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Emiliano Aguinaldo


Emiliano Aguinaldo In the aftermath of the Spanish-American war, Filipinos' elation at throwing off the constraints of Spanish rule was quickly replaced with anger over the prospect of being subject to American domination. The fight for independence had been going on in the Philippines for some time. As far back as 1895, when he was inducted into the secret Katipunan Revolutionary Society, Emiliano Aguinaldo had been deeply involved in efforts to win Filipino independence. Aguinaldo was the mastermind behind the defeat of Spanish regulars in the Battle of Binakayan in 1896.

Appointed president of the revolutionary government in 1897, Aguinaldo helped draw up a constitution for the Filipino people. As part of negotiations with Spanish rulers, he agreed to go into exile in return for Filipino civil rights, Philippine representation in the Spanish parliament, and general amnesty for all freedom fighters.

As the US defeated the Spanish at Manila Bay in 1898, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines only to be discouraged by the prospect of a permanent American military presence. In June 1899, Aguinaldo, in open defiance of the Treaty of Paris, declared National Independence for the Filipino people. This action led to war with the US.

Aguinaldo's forces proved to be more determined and elusive than the US had predicted. Still, after a prolonged and bloody war, Aguinaldo was captured in the mountains of the Isabela province in March 1901. Shortly thereafter he was forced to swear allegiance to the US.
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1898 Treaty of Paris
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