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“Practicing Economy”: Chamorro Agency And U.S. Colonial Agricultural Projects, 1898-1941

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Title:“Practicing Economy”: Chamorro Agency And U.S. Colonial Agricultural Projects, 1898-1941
Authors:Santos, Elyssa J.
Contributors:Pacific Islands Studies (department)
Date Issued:Aug 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:This thesis is a historical analysis of economic development on Guam during the early
U.S. naval administration (1898-1941). It focuses largely on the development of the
agricultural industry which was perceived by colonial officials as the most accessible to
Chamorros and therefore the industry with the greatest potential to transform Guam into a
modern economy. By the early twentieth century, the United States was experiencing an
economic depression, making it increasingly challenging to sustain its overseas empire.
Consequently, the pro-imperial bureaucrats embarked on a campaign to make its colonies like
Guam more “self-sustaining.” To lower the cost of administering the island and to combat
food and funding shortages, the naval government imposed a series of development projects.
Said to be implemented for the benefit of the people of Guam, these colonial projects worked
to inscribe notions of American patriotism and loyalty onto Chamorro bodies and instill in
them western economic values and practices. This thesis thus challenges the notion of
American benevolent assimilation through an investigation of colonial agricultural project
case studies. Beyond investigating the nature of colonial projects, I examine Chamorro
resistance to them as well as the complexities of Chamorro agency within them. Ultimately, I
am presenting an entangled history that attempts to challenge simplistic notions of a
prosperous pre-war agrarian society to the credit of a benevolent American colonial
Description:M.A. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - Pacific Islands Studies

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