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The American Colonial State in the Philippines Global Perspectives by Julian Go

The American Colonial State in the Philippines Global Perspectives

Part of the American Encounters/Global Interactions Series


The American Colonial State in the Philippines Global Perspectives by Julian Go

In 1898 the United States declared sovereignty over the Philippines, an archipelago of seven thousand islands inhabited by seven million people of various ethnicities. While it became a colonial power at the zenith of global imperialism, the United States nevertheless conceived of its rule as exceptional-an exercise in benevolence rather than in tyranny and exploitation. In this volume, Julian Go and Anne L. Foster untangle this peculiar self-fashioning and insist on the importance of studying U.S. colonial rule in the context of other imperialist ventures. A necessary expansion of critical focus, The American Colonial State in the Philippines is the first systematic attempt to examine the creation and administration of the American colonial state from comparative, global perspectives. Written by social scientists and historians, these essays investigate various aspects of American colonial government through comparison with and contextualization within colonial regimes elsewhere in the world-from British Malaysia and Dutch Indonesia to Japanese Taiwan and America's other major overseas colony, Puerto Rico. Contributors explore the program of political education in the Philippines; constructions of nationalism, race, and religion; the regulation of opium; connections to politics on the U.S. mainland; and anticolonial resistance. Tracking the complex connections, circuits, and contests across, within, and between empires that shaped America's colonial regime, The American Colonial State in the Philippines sheds new light on the complexities of American imperialism and turn-of-the-century colonialism. Contributors. Patricio N. Abinales, Donna J. Amoroso, Paul Barclay, Vince Boudreau, Anne L. Foster, Julian Go, Paul A. Kramer


This is an important and distinctive work. As an earlier discourse for understanding the diffusion of modernizing influences, technology, and global exchange, imperialism is the most important precursor to today's globalized economy and culture. Yet there are few studies of imperialism (and particularly American imperialism) that are broadly comparative or contextual. Filling this blank spot on the map, The American Colonial State in the Philippines will be of interest to a wide audience. -Nick Cullather, author of Illusions of Influence: The Political Economy of United States-Philippines Relations, 1942-1960 This superb collection of essays provides a necessary background for the stories that jump off today's front pages-a supposedly wondrous American `empire,
the hidden dilemmas of nation

-building, drug-trafficking, colliding cultures, and a touching faith in American exceptionalism. As analyzed by some of our best younger scholars, we can now see clearly-and learn from-what happened to that earlier generation who set out to make the United States an imperial power. -Walter LaFeber, Cornell University

About the Author

Julian Go is Academy Scholar at the Academy for International and Area Studies of Harvard University and Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Anne L. Foster is Assistant Professor of History at Indiana State University.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th July 2003


Julian Go

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Duke University Press


328 pages


Colonialism & imperialism
National liberation & independence, post-colonialism



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