Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The United States as an empire—first spreading over the continent and then abroad—depended on ideas about the proper role of women, men, and families. Even before the United States began acquiring territory overseas, American women engaged in reform efforts abroad as missionaries and political activists. The presence of Anglo-American women and children allowed invading settlers across the continent to alternatively cast themselves as innocent victims who needed to resort to violence or as civilizing agents promoting assimilation. After 1898, Puerto Rico and the Philippines provided new arenas for women’s civilizing mission, while paternalism explained away US military violence. In turn, America’s harvest of empire included low-paid female immigrant laborers. With each wave of immigration, their bodies became the focus of white Americans’ fears over fecundity, poverty, and regulating the boundaries between the domestic and the foreign.

Keywords: gender, women, empire, colonialism, imperialism, immigration

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.