The Bordering of America: Colonialism and Citizenship in the Philippines and Puerto Rico
The ascendancy of the United States as a global empire produced a crisis in the meaning of American nationhood, prompting imperial statesmen to recalibrate the boundaries of inclusion and exclusion. The annexation of Puerto Rico and the Philippines in 1898 gave rise to a complex and often volatile system of border-making. Overseas expansion changed the territorial nature of the state, as both the Philippines and Puerto Rico were declared “unincorporated territories" defined as neither fully domestic nor completely foreign. Territorial statecraft treated the Philippines and Puerto Rico similarly. However, statecraft towards individuals (as opposed to territories) differentiated the two populations as Puerto Ricans were declared U.S. citizens in. 1917 but Filipinos were not. This essay explores how U.S. policies toward these territories and populations became increasingly complex and contradictory as the state tried to manage the national polity in the age of imperial expansion.
Baldoz, Rick, and Cesar Ayala. Spring 2013. "The Bordering of America: Colonialism and Citizenship in the Philippines and Puerto Rico." Centro Journal 25(1): 76-105.
Hunter College, Center for Puerto Rican Studies
Citizenship, Imperialism, Boundaries, Sovereignty, United States--Insular possessions, Puerto Rico, Philippines--Politics and government