Conquest and Pestilence in the Early Spanish Philippines

Front Cover
University of Hawaii Press, 2009 - History - 420 pages
0 Reviews
Scholars have long assumed that Spanish colonial rule had only a limited demographic impact on the Philippines. Filipinos, they believed, had acquired immunity to Old World diseases prior to Spanish arrival; conquest was thought to have been more benign than what took place in the Americas because of more enlightened colonial policies introduced by Philip II. Conquest and Pestilence in the Early Spanish Philippines illuminates the demographic history of the Spanish Philippines in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and, in the process, challenges these assumptions. In this provocative new work, Linda Newson convincingly demonstrates that the Filipino population suffered a significant decline in the early colonial period. Newson argues that the sparse population of the islands meant that Old World diseases could not become endemic in pre-Spanish times. She also shows that the initial conquest of the Philippines was far bloodier than has often been supposed and that subsequent Spanish demands for tribute, labor, and land brought socioeconomic transformations and depopulation that were prolonged beyond the early conquest years. Comparisons are made with the impact of Spanish colonial rule in the Americas. Newson adopts a regional approach and examines critically each major area in Luzon and the Visayas in turn. Building on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, she proposes a new estimate for the population of the Visayas and Luzon of 1.57 million in 1565--slightly higher than that suggested by previous studies--and calculates that by the mid-seventeenth century this figure may have fallen by about two-thirds.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

PARTI INTRODUCTION
3
The Role of Disease
10
Colonial Realities and Population Decline
24
Interpreting the Evidence
37
Conquest and Depopulation before 1600
53
Wars and Missionaries in
80
Manila and Tondo
115
Southwest Luzon
133
Ilocos and Pangasinan
179
Cagayan
201
Interior Luzon
218
Demographic Change in
251
Abbreviations
313
Glossary
381
Index
407
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

-->Linda A. Newson -->is a Professor of Geography at King's College London. She is the author of several books, including Indian Survival in Colonial Nicaragua, also published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Bibliographic information