Today, on March 1, 1872 (Philippines):
Spanish Governor-General José Basco y Vargas, a naval officer of the Spanish navy and served as the 53rd governor of the Philippines under the Spanish Empire, formally organized the Tobacco Monopoly in the Philippines. With the Tobacco industry, the Spanish were able to raise money for the defense against Muslim fighters in the south.
Some claim he also made the colony independent, by freeing it from the control of Mexico (then Kingdom of New Spain); and is remembered by the Philippine province of Batanes (named after him).
Many people throughout Manila and eight provinces of Luzon (Tondo, Cavite, Bantangas, Tayabas, Laguna, Pampanga, Bataan and Bulacan) were exploited to become tobacco farmers and continually abused as the Spanish exacted crops and gave payment. On top of that, there were corruption issues with tax collectors that worsened relations between the Philippines and the Spanish. The Spanish also resorted to using religious pretexts, as well as obedience to the crown as reasons to give physical punishment towards those Filipinos who were not complying with the Spaniards’ orders and regulations. The industry was finally abolished in 1882; however, tobacco farming was still practiced by those who wanted to use it for personal consumption.
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