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The cultural expansion of America: Imperialism, civic design and the Philippines in the early 1900s

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Abstract:

This article grants a narrative of the conception of American city plans for the Philippine settlements of Baguio and Manila, two of the early twentieth century's most important exercises in city designing and nation-building. In so doing the work examines how the conceptualization and construction of the settlements in 190405 spoke of America's yearning to disassociate the Philippines away from its past as an uncivilized place, and to create a fresh national identity by means of instigating new physical and cultural environments that epitomized imperial hopes, principles and pride. Using well-established research methods to align political and cultural transitions occurring during the 1890s and early 1900s with the realization of instantly recognizable new visions of nationhood in built environmental form, the article ventures to explicate the connection between the evolution of American culture, the modern art of civic design and imperial nation-building through a consideration of environmental images, meanings and associations. In this manner it is anticipated that the work shall deepen the comprehension of how cultural, political, artistic and environmental forces operated upon and affected each other during an era when American society underwent profound evolution.

Keywords: art; civic design; culture; nationhood; the Philippines imperialism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ejac.29.3.229_1

Affiliations: Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Publication date: March 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The European Journal of American Culture (EJAC) is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics and students from many disciplines with a common involvement in the interdisciplinary study of America and American culture, drawing on a variety of approaches and encompassing the whole evolution of the country.
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