The Philippine Revolution was caused by nationalist dissatisfaction with Spanish rule, which created economic, social and religious restrictions. Spain assumed control over the Philippines in 1565, but historians attribute construction of the Suez Canal in 1869, which introduced Filipinos to new concepts of freedom, with planting the seeds for revolution.
The Philippine Revolution did not formally begin until 1896, when Filipino nationalists, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, revolted against Spanish rule. However, signs of trouble and tensions between the colonized nation and its Spanish ruler emerged long before that date.
Spain had assumed control of the Philippines in 1565, and continued to rule the nation with an iron fist, restricting social mobility and imposing rigid economic and religious mandates. In 1869, construction of the Suez Canal, according to many historians, gave native Filipinos access to Europe, and in turn exposed them to new ideas and concepts of freedom.
For the first time, Philippine nationalists realized the social, economic and religious constraints they faced under Spanish rule. Determined to initiate change, nationalists found the courage to protest against the poor treatment of indigenous peoples, economic constraints and religious dominance asserted by the Spanish government. They drew inspiration from similar revolutionary and liberal movements across Europe, and in 1896 made a formal move to end centuries of restrictive Spanish leadership.
After eliminating Spanish rule, however, the Philippines remained under control of the United States. Nationalists then turned their attention toward gaining freedom from American rule, which was accomplished in 1898, and successfully ended the Philippine Revolution.