The Philippines and the United States: An Historical Time Line

  • 1521 Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Mactan.
  • 1565 Spain 'colonizes' the Philippines.
  • 1580 Spanish military and political control are consolidated in lowland areas except for Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago and Palawan.
  • 1605 Most Filipinos became Catholics before this date.
  • 1762-74 The British occupy Manila. Until this time, the Spanish had been able to impose relative isolation on the Philippines.
  • 1814 Manila is opened to foreign trade.
  • 1869 The Suez Canal is opened, making rade between Europe and the Philippines easier.
  • 1872 The Cavite Rebellion. Hoping to quickly put down an organized revolt, the Spaniards conducted secret trials and excution, but his further angered the people.
  • 1896 Under the leadership of Filipino General Emilio Aguinaldo, major fighting begins against the Spanish.
  • 1897 The Pact of Biak-na-bato temporarily suspends fighting between the Filipinos and Spaniards.
  • 1898 American ships arrive in Manila Bay and with minimal exchange of fire, the Spanish are defeated.
    June 12: Aguinaldo, along with other Filipino leaders sign the Declaration of Independence
    December 12: U.S. and Spanish negotiators sign the Treaty of Paris, officially ending the Spanish-American War and ceding the Philippines to the U.S. for $20 million.
  • 1899 January 23: Aguinaldo and his associates formally proclaim the establishment of the First Philippine Republic at Malolos.
    February 4: Fighting breaks out between U.S. and Filipino forces. The Philippine-American War took about three and a half years, the overall conflict nearly 10 years. Estimate of Filipino lives lost range from 400,000 to 600,000, and American lives lost were approximately 10,000.
    February 6: U.S. Senate votes to annex the Philippines
    March: Protestant missionaries beging arriving on the scene.
  • 1901 March 23: General Aguinaldo captured.
    Subic Bay designated the principal U.S. Naval Station in the Philippines. The Sedition Law passed by the Americans imposing the death penalty or a long prison sentence on anyone advocating Philippine independence.
    The transport ship Thomas sails from San Francisco with 600 American public school teachers bound for the Philippines.
  • 1902 Ft. Stotsenberg, later Clark Air Base, is established as a cavalry outpost.
    La Iglesia Filipino Independiente, (The Philippine Independent Church) is formally organized in many towns taking possession of the Roman Catholic church buildings.
  • 1906 U.S. Supreme Court declares that property taken from Roman Catholic churches be returned.
  • 1907 Local government assemblies formed composed largely of those owning property.
  • 1916 The Jones Law enacted expressing U.S. intention to grant complete independence 'as soon as conditions are appropriate'.
  • 1934 After considerable Filipino lobbying in Washington, the Tydings-McDuffie Act is passed to provide for a ten-year period of "Commonwealth" status (beginning 1935) to lead to complete independence.
  • 1941 December 7: The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and Clark Air Base
  • 1944 October 20: U.S. forces return to the Philippine island of Leyte
    October 23: The Philippine Commonwealth is reestablished.
  • 1946 July 4: the Philippines is given its political independence by the U.S.
  • 1947 The Military Bases agreement is signed with the U.S.
  • 1962 June 12 is declared the new Philippine Independence Day.
  • 1970 January through March: Massive student demonstrations in Manila against Marcos and the U.S. Government.
  • 1972 September 21: Marcos declares martial law.
  • 1981 January 17: Marcos 'lifts' martial law but retains most ofhis martial law powers.
  • 1983 August 22: Former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. is assassinated at Manila airport while returning from exile in the U.S.
  • 1986 February 7: 'Snap' elections are held between Marcos and Corazon Aquino, with gross fraud and both sides claiming victory.
    February 22: Marcos defense minister and deputy chief of staff defect and barricade themselves. Massive numbers of Filipinos gather aroundt hem to make possible a near-bloodless transfer of power.
    February 25: Marcos flies to Clark Air Base and then to Hawaii and Corazon Aquino takes over the presidency.
  • 1987 A new Constitution is passed by plebiscite.
  • 1991 Mt. Pinatubo erupts. Clark Air Base is abandoned because of extensive damage.
  • 1991 Philippine senate boots the Subic Naval base out of the Philippines.
  • 1992 Subic Naval base is closed.

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