SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Julian, Elisa Atayde (1963) British Projects and Activities in the Philippines: 1759-1805. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Download (89MB)


British projects and activities in the Philippines during the period 1759 - 1805 coincided with important politico-economic developments in Europe, and particularly with those within the British and Spanish empires. European and imperial developments, indeed, provide the background and starting point of the events covered by this study. To the English, the importance of the Philippine area, in fact, of the whole Malaysian Archipelago, lay in its bullion resources which the expanding China trade was chronically in need of. The Eastern islands were a source of products for which there was a demand in the China market, besides being a consumers' depot for British trade goods, in particular, Indian piece-goods and opium. The islands were also a potential market for British manufactures. Strategically, they constituted a vital link not only in the defense of the Indian settlements but also in the security of the English commerce between India and China. An English settlement established amongst the islands would thus create a vast network of exchange of Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, and European goods. A period of sustained British interest in the Philippines commenced with Dalrymple's voyage from India to the lands further east, bringing him, amongst other places, to the Sulu islands which the Spaniards had been hard put to annex to their Eastern possessions, and which now form part of the Republic of the Philippines. Almost simultaneously with this voyage, an expedition was planned and launched against Manila, the capital of the Spanish Philippines. The outcome of the first event was the establishment of the first English settlement in Balambangan, an island belonging to the Sulus. The expedition to Manila was a military success, but on balance proved fruitless to either the English King who sanctioned it or the East India Company which aided it. Other projects followed, calculated to tap the bullion resources of the Spanish-American trade converging in Manila and also the possibilities of trade and cultivation amongst the Philippine islands. The fruits of these projects were not immediately enjoyed, but British interests in the Manila trade were firmly established before the end of our period. In fact, toward the end of the Spanish rule, the Philippine export and import trade had become concentrated in English hands. Meanwhile, Dalrymple's exertions with the Sulus had also paid off with the cession to a British company of the Sulu Sultan's territories in Borneo.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:25

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item