The old regime in the Philippines has disappeared forever. In hardly more than a generation the people have passed from a life which was so remote from the outside contemporary world that they might as well have been living in the middle ages in some sheltered nook, equally protected from the physical violence and the intellectual strife of the outside world, and entirely oblivious of the progress of knowledge. They find themselves suddenly plunged into a current that hurls them along resistlessly. Baptized with fire and blood, a new and strange life is thrust upon them and they face the struggle for existence under conditions which spare no weakness and relentlessly push idleness or incapacity to the wall. What will be the outcome no man can tell. To the student of history and of social evolution it will be an experiment of profound interest.
Edward Gaylord Bourne
Yale University, October, 1902.
Preface to Volume I
The history of the Philippine archipelago is fitly introduced by presenting a group of documents which relate to Pope Alexander VI’s Line of Demarcation between the respective dominions of Spain and Portugal in the recently-discovered New World. So many controversies regarding this line have at various times arisen, and so little on the subject has appeared in the English tongue, that we have thought it well to place before our readers the more important of the documents relating thereto, of which a brief synopsis is here given.
They begin with Alexander’s Bulls—two dated on the third and one on the fourth day of May, 1493. The first of these (commonly known as Inter caetera) grants to. Spain all the lands in the West, recently discovered or yet to be discovered, which are hitherto unknown, and not under the dominion of any Christian prince. The second (Eximiae devotionis, also dated May 3) grants to Spain the same rights in those discoveries which had formerly been conferred on Portugal in Africa. These grants are superseded by the Bull of May 4 (Inter caetera), which establishes the Demarcation Line, and grants to Spain all lands west and south thereof which were not already in the possession of any Christian prince. Still another Bull (dated September 25 of the same year) authorizes Spain to extend her sovereignty also over lands which shall be discovered to the East, including India—thus practically annulling both the Demarcation Line and previous concessions to Portugal. The latter power’s remonstrances against this infringement of her former rights lead to the Treaty of Tordesillas (June 7, 1494), in which, by mutual agreement between the sovereigns, a new line of demarcation is established to be drawn two hundred and seventy leagues farther west than that of Alexander VI; and another document (dated April 15, 1495) makes suitable arrangements for a scientific and equitable determination of this boundary.