Research Annotations

McCook, Stewart. The World Was My Garden. 1935.

The World Was My Garden provides an overview of the rise of tropical botany in the United States, a result of American imperialism. The source also provides insight into the effects of tropical botany, such as bringing tropical plants back to the U.S., the creation of agricultural and botanical centers abroad, and the formation of new careers for Americans. One of the most valuable parts of this source is that it plays into the wider scope of imperialism at this time. It is only fitting that Americans take tropical plants back to America, all while promoting “democratic farming.”  Tropical botany mirrors the trends American imperialism inspire. For example, the documentation of plants and plant hunting mirrors the interest and fetishization of indigenous peoples. The promotion of democratic farming mirrors the cultural imperialism that took place during this time- the uprooting of traditional farming practices and cultural values.

Navarro-Rivera, Pablo. The Imperial Enterprise and Educational Policies in Colonial Puerto Rico.

The Imperial Enterprise and Educational Policies in Colonial Puerto Rico gives insight into how far America was willing to go for an attempt at cultural assimilation. The source primarily follows the education given to Puerto Ricans, both in Puerto Rico or in schools in America, such as The Carlisle Indian Industrial School. This source uses CIIS as an example to document the horridness of the process of Americanization- students were forced to become “civilized,” and were required to bath, receive a haircut, new clothes, and a christian name. The Imperial Enterprise and Educational Policies in Colonial Puerto Rico shows how homogenization is a direct byproduct of imperialism- the U.S. was intent upon creating a culture that spread globally.