Self-Determination, Self-Governance, Self-Rule

Working Definition:

A civilizing mission lay at the core of the American colonial project, one that was ostensibly meant to prepare Filipinos for self-rule, or self-governance/self-determination. Despite the creation of a republic in the Philippines and the declaration of independence from Spanish colonial rule, American colonists contended that the Filipino/as were unprepared to govern themselves. Consequently, the colonial government placed the Philippines under its tutelage according to the auspices of Benevolent Assimilation, in order to prepare the Philippines for self-governance at some unspecified date.

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Suggestions for Further Reading:

Daniel Immerwahr, How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019); Paul A. Kramer, The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006); Vicente L. Rafael, White Love and Other Events in Filipino History (Durham: Duke University Press, 2000); Alfred W. McCoy and Francisco A. Scarano, eds. Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009); Elizabeth Eittreim, Teaching Empire: Native Americans, Filipinos, and U.S. Imperial Education, 1879-1918 (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2019)