“A New West in Mindanao”: Settler Fantasies on the U.S. Imperial Fringe

Charbonneau, O. (2019) “A New West in Mindanao”: Settler Fantasies on the U.S. Imperial Fringe. Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 18(3), pp. 304-323. (doi: 10.1017/S1537781418000634)

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Abstract

This essay analyzes white settler formations in the Southern Philippines during the early decades of the twentieth century. Occupied by the United States in the wake of the Spanish-American War, the Muslim-majority regions of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago became sites of colonial experimentation and reconfiguration. This led to a brief-but-concerted push by Euro-American fortune seekers to settle the “Muslim South.” Supported by U.S. policy makers and colonial officials, white colonists were drawn to Mindanao-Sulu by visions of permanent settlement and limitless economic opportunity. This analysis contends that settler attempts to build a “white man's country” in the Southern Philippines were shaped by vernaculars and modes of conquest developed on the continental frontier. It interrogates the creation of transoceanic frontier spaces in Mindanao-Sulu and the practical attempts to exploit them, which drew inspiration from diverse sources in the American West and across the colonized globe. In its study of settler fortunes and failures, the essay blurs distinctions between national and imperial peripheries, and contributes to a growing scholarly interest in reassessing the importance of U.S. extraterritorial possessions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:United States, Philippines, Settler Colonialism, Frontiers, Moro, Empire
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Charbonneau, Dr Oliver
Authors: Charbonneau, O.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
E History America > E151 United States (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Journal Abbr.:JGAPE
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:1537-7814
ISSN (Online):1943-3557
Published Online:15 February 2019

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