The economic background of Rizal’s time

Benito J. Legarda Jr.


We survey economic conditions just before and during the lifetime of Jose Rizal, roughly leading to the second half of the 19th century, on three levels: that of the world, of the Spanish Empire, and of the Philippines. We show how in this period, coinciding with the first era of globalization, of discord within the Spanish Empire and of incipient prosperity in the archipelago, the economic and social foundations were laid for Rizal and his contemporaries to conceive of and demand greater autonomy and, ultimately, independence.

Classification-JEL: N00, N43, N45, N75, F54


globalization; Spanish Empire; Spanish economic policy; 19th-century Philippine economic conditions

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