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Imperial ArchipelagoRepresentation and Rule in the Insular Territories under U.S. Dominion after 1898$
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Lanny Thompson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834012

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834012.001.0001

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Legal Foundations of Colonial Rule

Legal Foundations of Colonial Rule

(p.183) Chapter 5 Legal Foundations of Colonial Rule
Imperial Archipelago

Lanny Thompson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explores the connections between representations of alterity as a means to conceive, mobilize, and justify imperial rule and the concrete forms of government established throughout the imperial archipelago. It argues that the elaboration of cultural difference was fundamental in the conceptualization and establishment of different governments, in particular the civil governments for the Philippines and Puerto Rico. Throughout the legal debates, official reports, court decisions, and congressional debates, participants used the metaphors of femininity, childishness, and race to evaluate the capacity of the various subject peoples for self-government. These representations expressed the cultural contrasts of the various peoples and served to devise and justify particular strategies of government. The chapter examines how legal scholars, Congress, colonial administrators, and the Supreme Court devised the means of governing overseas possessions based upon notions of difference not only between the United States and the subject peoples but also among the subject peoples themselves. It focuses on the second part of the imperial problem: how to rule.

Keywords:   imperial rule, imperial archipelago, cultural difference, civil government, Philippines, Puerto Rico

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