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August 13, 1898, the Battle of Manila Occurred.

On August 13, 1898, occurred the Battle of Manila, which was part of a series of battles for the occupation of Manila during the Spanish-American War.

Prior to this, U.S. Commodore George Dewey destroyed the antiquated Spanish fleet in Manila Bay on the morning of May 1, 1898 and kept the Spanish trapped in Intramuros on the seaside while General Emilio Aguinaldo, who arrived aboard the USS McCulloch from Hong Kong on May 19, resumed the revolution and held the Spanish back on land, encircling them in Intramuros.

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June 12, 1898, the Philippine Independence was proclaimed, the national flag and anthem solemnly presented to the people, and a dictatorial government by General Aguinaldo was established.

Back in Intramuros, rations were running dangerously low for the 70,000 people crammed inside the Walled City, and the constant fear of an impending massacre dealt a harsh blow to the morale of the city’s defenders. By the time U.S. Major General Wesley Merritt came with the rest of the American expeditionary force to take the city after a three-month siege, the Spanish condition had grown desperate. Commodore Dewey negotiated with the Spanish Governor-General Fermin Jaudenes through the Belgian consul, and after a short staged battle, called the “Mock Battle of Manila,” to satisfy Spanish “honor” at Fort San Antonio Abad on August 13, 1898, the Spanish surrendered and the Americans captured Intramuros.

Immediately after the surrender of the Spanish, the Americans turned their attention to keeping General Aguinaldo’s men out of Manila. Thus, tension in Filipino-American relations begun when Filipino forces who took part in the “mock battle” were denied entrance to Manila for the victory celebrations.

The Fall of Manila to the American forces on August 13, 1898 marked the start of American colonization of the Philippines.


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