The historical origins of the Philippine economy: a survey of recent research of the Spanish colonial era

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Abstract

This article surveys recent research of the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines since the late eighteenth century. While highlighting imperfections in our understanding, the article establishes the parameters with which the Philippine economy entered the twentieth century. It outlines the intensification of Spanish colonial rule through changes in the taxation system, particularly the expansion of forced tobacco cultivation until its abolition in 1882. Since then, the Spanish set out to further change and intensify colonial rule but contradictions in the system of colonial rule caused the effort to come to an abrupt end in 1898.

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