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Almost Citizens: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Constitution, and Empire

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Almost Citizens lays out the tragic story of how the United States denied Puerto Ricans full citizenship following annexation of the island in 1898. As America became an overseas empire, a handful of remarkable Puerto Ricans debated with US legislators, presidents, judges, and others over who was a citizen and what citizenship meant. This struggle caused a fundamental shif Almost Citizens lays out the tragic story of how the United States denied Puerto Ricans full citizenship following annexation of the island in 1898. As America became an overseas empire, a handful of remarkable Puerto Ricans debated with US legislators, presidents, judges, and others over who was a citizen and what citizenship meant. This struggle caused a fundamental shift in constitution law: away from the post-Civil War regime of citizenship, rights, and statehood, and toward doctrines that accommodated racist imperial governance. Erman's gripping account shows how, in the wake of the Spanish-American War, administrators, lawmakers, and presidents together with judges deployed creativity and ambiguity to transform constitutional meaning for a quarter of a century. The result is a history in which the United States and Latin America, Reconstruction and empire, and law and bureaucracy intertwine.


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Almost Citizens lays out the tragic story of how the United States denied Puerto Ricans full citizenship following annexation of the island in 1898. As America became an overseas empire, a handful of remarkable Puerto Ricans debated with US legislators, presidents, judges, and others over who was a citizen and what citizenship meant. This struggle caused a fundamental shif Almost Citizens lays out the tragic story of how the United States denied Puerto Ricans full citizenship following annexation of the island in 1898. As America became an overseas empire, a handful of remarkable Puerto Ricans debated with US legislators, presidents, judges, and others over who was a citizen and what citizenship meant. This struggle caused a fundamental shift in constitution law: away from the post-Civil War regime of citizenship, rights, and statehood, and toward doctrines that accommodated racist imperial governance. Erman's gripping account shows how, in the wake of the Spanish-American War, administrators, lawmakers, and presidents together with judges deployed creativity and ambiguity to transform constitutional meaning for a quarter of a century. The result is a history in which the United States and Latin America, Reconstruction and empire, and law and bureaucracy intertwine.

36 review for Almost Citizens: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Constitution, and Empire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Rohn

    This is a neat books that's concise, well written, and presents strong arguments. However, in making its arguments about legal citizenship after the Spanish-American war it, perhaps unintentionally, presents some pretty thin arguments about citizenship politics within Puerto Rico in the early 1900s. Still definitely worth reading but very much for the legal focus This is a neat books that's concise, well written, and presents strong arguments. However, in making its arguments about legal citizenship after the Spanish-American war it, perhaps unintentionally, presents some pretty thin arguments about citizenship politics within Puerto Rico in the early 1900s. Still definitely worth reading but very much for the legal focus

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Fascinating history of how Puerto Rico's incorporation into the US differed greatly from other US territories; good analysis of white supremacy, race, and empire in America. Fascinating history of how Puerto Rico's incorporation into the US differed greatly from other US territories; good analysis of white supremacy, race, and empire in America.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rizwan Niaz Raiyan

  4. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Brown

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    Ruben Estremera

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    Lisanne

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    Ricardo Serrano

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    Leslie Lauderdale

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    Andrew

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    Ed DiIenno

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    Hannah Nachef

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    Macartney

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    Emily Jane

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    Mike

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    mykittyquest17

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    Juan A.

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    Amanda

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    Heidi

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    Rachael

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    Jessica Cook-Smith

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    Michael

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    Ibsen Morales

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    K. Reswob

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    Jeff

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    April Arroyo Monroe

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    Sean Acevedo

  35. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Weiss

  36. 4 out of 5

    Chris Holder

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