Research Annotations

Pablo Navarro-Rivera, “The Imperial Enterprise and Educational Policies in Colonial Puerto Rico,” in Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, accessed February 10, 2020,

Author Pablo Navarro-Rivera writes about the educational policies in the United States territory of Puerto Rico and how those policies were designed to benefit the imperialist desires of the US. In order to make this argument he uses evidence such as the Foraker Act (passed in 1900) to demonstrate the United States’ desire to assimilate and “civilize” the people of their new territory. This article is useful because it helps build the idea of the lack of respect that the United States held towards indigenous culture and how willing the white man was to crush different cultures in order to benefit himself. This is an idea that is applicable to all United States territories, as well as those territories belong to the other European world powers during the age of imperialism.

Stuart McCook, “‘The World Was My Garden’ Tropical Botany and Cosmopolitanism in American Science, 1898-1935,” in Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, accessed February 10, 2020,

History Professor Stuart McCook examines the rise of United States study of tropical plants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He argues that this sudden increase in interest in tropical botany is based on the fact that the United States suddenly acquired a lot of overseas territory around this time.  McCook discusses the effects of this new interest in tropical botany on the sudden availability of economic plants from the tropics, as well as the transplanting of those plants to the United States for agricultural purposes. This article is useful in the study of US and Latin American relations because it highlights a way in which the US tried to take advantage of the territories they gained possession of, and allows for a further in depth exploration of the exploitation and destruction of tropical natural resources than might be found in other texts.