Loyalty, disobedience, and the myth of the Black Legend in the Philippines during the Seven Years War



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This paper interrogates the nature of loyalty and disloyalty to Spain in the Philippines during the British occupation of Manila in 1762-1764. It examines the identity and motivations of the thousands of soldiers who joined Simón de Anda’s army that mobilized against the British invaders, as well the Indigenous people who rose up in rebellion in the provinces to the north of Manila during this period, in order to preserve Spanish colonial rule. It also considers the nature of infidelity to Spain in the occupied Philippines. This paper argues that, in a large part due to the cohesiveness of Catholicism among converted Indians, the Spanish empire in the Philippines proved remarkably resilient under the pressure of invasion and occupation. The Black Legend blinded the British to the complexities of the real balance of power in in Manila and the Philippines during the Seven Years War.