Conquest and Pestilence in the Early Spanish Philippines by Linda A. Newson

By Linda A. Newson

Scholars have lengthy assumed that Spanish colonial rule had just a restricted demographic effect at the Philippines. Filipinos, they believed, had received immunity to previous international illnesses sooner than Spanish arrival; conquest used to be notion to were extra benign than what came about within the Americas as a result of extra enlightened colonial regulations brought via Philip II. Conquest and Pestilence within the Early Spanish Philippines illuminates the demographic historical past of the Spanish Philippines within the 16th and 17th centuries and, within the method, demanding situations those assumptions.

In this provocative new paintings, Linda Newson convincingly demonstrates that the Filipino inhabitants suffered an important decline within the early colonial interval. Newson argues that the sparse inhabitants of the islands intended that previous international ailments couldn't develop into endemic in pre-Spanish occasions. She additionally exhibits that the preliminary conquest of the Philippines used to be some distance bloodier than has frequently been intended and that next Spanish calls for for tribute, exertions, and land introduced socioeconomic changes and depopulation that have been lengthy past the early conquest years. Comparisons are made with the impression of Spanish colonial rule within the Americas.

Newson adopts a neighborhood strategy and examines significantly every one significant quarter in Luzon and the Visayas in flip. construction on a variety of basic and secondary resources, she proposes a brand new estimate for the inhabitants of the Visayas and Luzon of 1.57 million in 1565―slightly larger than that steered by means of prior studies―and calculates that by way of the mid-seventeenth century this determine can have fallen by means of approximately two-thirds.

Based on vast archival examine performed in secular and missionary documents within the Philippines, Spain, and in other places, Conquest and Pestilence within the Early Spanish Philippines is an exemplary contribution to our knowing of the formative affects on demographic swap in premodern Southeast Asian society and the heritage of the early Spanish Philippines.

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8 This might lead to differences in the proportion of the population recorded as baptized or converted Interpreting the Evidence in different missionary provinces. Aside from any manipulation of the figures, however, such accounts might at least suggest a minimum population. Civil Records Although the Crown would have liked to abolish the encomienda, which had been so disastrous for Spanish American populations, it was forced to permit its introduction into the Philippines in order to establish Spanish control of the colony.

So when the Spanish arrived, the Philippines were becoming increasingly important as a source Colonial Realities and Population Decline of slaves. Laura Lee Junker has suggested that at the same time there was an increase in raiding within the Philippines due to expanding opportunities for external trade, especially with China. 71 The extent to which Moro groups were involved in slave raiding in pre-Spanish times is not clear. 72 Whether or not this was the case, in pre-Spanish times rivalries do not appear to have been polarized between Muslims groups and others, and most scholars agree that the frequency of slave raids increased in the colonial period, and particularly from the second half of the eighteenth century.

38 This level of taxation and the balance between commodities and cash seems to have remained fairly constant until the early eighteenth century, but it was often exceeded illegally, and in reality the goods levied were often worth considerably more. On top of tribute demands, in times of crisis or exceptional need, such as for war or construction projects, additional levies were made in the form of vandalas (forced sales to the government), often of rice, and polos (forced labor). These exactions, which were at their height during the Hispano-Dutch War, did not affect all regions equally but where imposed they were particularly onerous and at the time regarded as a major cause of population decline.

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