The Philippines Under Spanish Rule Essay

1285 Words Mar 29th, 2012 6 Pages
The Philippines Under
Spanish Rule
(1600s – 1800s)

Political Changes

As a crown colony, the Philippines was administered by the Council of the Indies. Even so, the Spanish officials in the Philippines were appointed by the King of Spain, who issued Royal orders and decrees dealing with the proper administration of the colony. In 1863, the Philippines, as a colony, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Colonies or Overseas Ministry (Ministerio de Ultramar). In order to make the administration of the Philippines efficient, the Overseas Ministry was advised and aided in its work by the Council of the Indies.

The Central Government

In organizing the central government of the Philippines, the Spanish
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Also, the natives were very poor. This being the case, the Audiencia was a financial burden to the king of Spain. Because of this opposition, the Audiencia was abolished in 1589. In its place, a council composed of 400 members headed by governor-general was created. This council, however, was unsatisfactory to many because of its many members. So the King ordered the re-establishment of the Audiencia in 1595. However, it actually carried out its function in 1598 when it was inaugurated.

Local Government

Under the central government was the provincial government. Pacified provinces, which were already recognizing the authority of Spain, were governed by civil provincial governors. Those that were not yet fully pacified and conquered were ruled by military officers. The provincial governor was called alcalde mayor . He was appointed by the governor-general. His salary was small but he could collect a part of the tribute to increase his income. What made him rich and powerful was the right given to him to engage in trade. This right was called indulto de comercio . In almost all cases, the provincial governor abused this power so that he committed graft and corruption. It was later abolished in 1844 because the alcalde mayor abused his power to the extent of scandalizing the Spaniards. Another anomalous practice was the provincial governor’s role as judge of the province. Since many abuses were committed by the governor-judge, in 1886, the King

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