|My latest! Hope you enjoy|
This is my entry to MotM 4 over on AH.Com, the voting thread for which I will post a link to as soon as it is up. It covers the history of a different Philippines throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Below, I've posted the full writeup covering that whole period, in the form of a fictional university lecture. I realize that it is quite long, but I would still ask you to read it before you ask any questions, since they're probably answered in the text. If they aren't, then, as always, ask away.
“The Spanish-American War, also known as the War of Cuban Independence and the Philippine Revolution, is today one of the least controversial wars the United States has participated in. It’s considered by many to be the first great active expression of the American anti-imperialist international philosophy, as opposed to the passive expression of the Monroe Doctrine.
“At the time, though, it was incredibly controversial, which is something we tend to forget. The controversy wasn’t around the aims of the war, not really; it was about its conduct. The war, while initially sparking patriotic fervor throughout the nation, quickly became unpopular thanks to a combination of a stronger-than-expected Spanish resistance turning it into a bloody affair and a drastic economic recession, which wasn’t really due to the war, though the war probably didn’t help.
“The widespread discontent in the nation was a major factor in the election of William Jennings Bryan  and, as would follow, the decisive demise of the Third Party System. However, we won’t really talk about that, since this is an East Asian History class. There are plenty of good classes here covering this period in the United States, especially America Advancing, which I cannot recommend highly enough.
“Anyways, getting back on track. The Spanish attempted to drag out the peace negotiations as long as possible in hopes of getting better terms from a Bryan administration, but the threat of the war beginning again finally pushed them into signing a treaty that, among other things, set Cuba up as an independent republic and gave the Philippines to the United States to do with as it pleased. The McKinley administration immediately set to creating a military territory in the islands, against the inhabitants’ wishes, in hopes of making the annexation of the Philippines a moot point before the anti-imperialist Bryan could enter the office.
“Bryan, of course, was enraged by this, and swore publicly that he would grant independence to the Philippines immediately upon taking the oath of office. Bryan was true to his word, but the damage to the Philippines was already done—much of the revolutionary army had been defeated by the U.S. occupying forces, and in many places (especially the predominantly Muslim) southern island of Mindanao, the occupying forces were the only ones providing law and order.
“This left the new Provisional Government of the Philippines in a very tough spot, from which the pacifist Bryan made clear he would not aid them with military forces. The Provisional Government would eventually dig itself out of that hole, but the early destruction of most of their command structure ensured that the First Republic would never have full effective control over Mindanao.
“Over the next few decades, the government of the First Republic evolved into a corrupt, somewhat inefficient but definitely democratic state, dominated by two main factions: the Constitutionalists and the Limiters. Their main disagreement revolved around distribution of powers—the Constitutionalists supported a strong central government and a powerful executive, while the Limiters supported more local governance as well as granting more power to the Assembly, the legislature.
“The various disputes between the two factions tend to get pretty arcane, and they weren’t really well-defined on other issues, so we won’t really go into that period, but suffice it to say that there was a fair amount of deadlock and corruption during that time. Besides, foreign powers have usually played an outsize role in the history of the Philippines, and the period of the First Republic is no exception. After Bryan granted the Philippines their independence, he largely left them alone, though making it clear that, similarly to the Monroe Doctrine, any attempt to recolonize the Philippines would be met with hostility from the United States.
“The subsequent President, Theodore Roosevelt, took a slightly more involved approach, signing an official military alliance with the Republic. That alliance was never put to the test; the mere fact of its existence was enough to keep away any would-be predators, like the British or French seeking a new protectorate, or especially the Japanese, whose motives were unknown at the time.
“With the United States’ post-war slump into isolationism, though, the vultures began to circle. The Republic managed to play the various powers that wanted the strategic and economic advantages of having the Philippines under their influence off of one another for a while, but that could only last for so long, especially with a government growing more and more divided. Eventually, in 1934, the pro-Japanese faction of the Constitutionalists launched a successful coup d’état, taking power with fairly little bloodshed. That didn’t last.
“After the new government’s third delay of elections, many in the Philippines began to notice that the Permanent Assembly—which was a group of representatives chosen to govern while the main Assembly was not in session —was beginning to act more and more like a junta. The response after the fourth delay was swift and violent. Most of the countryside was secured by various militias, and it was here that the Communists first became a major force in Philippine history. They had previously been a minor party under the First Republic, but now held territory in much of the middle Philippines. They began to co-opt most of the other rebel movements there and consolidate their control in the area.
“While they did so, the junta requested the aid of Japan in putting down the rebels. Their answer came in the form of a fleet full of Imperial Japanese Army soldiers, who immediately set about two tasks: the first being the request for aid, and the second being the securing of absolute control over the Philippine Islands. It wasn’t long before it was the local Japanese commander who was ruling the islands, rather than the junta. Not all of the islands, of course—the Communists still held out in the central regions, and the Muslim south had never really been under the rule of the Republic.
“As the tide of the Pacific War  began to turn severely against them, the Japanese were forced to withdraw their troops from the Philippines, leaving behind them a vacuum of various insurgent groups and regions largely without responsible government. The Communists saw their chance here and took it. There being no other organized, determined force in the islands, they quickly secured all of the territory of the former First Republic. This would shortly include the Muslim-controlled south as well, and even the previously technically-independent (though a protectorate of the First Republic) Sultanate of Sulu, though they were somewhat self-governing.
“With support from the Communist International, the Philippines rapidly found themselves with a new set of friends externally, and a new set of enemies. Internally, the situation was much the same. Those who had done well for themselves under the previous regime—or the First Republic—quickly found their livelihoods “redistributed”, if they were lucky. If not, they disappeared. The redistribution soon stopped under the new Communist regime, but the disappearances did not. More on that later. The history of the Communist regime in the Philippines is, like that of the First Republic, very involved for not a lot of major events, though it is worthwhile to go over their ideology a bit.
“The Communist Party of the Philippines was a definitively National Marxian organization —that is, they believed the naturally superior form of government to be a dictatorship of the proletariat, wherein the Communist Party would, as the voice of the proletariat, decide the allocation of the state’s various resources and the best way to bring about Communism in their nation. This led to a pretty much standard, heavily bureaucratic, Communist rule, as Communist states go.
“That orthodox government is all the more surprising when one considers the complete lack of violence involved in its downfall—certainly not standard for many communist regimes. Basically, a reformist leader came into power through the channels of the Party and revealed enough of its dirty secrets—remember those disappearances I mentioned earlier?—that a massive popular movement arose both from the common citizens and from non-high level members of the Party itself. Eventually, the Premier was forced to declare the next elections for the Assembly open to all voters and candidates, not just Party members.
“The Communist Party was swept out on the massive tide of new voters, and the newly elected Assembly voted, as the last act of the Assembly of the People’s Republic of the Philippines, to dissolve the People’s Republic and gather a group of politicians, statesmen, and various political thinkers to write a new Constitution for the Second Republic of the Philippines. With that, the Philippines truly entered the modern era.
“The remainder of Philippine history up to the present has largely been a series of economic successes, balanced by social failures. The Philippines is considered an “Asian Tiger” , one of the fastest-developing states in the region—unsurprising given its potential and peaceful transfer of government encouraging investors. Unfortunately, the predominately Muslim, or Moro, south has grown more and more restless; protests against Manila are frequent there, and as I’m sure you all heard, the central government has been pushed into holding a referendum on independence there. We’ll see how that turns out; the polling there has been pretty scarce, and what has come in has been pretty contradictory.
“Ultimately, nobody really knows what’s next for the Philippines. Most Filipinos hope that they can continue the same economic growth while working past some of the social problems that have been plaguing their country of late. The results of the upcoming referendum should be a pretty good indicator as to whether or not that will turn out to be possible.”
—From a lecture given by Professor Caroline Kennedy at Harvard University on Philippine history in the 20th century
 The biggest PoD. I’m working on another thing regarding American politics ITTL; it should be released soon over at AH.Com.
 Fun fact: this was actually in the Malolos Constitution, the OTL first Philippine constitution.
 Not the Pacific theater of OTL WWII. This is a different thing.
 Means a similar thing to OTL, just different countries involved.
This map is from the world of The Century, a world-building project of mine, in the year 1890. It is also my entry to the current Map of the Fortnight contest over on AH.com, the voting thread for which is here, though please note you'll need an AH.com account to vote. Here’s a quick reminder of the structure of the British Empire ITTL in the 1830s from The Kingdoms of North America:
The Great Convention of 1829-30 came at a very difficult time for the British Empire, but then again it was because the Empire was having difficulties that the Convention was necessary. After many disastrous events, one thing became plain for anyone to see: the Empire was massively, disgustingly, overstretched.
The build up to the Great Convention began with the Cape Wars of 1802-1809, an total disaster for all parties involved. Despite the fact that neither of the rebelling factions actually managed to capture anything and were generally characterized by gross incompetence and panicked disorganization, it still took British forces seven years to regain control of the entire Cape, a worrying sign.
The next major event worrying away at Parliament were the Western Revolts. The Revolts were not exactly wars, closer to a prolonged period of intense unrest in the less-settled west of the American colonies. The King had banned settlement beyond a certain line, but his proclamations were mostly ignored by American colonists hungry for all the land they could get. Unfortunately, this meant they had to set up effectively independent governments, which aren’t exactly taxable. Quite a few Royal Governors eventually got tired of tax revenues slipping out of their fingers, and began clamping down in the west, establishing their own authority and formalizing the governments there. Of course, there was the small problem that the colonists weren’t supposed to be there in the first place. Both the King and Parliament told the colonial governments in no uncertain terms to stop formalizing western settlement. The colonial governments acknowledged this and continued to do it anyway. The central British government was completely unable to do anything, with tensions in Europe holding its attention.
Then, of course, came the War, lasting for nearly eight years and leaving Britain in possession of all the former Dutch colonies across the globe, as well as several other spoils of war including effective control over most of the Indian subcontinent. Needless to say, this was a lot to handle for anyone. Thus, while at first glance, the British Empire seemed to be at its highest peak, it was in fact an overstretched house of cards ready to collapse at the slightest provocation.
Most everyone in positions of power in Britain saw this, and realized that if the Empire was to maintain its power, something would have to be done. Thus, the Convention was called to determine the future course of Britain all over the globe. What finally came out of it, after a drafting and ratification process taking over a year, was a complete restructuring of the British Empire: the Charter.
The Empire would be divided into several categories of state:
Though the first Kingdom created would be that of the Cape, the vast majority of the Kingdoms would be in North America, hammered out of the former Colonies during the Great Convention. They were, of course, fully allowed to settle their western lands (if they had any) and determine their own form of government. Despite this, Pennsylvania was the only Kingdom that really adopted a radical system, having a unicameral parliament with no upper house and no voting requirements. Slavery is still prevalent in many of the southern Kingdoms, though the slave trade has long been abolished and the land is beginning to grow tired in many states. The current hope of HM’s Government is that it may die out on its own in the Kingdoms soon, but no one can be certain.
And now, some of the events in the intervening years:
After a few fixes here and there, the relation of the British Parliament to the various Provinces and Kingdoms was decided. An Imperial Parliament was created, where each Province (as well as Britain proper, which itself effectively became a set of Provinces under the Charter) would send voting members, and the Kingdoms would send “advisory” ones, who effectively acted as lobbyists for their homelands. The Imperial Parliament would decide matters of foreign policy and inter-Provincial/Colonial trade, somewhat akin to the early OTL American federal government. The Great Convention allowed the British Empire to largely overcome its massive overextension by devolving many powers to local authorities, but the Empire proper still had its hands full enough that it was mostly unable to expand for a few decades.
This inability to expand, however, did not extend to the Empire’s various Provinces and Kingdoms. The Hudson’s Bay Company would continue to expand across the western plains, their traders and settlers often illegally entering French Louisiana. Their illegal entries, however, paled in comparison to those from the North American Kingdoms. By the early 1840s, the largest group (with a nearly two-thirds majority of the population) in French Louisiana was settlers from the various Kingdoms. After numerous small-scale and a few not-so-small-scale Anglo settler revolts, the French king recognized the untenability of the situation and elected to sell the relatively unprofitable colony to the British, who created a Province of Louisiana (thanks to the mixing of the Kingdoms’ settlers effectively eliminating their various local identities) after carving off the parts of it above the 50th parallel and adding it to the territory of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was shortly before merged with its rival, the North West Company, into the Province of Rupertia.
Another region that had been subject to heavy Anglo settlement in the 1840s and 50s was the New Spanish provinces of Alta and Baja California, thanks to the discovery of gold in the region. During the Spanish Rising and subsequent civil war that had followed the Great War, New Spain had become effectively self-governing, with the Viceroy of New Spain taking de facto power while still remaining de jure subordinate to the Spanish king. After the civil war, however, with the only remaining Spanish king being the infant pretender in Peru, it was clear a choice had to be made between monarchy and republic. The Viceroy, of course, opted for the former. Much of the populace of New Spain…disagreed. In the subsequent civil conflict, the Californias broke off and formed the Anglo-dominated Republic of California. Unfortunately for the young Republic, the conflict in New Spain was brief, and the winners soon wanted the two breakaway provinces back. So, to preserve their independence, the Californians technically gave it up, becoming the Kingdom of the Californias under the British monarch, with the same privileges and responsibilities as any other Kingdom in North America. This, of course, angered the New Spanish to no end, and there remains animosity between the two powers.
The next great crisis that faced the British Empire came from the jewel at the center of its crown—India. In the Great Revolt of the 1850s, populations across British India rose in rebellion against local and general colonial mismanagement and oppression. While eventually the revolt was put down, it required massive amounts of blood and money to do so, and like OTL, the British government realized that a new approach was needed in India. Unlike OTL, however, the East India Company was not removed, merely reformed. (It was deemed unwise to dissolve it, thanks to its relatively effective governance of possessions in the East Indies, and the sheer cost and effort it would require to set up new government across all of its possessions.) The Empire also did something it had never done before: created non-white Kingdoms. However, these Kingdoms differed distinctly in structure from the ones in North America and the Cape. First of all, most of them were federal in nature, as well as mostly being absolute monarchies with little to no room for democracy. Effectively, what they did was give independence to local princes to run their own affairs, as long as the money kept flowing into Company coffers and the Sepoys kept coming into the Company’s army.
The final major event before 1890 was the Division of Africa. With the rise of new technologies that allowed for the colonization of the previously untamable Africa, representatives of the various colonial powers (the Empire, France, Brazil-Portugal, and to a lesser extent Scandinavia, Sicily, and the various German states) convened in Amsterdam. When the delegates left, they had hammered out a plan for the division of Africa. The Empire, of course, took the lion’s share as not just the premier world power, but the one with the most African territory already held. Construction immediately began on the much-hyped Cape-to-Cairo railway, and was complete within just a few years.
Now, the Empire spans the world much as the Cape-Cairo railway spans Africa. The King-Emperor’s word may not be law in its every corner, but so long as the people there take tea, sing God Save the King, and send (at least observatory) members to Parliament, nobody really minds too much.