This chapter presents a systematic comparative analysis that summarizes the connections among historical conditions, narrative representations, and the forms of rule established throughout the imperial archipelago. Three local factors—the history of settlement, the development of national culture, and the forms of resistance or collaboration—were the basic materials for the elaboration of discursive practices in the imperial archipelago. These historical conditions acquired importance by means of discursive strategies that established their truth as essential realities, evaluated the state of affairs, and produced an eventual result, the varied forms of rule. The processes of description, by means of representations and narratives, and of evaluation, through the application of normative standards, were translated into law, which was simultaneously legitimized by these same means. Study, judge, and rule: these were the discursive practices that led to the establishment of governments in Cuba, Guam, Hawaii, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico.
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