After the revolt of South America and Mexico from Spain, the Philippines became Spain’s richest possession, and the spirit of colonial exploitation grew. In 1896 the Filipinos, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, revolted.
Reforms, as promised by the Spaniards in the Pact of Biak-Na-Bato, were very slow in coming, and small bands of rebels, distrustful of Spanish promises, kept their arms.
In 1898 the United States went to war with Spain. On May 1, 1898, Commodore Dewey arrived in Manila Bay and totally disabled the Spanish fleet. After the U.S. naval victory at Manila Bay, Aguinaldo, with the assistance of the U.S. Navy, returned to the Philippines and the battlefield. With Aguinaldo’s return, the Filipinos, numbering around 12,000, who enlisted under the Spanish flag in the war against America, defected to Aguinaldo’s banner.
Within a month, Aguinaldo established a government with himself as its leader…
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