Gods Arbiters: Americans and the Philippines, 1898 - 1902

Paperback | July 29, 2013

bySusan K. Harris

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When the U.S. liberated the Philippines from Spanish rule in 1898, the exploit was hailed at home as a great moral victory, an instance of Uncle Sam freeing an oppressed country from colonial tyranny. The next move, however, was hotly contested: should the U.S. annex the archipelago? Thedisputants did agree on one point: that the United States was divinely appointed to bring democracy - and with it, white Protestant culture - to the rest of the world. They were, in the words of U.S. Senator Albert Beveridge, "God's arbiters," a civilizing force with a righteous role to play on theworld stage.Mining letters, speeches, textbooks, poems, political cartoons and other sources, Susan K. Harris examines the role of religious rhetoric and racial biases in the battle over annexation. She offers a provocative reading both of the debates' religious framework and of the evolution of Christiannational identity within the U.S. The book brings to life the personalities who dominated the discussion, figures like the bellicose Beveridge and the segregationist Senator Benjamin Tillman. It also features voices from outside U.S. geopolitical boundaries that responded to the Americans' ventureinto global imperialism: among them England's "imperial" poet Rudyard Kipling, Nicaragua's poet/diplomat Ruben Dario, and the Philippines' revolutionary leaders Emilio Aguinaldo and Apolinario Mabini. At the center of this dramatis personae stands Mark Twain, an influential partisan who was, formany, the embodiment of America. Twain had supported the initial intervention but quickly changed his mind, arguing that the U.S. decision to annex the archipelago was a betrayal of the very principles the U.S. claimed to promote.Written with verve and animated by a wide range of archival research, God's Arbiters reveals the roots of current debates over textbook content, evangelical politics, and American exceptionalism - shining light on our own times as it recreates the culture surrounding America's global mission at theturn into the twentieth century.

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When the U.S. liberated the Philippines from Spanish rule in 1898, the exploit was hailed at home as a great moral victory, an instance of Uncle Sam freeing an oppressed country from colonial tyranny. The next move, however, was hotly contested: should the U.S. annex the archipelago? Thedisputants did agree on one point: that the Unite...

Susan K. Harris is the Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture at The Univerversity of Kansas.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:July 29, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199307202

ISBN - 13:9780199307203

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: A Christian NationSection I: American Narratives1. Citizenship and the Philippine Debates: The Religious Factor2. Citizenship and the Philippine Debates: The Racial FactorSection II: Creating Citizens3. A Connecticut Yankee in the Philippines4. The National ChristianSection III: The Eyes of the World5. "The White Man's Burden," the Philippines, and the Anglo-American Alliance6. "Saxon Eyes and Barbaric Souls": Non-Anglo Responses to the American Annexation of the Philippines7. Noli Me Tangere: Filipino Responses to Annexation