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Author Topic: Lineage Life and Labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine Patriot  (Read 1143 times)


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Lineage Life and Labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine Patriot
« on: February 21, 2008, 09:13:26 pm »
Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders


A Study of the Growth of Free Ideas in the Trans-Pacific American







Chapter 1
America's Forerunner

THE lineage of a hero who made the history of his country during its
most critical period, and whose labors constitute its hope for the
future, must be more than a simple list of an ascending line. The blood
which flowed in his veins must be traced generation by generation,
the better to understand the man, but at the same time the causes
leading to the conditions of his times must be noted, step by step,
in order to give a better understanding of the environment in which
he lived and labored.

The study of the growth of free ideas is now in the days of our
democracy the most important feature of Philippine history; hitherto
this history has consisted of little more than lists of governors,
their term of office, and of the recital of such incidents as were
considered to redound to the glory of Spain, or could be so twisted
and misrepresented as to make them appear to do so. It rarely occurred
to former historians that the lamp of experience might prove a light
for the feet of future generations, and the mistakes of the past
were usually ignored or passed over, thus leaving the way open for
repeating the old errors. But profit, not pride, should be the object
of the study of the past, and our historians of today very largely
concern themselves with mistakes in policy and defects of system;
fortunately for them such critical investigation under our changed
conditions does not involve the discomfort and danger that attended
it in the days of Doctor Rizal.

In the opinion of the martyred Doctor, criticism of the right
sort--even the very best things may be abused till they become
intolerable evils--serves much the same useful warning purpose
for governments that the symptoms of sickness do for persons. Thus
government and individual alike, when advised in time of something
wrong with the system, can seek out and correct the cause before
serious consequences ensue. But the nation that represses honest
criticism with severity, like the individual who deadens his symptoms
with dangerous drugs, is likely to be lulled into a false security
that may prove fatal. Patriot toward Spain and the Philippines alike,
Rizal tried to impress this view upon the government of his day,
with fatal results to himself, and the disastrous effects of not
heeding him have since justified his position.

The very defenses of Old Manila illustrate how the Philippines have
suffered from lack of such devoted, honest and courageous critics as
Jose Rizal. The city wall was built some years later than the first
Spanish occupation to keep out Chinese pirates after Li Ma-hong
destroyed the city. The Spaniards sheltered themselves in the old
Tagalog fort till reenforcements could come from the country. No one
had ever dared to quote the proverb about locking the door after the
horse was stolen. The need for the moat, so recently filled in, was
not seen until after the bitter experience of the easy occupation of
Manila by the English, but if public opinion had been allowed free
expression this experience might have been avoided. And the free
space about the walls was cleared of buildings only after these same
buildings had helped to make the same occupation of the city easier,
yet there were many in Manila who foresaw the danger but feared to
foretell it.

Had the people of Spain been free to criticise the Spaniards' way of
waiting to do things until it is too late, that nation, at one time the
largest and richest empire in the world, would probably have been saved
from its loss of territory and its present impoverished condition. And
had the early Filipinos, to whom splendid professions and sweeping
promises were made, dared to complain of the Peninsular policy of
procrastination--the "manana" habit, as it has been called--Spain
might have been spared Doctor Rizal's terrible but true indictment
that she retarded Philippine progress, kept the Islands miserably
ruled for 333 years and in the last days of the nineteenth century was
still permitting mediaeval malpractices. Rizal did not believe that
his country was able to stand alone as a separate government. He
therefore desired to preserve the Spanish sovereignty in the
Philippines, but he desired also to bring about reforms and conditions
conducive to advancement. To this end he carefully pointed out those
colonial shortcomings that caused friction, kept up discontent, and
prevented safe progress, and that would have been perfectly easy to
correct. Directly as well as indirectly, the changes he proposed were
calculated to benefit the homeland quite as much as the Philippines,
but his well-meaning efforts brought him hatred and an undeserved
death, thus proving once more how thankless is the task of telling
unpleasant truths, no matter how necessary it may be to do so. Because
Rizal spoke out boldly, while realizing what would probably be his
fate, history holds him a hero and calls his death a martyrdom. He
was not one of those popularity-seeking, self-styled patriots who are
ever mouthing "My country, right or wrong;" his devotion was deeper
and more disinterested. When he found his country wrong he willingly
sacrificed himself to set her right. Such unselfish spirits are rare;
in life they are often misunderstood, but when time does them justice,
they come into a fame which endures.

Doctor Rizal knew that the real Spain had generous though sluggish
intentions, and noble though erratic impulses, but it awoke too late;
too late for Doctor Rizal and too late to save the Philippines for
Spain; tardy reforms after his death were useless and the loss of
her overseas possessions was the result. Doctor Rizal lost when he
staked his life on his trust in the innate sense of honor of Spain,
for that sense of honor became temporarily blinded by a sudden but
fatal gust of passion; and it took the shock of the separation to
rouse the dormant Spanish chivalry.

Still in the main Rizal's judgment was correct, and he was the victim
of mistimed, rather than of misplaced, confidence, for as soon as
the knowledge of the real Rizal became known to the Spanish people,
belated justice began to be done his memory, and then, repentant and
remorseful, as is characteristically Castilian, there was little delay
and no half-heartedness. Another name may now be grouped with Columbus
and Cervantes among those to whom Spain has given imprisonment in
life and monuments after death--chains for the man and chaplets for
his memory. In 1896, during the few days before he could be returned
to Manila, Doctor Rizal occupied a dungeon in Montjuich Castle in
Barcelona; while on his way to assist the Spanish soldiers in Cuba
who were stricken with yellow fever, he was shipped and sent back to
a prejudged trial and an unjust execution. Fifteen years later the
Catalan city authorities commemorated the semi-centennial of this
prisoner's birth by changing, in his honor, the name of a street in
the shadow of the infamous prison of Montjuich Castle to "Calle del
Doctor Rizal."

More instances of this nature are not cited since they are not
essential to the proper understanding of Rizal's story, but let it be
made clear once for all that whatever harshness may be found in the
following pages is directed solely to those who betrayed the trust
of the mother country and selfishly abused the ample and unrestrained
powers with which Spain invested them.

And what may seem the exaltation of the Anglo-Saxons at the expense of
the Latins in these pages is intended only to point out the superiority
of their ordered system of government, with its checks and balances,
its individual rights and individual duties, under which men are
"free to live by no man's leave, underneath the Law." No human being
can be safely trusted with unlimited power, and no man, no matter
what his nationality, could have withstood the temptations offered by
the chaotic conditions in the Philippines in past times any better
than did the Spaniards. There is nothing written in this book that
should convey the opinion that in similar circumstances men of any
nationality would not have acted as the Spaniards did. The easiest
recognized characteristic of absolutism, and all the abuses and
corruption it brings in its train, is fear of criticism, and Spain
drew her own indictment in the Philippines when she executed Rizal.

When any nation sets out to enroll all its scholarly critics among
the martyrs in the cause of Liberty, it makes an open confession of
guilt to all the world. For a quarter of a century Spain had been
ruling in the Philippines by terrorizing its subjects there, and
Rizal's execution, with utter disregard of the most elementary rules
of judicial procedure, was the culmination that drove the Filipinos
to desperation and arrested the attention of the whole civilized
world. It was evident that Rizal's fate might have been that of any
of his countrymen, and the thinking world saw that events had taken
such a course in the Philippines that it had become justifiable for
the Filipinos to attempt to dissolve the political bands which had
connected them with Spain for over three centuries.

Such action by the Filipinos would not have been warranted by a
solitary instance of unjust execution under stress of political
excitement that did not indicate the existence of a settled
policy. Such instances are rather to be classed among the mistakes
to which governments as well as individuals are liable. Yet even such
a mistake may be avoided by certain precautions which experience has
suggested, and the nation that disregards these precautions is justly
open to criticism.

Our present Philippine government guarantees to its citizens as
fundamental rights, that no person shall be held to answer for a
capital crime unless on an indictment, nor may he be compelled in any
criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life,
liberty or property without due process of law. The accused must have
a speedy, public and impartial trial, be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation, be confronted with the witnesses against him,
have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and have
the assistance of counsel for his defense. Not one of these safeguards
protected Doctor Rizal except that he had an "open trial," if that name
may be given to a courtroom filled with his enemies openly clamoring
for his death without rebuke from the court. Even the presumption of
innocence till guilt was established was denied him. These precautions
have been considered necessary for every criminal trial, but the
framers of the American Constitution, fearful lest popular prejudice
some day might cause injustice to those advocating unpopular ideals,
prohibited the irremediable penalty of death upon a charge of treason
except where the testimony of two reliable witnesses established some
overt act, inference not being admissible as evidence.

Such protection was not given the subjects of Spain, but still, with
all the laxity of the Spanish law, and even if all the charges had been
true, which they were far from being, no case was made out against
Doctor Rizal at his trial. According to the laws then in effect, he
was unfairly convicted and he should be considered innocent; for this
reason his life will be studied to see what kind of hero he was, and
no attempt need be made to plead good character and honest intentions
in extenuation of illegal acts. Rizal was ever the advocate of law,
and it will be found, too, that he was always consistently law-abiding.

Though they are in the Orient, the Filipinos are not of it. Rizal once
said, upon hearing of plans for a Philippine exhibit at a European
World's Fair, that the people of Europe would have a chance to see
themselves as they were in the Middle Ages. With allowances for the
changes due to climate and for the character of the country, this
statement can hardly be called exaggerated. The Filipinos in the
last half of the nineteenth century were not Orientals but mediaeval
Europeans--to the credit of the early Castilians but to the discredit
of the later Spaniards.

The Filipinos of the remoter Christian barrios, whom Rizal had in mind
particularly, were in customs, beliefs and advancement substantially
what the descendants of Legaspi's followers might have been had these
been shipwrecked on the sparsely inhabited islands of the Archipelago
and had their settlement remained shut off from the rest of the world.

Except where foreign influence had accidentally crept in at the
ports, it could truthfully be said that scarcely perceptible advance
had been made in three hundred years. Succeeding Spaniards by their
misrule not only added little to the glorious achievement of their
ancestors, but seemed to have prevented the natural progress which
the land would have made.

In one form or another, this contention was the basis of Rizal's
campaign. By careful search, it is true, isolated instances of
improvement could be found, but the showing at its very best was
so pitifully poor that the system stood discredited. And it was the
system to which Rizal was opposed.

The Spaniards who engaged in public argument with Rizal were
continually discovering, too late to avoid tumbling into them, logical
pitfalls which had been carefully prepared to trap them. Rizal argued
much as he played chess, and was ever ready to sacrifice a pawn to
be enabled to say "check." Many an unwary opponent realized after
he had published what he had considered a clever answer that the
same reasoning which scored a point against Rizal incontrovertibly
established the Kalamban's major premise.

Superficial antagonists, to the detriment of their own reputations,
have made much of what they chose to consider Rizal's historical
errors. But history is not merely chronology, and his representation
of its trend, disregarding details, was a masterly tracing of current
evils to their remote causes. He may have erred in some of his minor
statements; this will happen to anyone who writes much, but attempts to
discredit Rizal on the score of historical inaccuracy really reflect
upon the captious critics, just as a draftsman would expose himself
to ridicule were he to complain of some famous historical painting
that it had not been drawn to exact scale. Rizal's writings were
intended to bring out in relief the evils of the Spanish system of
the government of the Filipino people, just as a map of the world
may put the inhabited portions of the earth in greater prominence
than those portions that are not inhabited. Neither is exact in its
representation, but each serves its purpose the better because it
magnifies the important and minimizes the unimportant.

In his disunited and abased countrymen, Rizal's writings aroused, as he
intended they should, the spirit of nationality, of a Fatherland which
was not Spain, and put their feet on the road to progress. What matters
it, then, if his historical references are not always exhaustive, and
if to make himself intelligible in the Philippines he had to write in
a style possibly not always sanctioned by the Spanish Academy? Spain
herself had denied to the Filipinos a system of education that
might have made a creditable Castilian the common language of the
Archipelago. A display of erudition alone does not make an historian,
nor is purity, propriety and precision in choosing words all there
is to literature.

Rizal charged Spain unceasingly with unprogressiveness in the
Philippines, just as he labored and planned unwearyingly to bring
the Filipinos abreast of modern European civilization. But in his
appeals to the Spanish conscience and in his endeavors to educate his
countrymen he showed himself as practical as he was in his arguments,
ever ready to concede nonessentials in name and means if by doing so
progress could be made.

Because of his unceasing efforts for a wiser, better governed and
more prosperous Philippines, and because of his frank admission that
he hoped thus in time there might come a freer Philippines, Rizal was
called traitor to Spain and ingrate. Now honest, open criticism is
not treason, and the sincerest gratitude to those who first brought
Christian civilization to the Philippines should not shut the eyes to
the wrongs which Filipinos suffered from their successors. But until
the latest moment of Spanish rule, the apologists of Spain seemed to
think that they ought to be able to turn away the wrath evoked by the
cruelty and incompetence that ran riot during centuries, by dwelling
upon the benefits of the early days of the Spanish dominion.

Wearisome was the eternal harping on gratitude which at one time was
the only safe tone for pulpit, press and public speech; it irritating
because it ignored questions of current policy, and it was discouraging
to the Filipinos who were reminded by it of the hopeless future for
their country to which time had brought no progress. But with all the
faults and unworthiness of the later rulers, and the inane attempts
of their parasites to distract attention from these failings, there
remains undimmed the luster of Spain's early fame. The Christianizing
which accompanied her flag upon the mainland and islands of the
New World is its imperishable glory, and the transformation of the
Filipino people from Orientals into mediaeval Europeans through the
colonizing genius of the early Castilians, remains a marvel unmatched
in colonial history and merits the lasting gratitude of the Filipino.

Doctor Rizal satirized the degenerate descendants and scored the
unworthy successors, but his writings may be searched in vain for
wholesale charges against the Spanish nation such as Spanish scribblers
were forever directing against all Filipinos, past, present and future,
with an alleged fault of a single one as a pretext. It will be found
that he invariably recognized that the faithful first administrators
and the devoted pioneer missionaries had a valid claim upon the
continuing gratitude of the people of Tupa's and Lakandola's land.

Rizal's insight discerned, and experience has demonstrated, that
Legaspi, Urdaneta and those who were like them, laid broad and firm
foundations for a modern social and political organization which
could be safely and speedily established by reforms from above. The
early Christianizing civilizers deserve no part of the blame for
the fact that Philippine ports were not earlier opened to progress,
but much credit is due them that there is succeeding here an orderly
democracy such as now would be impossible in any neighboring country.

The Philippine patriot would be the first to recognize the justice
of the selection of portraits which appear with that of Rizal upon
the present Philippine postage stamps, where they serve as daily
reminders of how free government came here.

The constancy and courage of a Portuguese sailor put these Islands into
touch with the New World with which their future progress was to be
identified. The tact and honesty of a civil official from Mexico made
possible the almost bloodless conquest which brought the Filipinos
under the then helpful rule of Spain. The bequest of a far-sighted
early philanthropist was the beginning of the water system of Manila,
which was a recognition of the importance of efforts toward improving
the public health and remains a reminder of how, even in the darkest
days of miseries and misgovernment, there have not been wanting
Spaniards whose ideal of Spanish patriotism was to devote heart,
brain and wealth to the welfare of the Filipinos. These were the
heroes of the period of preparation.

The life of the one whose story is told in these pages was devoted
and finally sacrificed to dignify their common country in the eyes
of his countrymen, and to unite them in a common patriotism; he
inculcated that self-respect which, by leading to self-restraint and
self-control, makes self-government possible; and sought to inspire
in all a love of ordered freedom, so that, whether under the flag
of Spain or any other, or by themselves, neither tyrants (caciques)
nor slaves (those led by caciques) would be possible among them.

And the change itself came through an American President who
believed, and practiced the belief, that nations owed obligations
to other nations just as men had duties toward their fellow-men. He
established here Liberty through Law, and provided for progress in
general education, which should be a safeguard to good government as
well, for an enlightened people cannot be an oppressed people. Then
he went to war against the Philippines rather than deceive them,
because the Filipinos, who repeatedly had been tricked by Spain with
unfulfilled promises, insisted on pledges which he had not the power to
give. They knew nothing of what was meant by the rule of the people,
and could not conceive of a government whose head was the servant
and not the master. Nor did they realize that even the voters might
not promise for the future, since republicanism requires that the
government of any period shall rule only during the period that it
is in the majority. In that war military glory and quick conquest
were sacrificed to consideration for the misled enemy, and every
effort was made to minimize the evils of warfare and to gain the
confidence of the people. Retaliation for violations of the usages of
civilized warfare, of which Filipinos at first were guilty through
their Spanish training, could not be entirely prevented, but this
retaliation contrasted strikingly with the Filipinos' unhappy past
experiences with Spanish soldiers. The few who had been educated out
of Spain and therefore understood the American position were daily
reenforced by those persons who became convinced from what they saw,
until a majority of the Philippine people sought peace. Then the
President of the United States outlined a policy, and the history
and constitution of his government was an assurance that this policy
would be followed; the American government then began to do what it
had not been able to promise.

The forerunner and the founder of the present regime in these Islands,
by a strange coincidence, were as alike in being cruelly misunderstood
in their lifetimes by those whom they sought to benefit as they were
in the tragedy of their deaths, and both were unjustly judged by many,
probably well-meaning, countrymen.

Magellan, Legaspi, Carriedo, Rizal and McKinley, heroes of the free
Philippines, belonged to different times and were of different types,
but their work combined to make possible the growing democracy of
to-day. The diversity of nationalities among these heroes is an added
advantage, for it recalls that mingling of blood which has developed
the Filipinos into a strong people.

England, the United States and the Philippines are each composed
of widely diverse elements. They have each been developed by
adversity. They have each honored their severest critics while yet
those critics lived. Their common literature, which tells the story
of human liberty in its own tongue, is the richest, most practical
and most accessible of all literature, and the popular education upon
which rests the freedom of all three is in the same democratic tongue,
which is the most widely known of civilized languages and the only
unsycophantic speech, for it stands alone in not distinguishing by
its use of pronouns in the second person the social grade of the
individual addressed.

The future may well realize Rizal's dream that his country should
be to Asia what England has been to Europe and the United States
is in America, a hope the more likely to be fulfilled since the
events of 1898 restored only associations of the earlier and happier
days of the history of the Philippines. The very name now used is
nearer the spelling of the original Philipinas than the Filipinas
of nineteenth century Spanish usage. The first form was used until
nearly a century ago, when it was corrupted along with so many things
of greater importance.

The Philippines at first were called "The Islands of the West," as
they are considered to be occidental and not oriental. They were made
known to Europe as a sequel to the discoveries of Columbus. Conquered
and colonized from Mexico, most of their pious and charitable
endowments, churches, hospitals, asylums and colleges, were endowed
by philanthropic Mexicans. Almost as long as Mexico remained Spanish
the commerce of the Philippines was confined to Mexico, and the
Philippines were a part of the postal system of Mexico and dependent
upon the government of Mexico exactly as long as Mexico remained
Spanish. They even kept the new world day, one day behind Europe,
for a third of a century longer. The Mexican dollars continued to be
their chief coins till supplanted, recently, by the present peso,
and the highbuttoned white coat, the "americana," by that name was
in general use long years ago. The name America is frequently to be
found in the old baptismal registers, for a century or more ago many
a Filipino child was so christened, and in the '70's Rizal's carving
instructor, because so many of the best-made articles he used were
of American manufacture, gave the name "Americano" to a godchild. As
Americans, Filipinos were joined with the Mexicans when King Ferdinand
VII thanked his subjects in both countries for their loyalty during
the Napoleonic wars. Filipino students abroad found, too, books about
the Philippines listed in libraries and in booksellers' catalogues
as a branch of "Americana."

Nor was their acquaintance confined to Spanish Americans. The name
"English" was early known. Perhaps no other was more familiar in
the beginning, for it was constantly execrated by the Spaniards,
and in consequence secretly cherished by those who suffered wrongs
at their hands.

Magellan had lost his life in his attempted circumnavigation of the
globe and Elcano completed the disastrous voyage in a shattered ship,
minus most of its crew. But Drake, an Englishman, undertook the same
voyage, passed the Straits in less time than Magellan, and was the
first commander in his own ship to put a belt around the earth. These
facts were known in the Philippines, and from them the Filipinos drew
comparisons unfavorable to the boastful Spaniards.

When the rich Philippine galleon Santa Ana was captured off the
California coast by Thomas Candish, "three boys born in Manila"
were taken on board the English ships. Afterwards Candish sailed into
the straits south of "Lucon" and made friends with the people of the
country. There the Filipinos promised "both themselves, and all the
islands thereabouts, to aid him whensoever he should come again to
overcome the Spaniards."

Dampier, another English sea captain, passed through the Archipelago
but little later, and one of his men, John Fitzgerald by name, remained
in the Islands, marrying here. He pretended to be a physician, and
practiced as a doctor in Manila. There was no doubt room for him,
because when Spain expelled the Moors she reduced medicine in her
country to a very low state, for the Moors had been her most skilled
physicians. Many of these Moors who were Christians, though not
orthodox according to the Spanish standard, settled in London, and
the English thus profited by the persecution, just as she profited
when the cutlery industry was in like manner transplanted from Toledo
to Sheffield.

The great Armada against England in Queen Elizabeth's time was an
attempt to stop once for all the depredations of her subjects on
Spain's commerce in the Orient. As the early Spanish historian, Morga,
wrote of it: "Then only the English nation disturbed the Spanish
dominion in that Orient. Consequently King Philip desired not only
to forbid it with arms near at hand, but also to furnish an example,
by their punishment, to all the northern nations, so that they should
not undertake the invasions that we see. A beginning was made in this
work in the year one thousand five hundred and eighty-eight."

This ingeniously worded statement omits to tell how ignominiously
the pretentious expedition ended, but the fact of failure remained
and did not help the prestige of Spain, especially among her subjects
in the Far East. After all the boastings of what was going to happen,
and all the claims of what had been accomplished, the enemies of Spain
not only were unchecked but appeared to be bolder than ever. Some of
the more thoughtful Filipinos then began to lose confidence in Spanish
claims. They were only a few, but their numbers were to increase as
the years went by. The Spanish Armada was one of the earliest of those
influences which, reenforced by later events, culminated in the life
work of Jose Rizal and the loss of the Philippines by Spain.

At that time the commerce of Manila was restricted to the galleon
trade with Mexico, and the prosperity of the Filipino merchants--in
large measure the prosperity of the entire Archipelago--depended
upon the yearly ventures the hazard of which was not so much the
ordinary uncertainty of the sea as the risk of capture by English
freebooters. Everybody in the Philippines had heard of these daring
English mariners, who were emboldened by an almost unbroken series of
successes which had correspondingly discouraged the Spaniards. They
carried on unceasing war despite occasional proclamation of peace
between England and Spain, for the Spanish treasure ships were
tempting prizes, and though at times policy made their government
desire friendly relations with Spain, the English people regarded
all Spaniards as their natural enemies and all Spanish property as
their legitimate spoil.

The Filipinos realized earlier than the Spaniards did that torturing to
death shipwrecked English sailors was bad policy. The result was always
to make other English sailors fight more desperately to avoid a similar
fate. Revenge made them more and more aggressive, and treaties made
with Spain were disregarded because, as they said, Spain's inhumanity
had forfeited her right to be considered a civilized country.

It was less publicly discussed, but equally well known, that the
English freebooters, besides committing countless depredations
on commerce, were always ready to lend their assistance to any
discontented Spanish subjects whom they could encourage into open

The English word Filibuster was changed into "Filibusteros" by the
Spanish, and in later years it came to be applied especially to those
charged with stirring up discontent and rebellion. For three centuries,
in its early application to the losses of commerce, and in its later
use as denoting political agitation, possibly no other word in the
Philippines, outside of the ordinary expressions of daily life, was
so widely known, and certainly none had such sinister signification.

In contrast to this lawless association is a similarity of laws. The
followers of Cortez, it will be remembered, were welcomed in Mexico
as the long-expected "Fair Gods" because of their blond complexions
derived from a Gothic ancestry. Far back in history their forbears
had been neighbors of the Anglo-Saxons in the forests of Germany,
so that the customs of Anglo-Saxon England and of the Gothic
kingdom of Castile had much in common. The "Laws of the Indies,"
the disregard of which was the ground of most Filipino complaints
up to the very last days of the rule of Spain, was a compilation
of such of these Anglo-Saxon-Castilian laws and customs as it was
thought could be extended to the Americas, originally called the New
Kingdom of Castile, which included the Philippine Archipelago. Thus
the New England township and the Mexican, and consequently the early
Philippine pueblo, as units of local government are nearly related.

These American associations, English influences, and Anglo-Saxon ideals
also culminated in the life work of Jose Rizal, the heir of all the
past ages in Philippine history. But other causes operating in his
own day--the stories of his elders, the incidents of his childhood,
the books he read, the men he met, the travels he made--as later
pages will show--contributed further to make him the man he was.

It was fortunate for the Philippines that after the war of
misunderstanding with the United States there existed a character that
commanded the admiration of both sides. Rizal's writings revealed to
the Americans aspirations that appealed to them and conditions that
called forth their sympathy, while the Filipinos felt confidence,
for that reason, in the otherwise incomprehensible new government
which honored their hero.

Rizal was already, and had been for years, without rival as the idol
of his countrymen when there came, after deliberation and delay, his
official recognition in the Philippines. Necessarily there had to be
careful study of his life and scrutiny of his writings before the head
of our nation could indorse as the corner stone of the new government
which succeeded Spain's misrule, the very ideas which Spain had
considered a sufficient warrant for shooting their author as a traitor.

Finally the President of the United States in a public address at
Fargo, North Dakota, on April 7, 1903--five years after American
scholars had begun to study Philippine affairs as they had never
been studied before--declared: "In the Philippine Islands the
American government has tried, and is trying, to carry out exactly
what the greatest genius and most revered patriot ever known in the
Philippines, Jose Rizal, steadfastly advocated," a formal, emphatic
and clear-cut expression of national policy upon a question then of
paramount interest.

In the light of the facts of Philippine history already set forth
there is no cause for wonder at this sweeping indorsement, even
though the views so indorsed were those of a man who lived in
conditions widely different from those about to be introduced by
the new government. Rizal had not allowed bias to influence him in
studying the past history of the Philippines, he had been equally
honest with himself in judging the conditions of his own time, and
he knew and applied with the same fairness the teaching which holds
true in history as in every other branch of science that like causes
under like conditions must produce like results, He had been careful in
his reasoning, and it stood the test, first of President Roosevelt's
advisers, or otherwise that Fargo speech would never have been made,
and then of all the President's critics, or there would have been
heard more of the statement quoted above which passed unchallenged,
but not, one may be sure, uninvestigated.

The American system is in reality not foreign to the Philippines,
but it is the highest development, perfected by experience, of the
original plan under which the Philippines had prospered and progressed
until its benefits were wrongfully withheld from them. Filipino
leaders had been vainly asking Spain for the restoration of their
rights and the return to the system of the Laws of the Indies. At the
time when America came to the Islands there was among them no Rizal,
with a knowledge of history that would enable him to recognize that
they were getting what they had been wanting, who could rise superior
to the unimportant detail of under what name or how the good came as
long as it arrived, and whose prestige would have led his countrymen to
accept his decision. Some leaders had one qualification, some another,
a few combined two, but none had the three, for a country is seldom
favored with more than one surpassingly great man at one time.

Romans 10:9
"That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved."

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