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American Empire, Part 2

Lecture slides.

Seminar questions:

  • President McKinley claimed that the United States fell into the acquisition of overseas colonies reluctantly, as an assumed 'burden'. How persuasive do you find this assertion?
  • In what ways did American conceptions of racial hierarchy work to both promote and constrain US imperialism at the turn of the century?
  • Why did the US, having fought a purportedly anti-imperial war against Spain, soon find itself at war against Filipino insurgents?
  • Why do counter-insurgency campaigns appear particularly generative of atrocity? What connections might we draw between US actions in the Philippines at the start of the twentieth century and in Iraq one hundred years later?

Required Readings:

  • Bonnie M. Miller, "The Image-Makers' Arsenal in an Age of War and Empire, 1898-1899: A Cartoon Essay, Featuring the Work of Charles Bartholomew (of the Minneapolis Journal) and Albert Wilbur Steele (of the Denver Post)," Journal of American Studies, 45 (2011), pp.53-75
  • Paul Kramer, “The Water Cure: Debating torture and counterinsurgency—a century ago,” The New Yorker, Feb. 25, 2008 -
  • "American Soldiers in the Philippines Write Home about the War" -

Supplementary reading:

  • Michael Patrick Cullinane, Liberty and American Anti-Imperialism, 1898-1909 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) e-book
  • AB Feuer (ed), America at War: The Philippines, 1898-1913 (Praeger, 2002) e-book
  • Willard B. Gatewood, Black Americans and the white man's burden, 1898-1903 (University of Illinois Press, 1975)
  • Willard B. Gatewood, "Smoked Yankees" and the struggle for empire: letters from negro soldiers, 1898-1902 (University of Arkansas Press, 1987)
  • Paul A Kramer, The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, The United States and the Philippines (Duke University Press, 2006) e-book
  • Alfred McCoy & Francisco Scarano (eds), The Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009) e-book
  • Bonnie M. Miller, From liberation to conquest: the visual and popular cultures of the Spanish-American War of 1898 (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011)
  • Stuart Creighton Miller, Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903 (Yale University Press, 1982)
  • Anders Stephanson, Manifest Destiny: American Expansion and the Empire of Right (Hill & Wang, 1995)
  • DJ Walker, Spanish Women and the Colonial Wars of the 1890s (Louisiana State University Press, 2008) e-book