A fortified walled colony was established on the Pasig in 1571 by López de Legaspi and developed mainly by Spanish missionaries. Except for two years (1762–64) when the city was in British hands, it remained under Spanish control until the Spanish-American War (1898), when it was seized by U.S. forces three months after the battle of Manila Bay. Filipino uprisings occurred for several years, and not until 1901 was a civil government definitely established. In World War II the city was occupied by the Japanese (Jan. 2, 1942). Its recovery (Feb., 1945) involved fierce house-to-house fighting, which reduced the old walled city to rubble, destroying many fine examples of 17th-century Spanish architecture. Only the Church of San Agustin (1606) survived. Reconstruction of the Manila Cathedral began in 1958. Quezon City replaced the city as the national capital in 1948, but Manila was restored as the capital in 1976. In 1968, Manila was shaken by a severe earthquake, which killed over 300 people and caused extensive property damage. In 1972 the city was damaged by floodwaters resulting from more than three weeks of torrential rains.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.