Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Through Trial and Tears by ZekSora Through Trial and Tears by ZekSora

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 [1] 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 [2]—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 [3] 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 [4]—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” [4], 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

——————————————

[1] The biggest PoD. I’m working on another thing regarding American politics ITTL; it should be released soon over at AH.Com.

[2] Fun fact: this was actually in the Malolos Constitution, the OTL first Philippine constitution.

[3] Not the Pacific theater of OTL WWII. This is a different thing.

[4] Means a similar thing to OTL, just different countries involved.

Add a Comment:
 
:icondarthasparagus:
DarthAsparagus Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Very nice look.
Reply
:iconzeksora:
ZekSora Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2016
Thank you.
Reply
:iconfridip:
Fridip Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love the artstyle of this map! (But I think you have fogotten the capital of Samar)

I also liked the story alot, it was pretty realistic.
Wouldn't Bisaya be the national language, regarding that a significant majority of the country speaks it? Anyway: I love it :)
Reply
:iconzeksora:
ZekSora Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2016
Dang, I did! Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I can fix that... :/

Thank you! 
Well, Bisaya isn't actually a language; it's a group of languages that are often mutually unintelligible, so no. Glad you like it though!
Reply
:icontullamareena:
Tullamareena Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2016
The layout looks very good neat and professional. The style is very good, it matches the historical theme of the map.
Reply
:iconzeksora:
ZekSora Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2016
Thank you! I'm glad you like the layout/style--I made a more significant effort on it than most of my other maps.
Reply
:iconnanwe01:
nanwe01 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2016
So does this Philippines use Spanish still or did it happen like OTL and the Americans purged it? It's an amazing map.
Reply
:iconzeksora:
ZekSora Featured By Owner Edited Dec 6, 2016
Up until the Communist revolution, a mix of Spanish, native languages, and some English was largely used day-to-day, with Spanish being the official government language. The Communists, however, wishing to purge the Philippines of "colonialist elements", mandated that a heavily modified form of Tagalog be used throughout the nation. That modified form of Tagalog, alternatively called Filipino and Philippine, is the most widely-spoken language in the Second Republic, though many still speak various native languages (especially in Mindanao) and almost everyone over a certain age speaks either Spanish or English as well.

And thank you! Glad you like it.
Reply
:iconzalezsky:
zalezsky Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Absolutely amazing work, I'm in awe
Reply
:iconzeksora:
ZekSora Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2016
Thank you! That really means a lot coming from you; you're an incredibly talented artist. :)
Reply
:iconzalezsky:
zalezsky Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem man! and thanks for the compliment :)
Reply
:iconfederalrepublic:
FederalRepublic Featured By Owner Edited Dec 3, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent piece of work! As someone who has become fascinated by Filipino history earlier this year, this tickles my fancy, especially because it also involves WJB ^^
Reply
:iconzeksora:
ZekSora Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2016
Glad you like it!
Reply
:iconstarlesstrooper2112:
StarlessTrooper2112 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Prepare for the third republic 2017-4937 administered by Duterte's sentient polo shirt
Reply
:iconzeksora:
ZekSora Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2016
Depending on how the referendum goes, the sentient polo shirt might end up administering an independent Mindanao rather than a Third Republic... ;)
Reply
:iconstarlesstrooper2112:
StarlessTrooper2112 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Unless sentient toupee intervenes.
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
December 2, 2016
Image Size
18.1 MB
Resolution
3254×5464
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
795 (1 today)
Favourites
55 (who?)
Comments
16
Downloads
24
×