual temporal possession of any Christian owner, together with all their dominions, cities, camps, places, and towns as well as all rights, jurisdictions,