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FOCUS on Geography
Atlases, and Books
January 1999, Vol. 89 (1), pp. 34-53
THE IDEOLOGY OF EMPIRE IN
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE'S
COVERAGE OF THE PHILIPPINES, 1898-1908
JULIE A. TUASON
Between 1898 and 1908 the National Geographic Magazine
reported copiously on the territorial acquisition and U.S. colonial
administration of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.
The pages of the magazine provide an intriguing window on connections
between the emergence of geography as an organized profession
and the expanding sphere of U.S. control of overseas territories.
The overall picture reveals a shift from bold calls for direct
economic exploitation of the natural resources and labor power
of the Philippine Islands to more platitudinous justifications
for U.S. control, based on moral responsibility and the ostensibly
objective imperatives of "scientific" development.
Keywords: geographical societies, history of geography,
DR. TUASON is an assistant professor of geography at the University
of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712.