9780822342298

American Empire and the Politics of Meaning: Elite Political Cultures in the Philippines and Puerto Rico During U.S. Colonialism

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780822342298

  • ISBN10:

    0822342294

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-04-30
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr
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Summary

When the United States took control of the Philippines and Puerto Rico in the wake of the Spanish-American War, it declared that it would transform its new colonies through lessons in self-government and the ways of American-style democracy. In both territories, U.S. colonial officials built extensive public school systems, and they set up American-style elections and governmental institutions. The officials aimed their lessons in democratic government at the political elite: the relatively small class of the wealthy, educated, and politically powerful within each colony. While they retained ultimate control for themselves, the Americans let the elite vote, hold local office, and formulate legislation in national assemblies.American Empire and the Politics of Meaningis an examination of how these efforts to provide the elite of Puerto Rico and the Philippines a practical education in self-government played out on the ground in the early years of American colonial rule, from 1898 until 1912. It is the first systematic comparative analysis of these early exercises in American imperial power. The sociologist Julian Go unravels how American authorities used "culture" as both a tool and a target of rule, and how the Puerto Rican and Philippine elite received, creatively engaged, and sometimes silently subverted the Americansrs" ostensibly benign intentions. Rather than finding that the attempt to transplant American-style democracy led to incommensurable "culture clashes," Go assesses complex processes of cultural accommodation and transformation. By combining rich historical detail with broader theories of meaning, culture, and colonialism, he provides an innovative study of the hidden intersections of political power and cultural meaning-making in Americars"s earliest overseas empire.

Author Biography

Julian Go is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Colonialism and Culture in the American Empirep. 1
Tutelary Colonialism and Cultural Powerp. 25
Domesticating Tutelage in Puerto Ricop. 55
Winning Hearts and Minds in the Philippinesp. 93
Beyond Cultural Reproductionp. 131
Divergent Pathsp. 173
Structural Transformation in Puerto Ricop. 211
Cultural Revaluation in the Philippinesp. 241
Conclusion: Returning to Culturep. 273
Appendixp. 295
Notesp. 299
Referencesp. 343
Indexp. 373
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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