Theses Doctoral

The Work of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Making of American Colonialisms in Cuba and the Philippines, 1898-1913

Jackson, Justin

Between 1898 and 1913, the limited manpower and resources of the United States Army forced it to employ thousands of Cubans and inhabitants of the Philippines to fight the Spanish and Philippine-American and Moro Wars and conduct civil administration in Cuba and the Philippines. The colonial military labor of Cubans and Philippine islanders both affirmed and challenged the claims of American political and military leaders that the United States practiced a liberal and benevolent form of colonial and neo-colonial rule. In the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, the U.S. army's exploitation of ordinary colonial subjects breathed new life into often coercive colonial institutions, such as Chinese migrant contract labor, forced labor for public works such as roads, and the impressment of interpreters and guides and other intermediaries for military operations. The impact of American military labor relations in war and occupation endured well into periods of civilian rule in these countries, shaping the politics of race and immigration, infrastructure development and public obligation, and the civil apparatus of colonial and neo-colonial states.

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More About This Work

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Thesis Advisors
Foner, Eric
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 7, 2014