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Title:Anti -Imperialism During the Philippine -American War: Protesting 'Criminal Aggression' and 'Benevolent Assimilation
Author(s):Murphy, Erin Leigh
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Jung, Moon-Kie
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, International Relations
Abstract:At the conclusion of the Spanish-American War of 1898, the United States purchased the Philippines from Spain in the Treaty of Paris. For over a decade beginning in early 1899, the United States waged a brutal war to suppress Filipinos seeking an end to colonial rule. My dissertation investigates the anti-imperialist movement in the United States that protested the use of extreme violence against Filipinas/os, including the "water cure" (precursor to "waterboarding") and "reconcentration" camps, during the Philippine-American War. The project focuses on two related issues: (1) the chronological development of anti-imperialisms in the United States with regard to structural issues of race, class, and gender, and (2) the effects of anti-imperialist activism on the formation of U.S. imperialist policies. I explain the anti-imperialist movement's relationship to the formation of what I call a "racial state of exception," a historically adaptable pattern of legal inclusions and exclusions of violence that continues to inform U.S. policies. The analysis draws empirically on archival collections of the leaders of the Anti-Imperialist League (the organization at the vanguard of the anti-imperialist movement), government documents at the National Archives and Record Administration, and socialist, labor, progressive, and Black newspapers. This is the first study to show the importance of Black, white, and Filipina women's involvement in the anti-imperialist movement during the war. Through the use of an intersectionality framework and feminist research methods, the dissertation uncovers the women's essential but heretofore overlooked contributions to the anti-imperialist movement. Additionally, I demonstrate that anti-imperialists' strategy of framing contradictions between democracy and imperialist violence as "criminal aggression," as opposed to the government's claim of "benevolent assimilation," contributed to conditions that elicited an official senate investigation on affairs in the Philippines. The investigation gave rise to explicit debates over rules of war, race, and indiscriminate use of violence by a "civilized" nation. It was through these debates that the "racial state of exception" evolved from a set of unacknowledged practices in the Philippines to explicitly rationalized legal strategies. After the senate investigations, anti-imperialists changed their strategy to continue focusing on violence in the Philippines and informing the U.S. public. Facing public indifference, anti-imperialists adjusted their schemas concerning "civilization" and moved their activism to different types of "rights" organizations.
Issue Date:2009
Description:269 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3392234
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2009

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