A world of empires : United States rule in the Philippines, 1898-1913
Morrison, Christopher Allen.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The United States occupied parts of the Philippine Islands in 1898 and acquired the entire archipelago from Spain in 1899. From 1898-1913, Americans involved in Philippine affairs interacted with other empires in two primary ways that shaped U.S. rule in the Philippines. First, as new colonial rulers of a distant, unfamiliar Asian land and people, Americans confronted many challenges that were different from those involved in the United States' westward continental expansion during the 19th century. Consequently, Americans examined other colonial powers' experiences to find policy models, lessons of what to avoid, and examples to cite while lobbying for or against certain Philippine initiatives. Second, the American-Philippine colony was located in a region awash in imperialism and was surrounded by other colonial states, to which the Philippines had a variety of direct linkages. As a result of these inter-imperial links, events occurring elsewhere in the region sometimes heavily influenced the islands' affairs and forced U.S. colonial officials to devise policies that accounted for Philippine connections to the broader imperialist context.; This dissertation examines important policymaking episodes in the first fifteen years of U.S.-Philippine colonial history. These include the formation of an American colonial government, a currency reform campaign, the creation of an opium control regime, the establishment of an agricultural bank, and the response to Japanese imperialism. In each case, interaction with other empires significantly shaped United States colonial rule in the Philippines. Americans' studying and borrowing of ideas from other colonial powers were part of a pragmatic approach to colonial policy making. Although American policy models and ideas played a role, the American-Philippine colonial project was not an ideological attempt to remake the Philippines in the image of the United States. U.S. rule in the Philippines had more limited goals aimed at stability and some economic development, and Americans sometimes adopted other powers' ideas to achieve these goals. This interaction with other empires was part of a U.S. approach to foreign relations during the period that emphasized international cooperation. This study also shows the impact that engagement with other empires had on American exceptionalist attitudes about colonialism.
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