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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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The Imperial Problem and the New Possessions

The Imperial Problem and the New Possessions

(p.22) Chapter 1 The Imperial Problem and the New Possessions
Imperial Archipelago

Lanny Thompson

University of Hawai'i Press

Historically, all U.S. territories had been intended as European American settler colonies. By the end of the nineteenth century, most of these areas had already been organized as territories, settled by European American immigrants, and admitted as states. Hawaii was one of the outlying frontiers of European American settlement. With the acquisition of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam, the United States had surpassed the limits of its settler expansion and now faced what Frederic Coudert called the “imperial problem”: what kinds of peoples were these, and how should they be ruled? This chapter examines different texts, all of which addressed the imperial problem. Colonial discourses constructed subject peoples as essentially, universally, and homogeneously “other,” but this was quite often a rather abstract generalization. More important from a practical point of view, colonial discourses most decidedly distinguished the characteristics of subject peoples with the intent to govern them accordingly.

Keywords:   colonial discourse, imperial problem, United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Guam, self-government

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