After more than three hundred years of colonial rule, Filipinos began a revolution against the Spanish empire in August of 1896. By June of 1898, revolutionary forces had managed to overwhelm the Spaniards who were already reeling from the destruction of their navy in the initial days of their war with the United States and had been fatally weakened by the decade-long revolution in Cuba. In the Philippines, a Revolutionary government was formed under the dictatorship of Emilio Aguinaldo. It declared independence, convened a convention to write a constitution and briefly succeeded in forming a Republic led by the wealthiest men of the archipelago by January of 1899. But by February, Filipinos were engulfed in a new war against an emergent U.S. empire that was to last through much of the first decade of the twentieth century, leading to U.S. colonization of the Philippines until 1941.
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