Los Hijos del Pais v3: Two Hundred Years of Solitude, a Philippine TL

This are my questions what type of republican government are the island practicing is it a parliamentary system or a congressional system or a hybrid system. Also is corruption still going to be a huge issue or largely nullified. Also what is the state the Philippines in terms of foreign relation and power projection.
In this early stage, the Philippines has strong leadership and ad hoc systems of representation. It's a parliamentary system with a president as head of state and government. Corruption is not much of a problem, though provincial landlords are a problem thanks to the dissolution of Church lands causing the rise of a wave of new big landowners, who to be fair invest in their lands and in government (actually, I need more knowledge of this part of Philippine socio-history). Still, business is booming, and the nation as a whole is getting richer.

As for foreign relations, the Philippines cozies up to the West fairly easily, careful not to disturb the balance between the big powers. Still, it cannot resist fighting the Dutch in a low-level cold war. Other than that, the Philippines also establishes trade with China, serving as a kind of conduit between East and West.
 
In this early stage, the Philippines has strong leadership and ad hoc systems of representation. It's a parliamentary system with a president as head of state and government. Corruption is not much of a problem, though provincial landlords are a problem thanks to the dissolution of Church lands causing the rise of a wave of new big landowners, who to be fair invest in their lands and in government (actually, I need more knowledge of this part of Philippine socio-history). Still, business is booming, and the nation as a whole is getting richer.

As for foreign relations, the Philippines cozies up to the West fairly easily, careful not to disturb the balance between the big powers. Still, it cannot resist fighting the Dutch in a low-level cold war. Other than that, the Philippines also establishes trade with China, serving as a kind of conduit between East and West.
Okay thanks.
 
The Fracturing
"Walang kaluluwa ang bayang walang wika." - Francisco Balagtas (1)

The 1850s are a time of upheaval for much of the world. For Europe and East Asia alike, it is a time of revolutions and bloody uprisings, and for the Philippines, it is a time of change and questioning of authority, the fruit of the labor of the Sons of the Country as well as their downfall.

Even before the civil war in China, the republic was already chafing under the Palmero-Araneta regime, for all that they had done to establish the nation and expand the economy. Much of this is not due to any one policy, but the pragmatic patterns of the Sons of the Nation causing factionalism within the party. Some felt the party was doing too much to change the nation, others felt that it was going too far. Issues like the centralization of power in Manila become sources of contention, and cracks appear in the unity of the Sons of the Nation.

It all comes to a head in the 1850s, with the election of Araneta's handpicked successor to the Presidency, Mariano Ubaldo Roxas. This is not itself contested, but as his first term wears on, the Roxas government lays down lackluster policies and compromises that antagonize all sides and factions of the increasingly fractued Sons of the Nation. Add to this the flood of Chinese refugees from the revolution of the Taiping in the north, and you have the makings of a new political order. Large swathes break away from the regime to form new parties, supported by some of the officers of the military. This does not lead into coup d'etats or civil wars, but the tension remains and the military, though obliged to defend the nation and the civilian government, is not as of yet expected to be non-partisan.

Anyway, the largest breakaway faction is that of the centralizing, nationalist, and anticlerical Liberal Party, led by the firebrand Ilocano Marcelino Florentino, who gathers the support of the urban poor and middle class to challenge the large landowners who dominate the leadership of the nation. In turn, the old large landowners and the Church break away from the main party as well, forming the Conservative Party, leaving the new large landowners (who form the bulk of the rump party) to form a coalition with the moderate intelligentsia. This last party would call itself the Nationalists.

And thus, with the election of 1854, the Liberals claim the majority of seats in the Assembly as well as the Presidency, inaugurating a new stage in the history of the Philippine Republic.

(1) OTL quote is actually by Padraig Pearse.
 
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The Lay Brotherhoods in the Taiping period

The Cristeros of the 1850s did not come up out of nowhere. They were born first and foremost from the lay brotherhoods which had served as a support for the regime since the Concordat of 1828, and the religious heterodoxy that followed the expulsion of the royalist friars, leaving a sizable power vacuum in the civil administration of the islands. The Old Party (that is, the Palmero-Araneta-Roxas regime and its supporters) had been pragmatic about these societies, allowing them to proliferate and restore a semblance of order on the archipelago. As an ostensibly liberal republic, the ruling regime promoted separation of church and state and allowed the Faith to develop in ways that the Church found heterodox. Some of these societies, however, developed into fanatical millenarian and apocalyptic cults, especially among the peasant faithful in the provinces. Many of these were suppressed by the republican regime for disturbing the peace of the state, one of the many little things the revolutionaries had to deal with over the course of the early 19th century. The rest were left to their own devices, however, and so the lay brotherhoods were mostly subsumed into the establishment, at least in seeming.

But then the native volunteers fight and die on battlefields beyond their homelands, in Vietnam and Indonesia, against the heathens and heretics who would persecute the Faith. And the survivors returning home are set on fire with zeal for the Lord, and these now veteran volunteers establish their own lay associations devoted to Christ, the saints, and the Holy Virgin. These brotherhoods became a strong force in the provinces especially, and with the rise of the anticlerical Marcelino Florentino to the presidency, they would come into their own.
 
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Marcelino Florentino, the Iconoclast (Part 1)
Marcelino Florentino is a controversial figure in the history of the Philippine Republic, a firebrand whose legacy is debated to this day. Liberals see him as a visionary upholding the spirit of the Enlightenment, championing the rights of the common man, and breaking the nation free from the hold of a semi-feudal one-party state. Conservatives, on the other hand, decry him as an atheist who persecuted the Church, forced central government on the provinces, and led the nation into endless culture wars which would ultimately break the republic.

He was born to Ilocano gentry in 1815, before the revolution, a cousin to the main branch of the family, the third of five sons. Not needing to manage the Florentino estate in Vigan like his older brothers, and being a rebellious young man from the beginning, he traveled to Manila to study law, where he became enthralled by the atmosphere of liberty and nationalism. Too young to fight in the War of Independence but even then a patriot at heart, he served in the Philippine Fleet in the early years of the Republic, learning the ways of fleet command during the desultory Dutch wars of the 1830s. The 1840s saw his rise to politics after finishing university degree in law. Even from his university years, he was active in politics, and after his graduation he pursued this path, serving in the left wing of the Old Party as a judge and a member of the Assembly.

In this time, he marries a Chinese mestiza against the wishes of his family, and they would have ten children over the course of the next two decades. Cut off from his family, he establishes his own household in the arrabales of Manila while investing in land to the east in what would be the city of Baja Mariquina. This investment would lead to his ties with the powerful Tuason family and the Chinese-Filipino community as a whole. By the 1850s, Florentino has emerged as a prominent leader in Manila as the old party of the Sons of the Nation loses cohesion. A motley circle of radical liberals, Chinese emigres, and nationalists has formed around him, and he has gained a name for himself as a champion of liberal causes, between extending the as of yet limited franchise to more people, establishing a national public school system, and bringing the Philippine Republic's ad hoc and decentralized systems more in line with a modern nation.

In all these, he clashes with an equally motley coalition of conservatives who want to maintain the existing institutions, reactionaries who want to restore the power of the Church, and regionalists who want more autonomy for their redpective regions. These clashes between a new and rising nationalism and those who oppose this vision would play out over the course of the next few decades as the central drama of Philippine politics, sometimes viciously.

And for its first act, the founding of the Liberal Party, the man Florentino would emerge victorious. As the Old Party of Palmero and Araneta flounders in the midst of a new generation, and as President Roxas struggles to maintain its power through the usual compromises and pragmatic policies, the Liberals and Conservatives split off and go their own way. By 1854, popular mood has turned decidedly Liberal, and Florentino is elected President of the Republic.
 
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So is the Philippines a "Catholic Republic" Like Mexico or is it a secular nation
Secular, but not fully. The Concordat of 1828 in principle made the Philippines a secular nation, but in practice there is still overlap between civil and religious administration, especially with the rise of the lay brotherhoods. Mr. Florentino here is in essence trying to enforce the Concordat and push it to its limits.
 
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Secularization is good, when it is not forced and is started from the church itself. This will not end well for Señor Florentino. On an unrelated note, how is language developing in the country?
 
Secularization is good, when it is not forced and is started from the church itself. This will not end well for Señor Florentino. On an unrelated note, how is language developing in the country?
I agree, but it should not be necessarily started by the church, instead it should be popular among the people
 
You should know that the Catholic church is the most powerful institution in the Philippines during the Spanish Era, they already couped a couple of Governor Generals iotl.
 
Marcelino Florentino, the Iconoclast (Part 2)
Not only is Florentino elected as president in 1854, but he gains a strong enough mandate to impose many of his policies on the nation, with many regions voting Liberals into power across the nation, especially in the cities, where his programs and causes were most felt. His cosmopolitan touch is felt from the selection of his Cabinet to the policies he places down, encouraging trade and industry. And though the Philippines already has an eye on the wider world, it is during the fourth President's administration that the republic asserts itself as a power in its own right, exerting effort to maintain the republic's relationship with the Moro sultanates and Sangley kongsi republics, and most importantly spearheading a coalition to intervene in the Taiping Revolution and securing Taiwan as a protectorate after the dust settles. In this respect, the president's administration is successful, and leads to the extension of Philippine influence across Asia.

This extension of Philippine cultural dominance is a double-edged sword for President Florentino, however, for much of his agenda is in reforming and modernizing the Philippines, and pushing the executive power of the President and central government to its limits. During his term, he liberally interprets the limits of his powers as President to enforce the laws passed by the Assembly, alienating some of his more moderate supporters. Still, he uses these powers to enforce the rights of the people as a whole, including those of the indigenous highlanders, whether of the north or the south.

What really lead into controversy, however, are Florentino's radical land reforms, as well as amendments reinterpreting the Concordat of 1828, focusing on essentially disestablishing the Church and carving out its lands. These are bones of contention that split the party in half, and though the Philippine-led Coalition's victories in China masks and overshadows these laws, they that cause the beginnings of a split in the Liberal Party, between the Radicals -or Young Liberals- who support these laws and the Liberal Nationalists who do not. Fortunately, the Florentino reforms do not lead into outright civil war, but they do lead to the rise of the Cristeros, bands of fanatical bandits whose specter makes life difficult for the central government for the remaining half of the 19th century and well into the 20th. They also lead to the ousting of Florentino himself from the headship of the party after the end of his term of presidency in 1858, in favor of Don Jose Aurelio Tuason of the powerful Tuason clan, a more pragmatic and compromising figure behind whom the majority of the party unites. Still, Tuason is able to retain much of the laws set down by his predecessor.

Florentino meets an unfortunate end, assassinated while campaigning in 1861 by a band of Cristeros on the way to Vigan. His is a mixed legacy, one whose problems and triumphs would cast a shadow over the Republic and its issues to its very end, for better and for worse.
 
Evangelicals in the Philippines

The founding of the republic in the 1830s opened the Philippines up to much more than just trade. It is said the first evangelical missions from Britain and America entered the islands almost the same time as the Constitution was written. This may not be strictly true (the first British missionaries came in 1834, while the first American missionaries came in the 1838), but it does capture the spirit of Filipino evangelicalism, fiercely patriotic as it is faithful to the Lord. It would take much work and some years, however, before the work of the missionaries bore much fruit, however fertile the ground was for planting the Gospel. In the meantime, these Protestant missionaries learned the native tongues and preached in them, bringing out the first Protestant translations of the Bible into the Philippine languages in the early 1850s, ironically basing them on the earlier work done by the Spaniards. These missionaries would also establish some of the first private charities and other organizations in the Philippines, and they would do much to advance Philippine science and technology.

As for the faith, the Protestants would find fertile ground in the republic, especially in the cities, where there is less resistance to Protestant ideas of religion and somewhat less attachment to the Catholic saints. More than a few of the marginalized would convert to the various Christian denominations over the years, and during the Liberal period these converts would increase, forming an urban political force comparable to the rural lay brotherhoods.
 
Also there is no significant criollo population in PI during the Spanish era if I remembered correctly, most of the elites are technically from the decendants of the Filipino royals from the tribal chiefdoms called the principalia
 
Also there is no significant criollo population in PI during the Spanish era if I remembered correctly, most of the elites are technically from the decendants of the Filipino royals from the tribal chiefdoms called the principalia
It's more complicated than that. The Criollos were not as important as in Latin America, but they were there, and they were the first to rebel against the Spaniards. Varela, Novales, the Bayot brothers, and the Palmeros were the first to turn against Spain when Spain turned against them in ingratitude.
 
East Asia in the early 19th century (Part 1: the Cochinchina War)

The Taiping period of East and Southeast Asian history is a time of great societal transformation, a time of revolution and reaction, and this tension and change has its roots in the politics of the time preceding it, most especially in the increasing encroachment of Europe and America upon the region, and the region's various reactions to this. For Southeast Asia, some embraced the West wholesale, as the Philippines and the Southern Vietnamese court seemed to do, while others closed up against the Western tide like the Northern Vietnamese court, and still others mixed and matched according to the mood and the necessity of the time, as Java, Siam, and Aceh did, and as the Philippines in fact did.

For the far more developed polities in the north, the nations of Japan, Korea, and China, the reactions to Western encroachment were more extreme and more varied. For adding to the pressure of modernization was the pride of China which had long stood so firm at the center of the world, and the desire of Japan and Korea to maintain their heritage and independence amidst a changing world, along with the growing population of these nations contributing to social instability.

And so we turn to the incidents that led up to the rise of modern China, Korea, and Japan. The rise of new regimes, and the fall of the old.

In China, the Qing dynasty had prospered since its foundation, but had reached a peak in the last years of the last century. The rot of corruption had started to set in, with Heshen the Manchu being but the most brazen and obvious of China's embezzlers, and the White Lotus Rebellion of 1794-1804 had sapped the empire of its strength and remaining wealth. And of course, the Macartney Embassy, though at the time a minor event, was a prelude of things to come. Through the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor and into the first years of the reign of his son the Daoguang Emperor, not much changes from OTL. Then Vietnam gets divided in two by pro-Western forces in the 1830s, forces aided by Filipino filibusteros, who are officially neither condoned nor condemned by their mother country. This, in addition to British smuggling of opium into the empire, had antagonized the Qing to the breaking point, and so they attempted to intervene in Vietnam to 'restore righteous rule over the rebellious south' in the late 1830s.

By this point, however, the southern Vietnamese court, being more accommodating to Westerners, had the recognition and interest of the British, who themselves intervened to support the developing Le regime. For the British, this war against the 'Christian-killing Chinamen and their Vietnamese slaves' covered up the outrage over the opium trade, making the Cochinchina War a seemingly moral imperative and persuading the British government to declare war on the Qing.

The Cochinchina War, begun in 1835 in Saigon and concluded in 1838 with the Treaty of Amoy, was the beginning of the end for the Qing dynasty. The abject defeat of the Qing at the hands of the British had proven their vulnerability to foreign influence. The sharks of the West began circling, smelling blood in the water, and slowly but surely the powers of the West began to test just how far they could go, and it is in this atmosphere of defeat that a new order would rise...
 
Secularization is good, when it is not forced and is started from the church itself. This will not end well for Señor Florentino. On an unrelated note, how is language developing in the country?
For language, I should make a post about that eventually, but basically:

As of the beginning of the Taiping period, Spanish and Tagalog are both functionally national lingua francas, with Spanish having more official backing, but this changes gradually. Spanish retains its value in the cities among the elite, but the native tongues have a life of their own and are championed by such illustrious figures as Francisco Balagtas, as has been mentioned earlier. Because of trade with the British, French, and Americans, French and English are also spoken and read in the cities, especially by the young intelligentsia. The Chinese languages are also widely spoken by the Chinese-Filipino community, also mostly in the cities and dominated by Hokkien.
 
East Asia in the early 19th century (Part 2: the Munjo era)
The humiliation of the 1838 Treaty of Amoy was a watershed moment for the nations of East Asia as the Qing and its neighbors were slowly, and in many cases reluctantly, forced to confront the changing world. The Treaty of Amoy was followed by other treaties that opened the markets of China up to the merchants of other powers, and especially to those of the Philippines, many of whom were already of Chinese heritage and capitalized on their connections to build massive fortunes, which would be one of the factors in the rise of Florentino's Liberal Party. In any case, the unequal treaties in China would lead to the expansion of trade with other powers in the region, and foster various reactions to it.


The kingdom of Joseon, for centuries holding to the traditions and social order established by the Yi dynasty and ossified by many decades of peace, was shaken to its core by the defeat of what seemed to be the greatest power on earth by barbarians from distant shores. And these same barbarians had come to its shores as well. Even before the Treaty, the kingdom was already unstable, dealing with scholarly factionalism and constant rebellions by malcontents behind the aloof isolationism it had projected for decades.

The reign of the young Crown Prince Hyomeong as King Munjo, starting with his ascension to the throne in 1834, was fraught with disputes and discontent, which only increased with the end of the Cochinchina War and the shaking of the very foundations of the kingdom's foundation. With the encroachment of the West, the tension and instability only grew as the Silhak scholars contended with the Neo-Confucians for influence over the kingdom, and the Silhak scholars themselves became divided over Western ideas, the radical Western-inclined scholars forming their own clique as the Silhak as a whole won out over the Neo-Confucians. However, Munjo having thrown his lot in with the Silhak did much to unite it against the metaphysical abstractions and social rigidity of the Neo-Confucians. As for foreign affairs, the king formed treaties of his own with the Westerners, sending scholars and envoys to the Philippines and the West to learn their ways and keeping a careful balance. Such was the state of affairs in the 1850s.
 
East Asia in the early 19th century (Part 3: the Brooke Expedition)

As for Japan, the Tokugawa shogunate was also dealing with the encroachment of the West and the opportunities & dangers it brought. Minor incidents had come and gone over the years preceding the Treaty of Amoy, incidents which kept the shogunate on edge. Following it, the incidents became decidedly less minor, and the early 1840s were a time of anxiety as the wooden castles that broke the Qing came ever closer to the shores and harbors of the Land of the Rising Sun. This would culminate in the 1844-1845 British expedition led by the by now seasoned adventurer-diplomat James Brooke. Though the man was more used to fighting pirates in the tropical south alongside Filipino filibusteros than negotiating terms for trade with the proud and honor-bound Japanese shogunate, Brooke was an adaptable man, and knew how to deal with people as a whole. He also accumulated a circle of friends from various cultures and walks of life in the port of Manila, friends who - in addition to being an treasury of information for both British and Philippine interests - would prove vital in accomplishing the British mission to Japan. Translators and soldiers skilled in the art of war and diplomacy were especially vital.

After a couple of visits and some threats of force, the shogunate was forced to concede. With the Hamamatsu Treaty of 1845, the Brooke expedition once and for all broke the shogunate's isolationist policy, as it was followed by several other treaties with the Philippines, France, Germany, Russia, and (in the 1850s) the USA. These concessions to the barbarians broke the pride and legitimacy of the government in the eyes of many in the nation, and so began a new chapter in the history of Japan, a time of tension and questioning authority.
 
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