Program

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships , Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowships

Project

Empire for Reform: Progressivism, Nature, and the American Colonial State in the Philippines, 1898-1934

Project

Empire for Reform: Agrarianism, Environment, and Empire in the American Occupied Philippines, 1898-1936

Department

History

Location

For residence at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress

Empire for Reform: Progressivism, Nature, and the American Colonial State in the Philippines, 1898-1934

This study argues that the intersection of US domestic agricultural reform and imperialism in the Philippines produced a novel form of development in the early twentieth century. Assuming that the Philippine environment was inherently rich, agrarian reformers expected modern methods of cultivation and peasant education to increase agricultural productivity. Archival research in the United States and the Philippines shows that the failure of this project, coupled with environmental degradation and local resistance, led reformers to reevaluate their beliefs about the tropics. Capital-intensive and highly technical programs directed towards the improvement of seeds and soil gradually replaced programs aimed at reforming farmers. This process culminated in the Green Revolution.

Empire for Reform: Agrarianism, Environment, and Empire in the American Occupied Philippines, 1898-1936