In this groundbreaking study of American imperialism, leading legal scholars address the problem of the U.S. territories. Foreign in a Domestic Sense will redefine the boundaries of constitutional scholarship. More than four million U.S. citizens currently live in five "unincorporated" U.S. territories. The inhabitants of these vestiges of an American empire are denied full representation in Congress and cannot vote in presidential elections. Focusing on Puerto Rico, the largest and most populous of the territories, Foreign in a Domestic Sense sheds much-needed light on the United States' unfinished colonial experiment and its legacy of racially rooted imperialism, while insisting on the centrality of these "marginal" regions in any serious treatment of American constitutional history. For one hundred years, Puerto Ricans have struggled to define their place in a nation that neither wants them nor wants to let them go. They are caught in a debate too politicized to yield meaningful answers. Meanwhile, doubts concerning the constitutionality of keeping colonies have languished on the margins of mainstream scholarship, overlooked by scholars outside the island and ignored by the nation at large. This book does more than simply fill a glaring omission in the study of race, cultural identity, and the Constitution; it also makes a crucial contribution to the study of American federalism, serves as a foundation for substantive debate on Puerto Rico's status, and meets an urgent need for dialogue on territorial status between the mainlandd and the territories. Contributors. José Julián Álvarez González, Roberto Aponte Toro, Christina Duffy Burnett, José A. Cabranes, Sanford Levinson, Burke Marshall, Gerald L. Neuman, Angel R. Oquendo, Juan Perea, Efrén Rivera Ramos, Rogers M. Smith, E. Robert Statham Jr., Brook Thomas, Richard Thornburgh, Juan R. Torruella, José Trías Monge, Mark Tushnet, Mark Weiner
The island of Puerto Rico has a severely distressed economy, is one of the most densely populated places on earth, and enjoys only limited political freedom. As a United States commonwealth, it is still treated by Congress as one of the last remaining colonies in the world.
"The Legal Construction of Identity: The Judicial and Social Legacy, of American Colonialism in Puerto Rico investigates how the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico has been created and recreated over the past 100 years. More specifically, author Efren Rivera Ramos engages in the lively exploration of how law has contributed to the construction of a particular social reality embodied by the colonial relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico." "Dr. Rivera Ramos argues that legal constructs and norms govern the struggle for the definition of a specific Puerto Rican identity. This struggle includes the tension between claiming rights of U.S. citizenship and participation on the one hand and asserting a separate cultural identity, on the other. In this sense, the law has been a crucial arbiter of self-determination and self-perception as many Puerto Ricans strive to form a distinct national identity. This book will appeal to social scientists and legal scholars interested in the symbiotic relationship between law and society."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Offering a comprehensive overview of Puerto Rico's history and evolution since the installation of U.S. rule, Cesar Ayala and Rafael Bernabe connect the island's economic, political, cultural, and social past. Puerto Rico in the American Century explores Puerto Ricans in the diaspora as well as the island residents, who experience an unusual and daily conundrum: they consider themselves a distinct people but are part of the American political system; they have U.S. citizenship but are not represented in the U.S. Congress; and they live on land that is neither independent nor part of the United States. Highlighting both well-known and forgotten figures from Puerto Rican history, Ayala and Bernabe discuss a wide range of topics, including literary and cultural debates and social and labor struggles that previous histories have neglected. Although the island's political economy remains dependent on the United States, the authors also discuss Puerto Rico's situation in light of world economies. Ayala and Bernabe argue that the inability of Puerto Rico to shake its colonial legacy reveals the limits of free-market capitalism, a break from which would require a renewal of the long tradition of labor and social activism in Puerto Rico in connection with similar currents in the United States.
Original and compelling, Laura Briggs's Reproducing Empire shows how, for both Puerto Ricans and North Americans, ideologies of sexuality, reproduction, and gender have shaped relations between the island and the mainland. From science to public policy, the "culture of poverty" to overpopulation, feminism to Puerto Rican nationalism, this book uncovers the persistence of concerns about motherhood, prostitution, and family in shaping the beliefs and practices of virtually every player in the twentieth-century drama of Puerto Rican colonialism. In this way, it sheds light on the legacies haunting contemporary debates over globalization. Puerto Rico is a perfect lens through which to examine colonialism and globalization because for the past century it has been where the United States has expressed and fine-tuned its attitudes toward its own expansionism. Puerto Rico's history holds no simple lessons for present-day debate over globalization but does unearth some of its history. Reproducing Empire suggests that interventionist discourses of rescue, family, and sexuality fueled U.S. imperial projects and organized American colonialism. Through the politics, biology, and medicine of eugenics, prostitution, and birth control, the United States has justified its presence in the territory's politics and society. Briggs makes an innovative contribution to Puerto Rican and U.S. history, effectively arguing that gender has been crucial to the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico, and more broadly, to U.S. expansion elsewhere.
Puerto Ricans maintain a vibrant identity that bridges two very different places--the island of Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland. Whether they live on the island, in the States, or divide time between the two, most imagine Puerto Rico as a separate nation and view themselves primarily as Puerto Rican. At the same time, Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917, and Puerto Rico has been a U.S. commonwealth since 1952. Jorge Duany uses previously untapped primary sources to bring new insights to questions of Puerto Rican identity, nationalism, and migration. Drawing a distinction between political and cultural nationalism, Duany argues that the Puerto Rican "nation" must be understood as a new kind of translocal entity with deep cultural continuities. He documents a strong sharing of culture between island and mainland, with diasporic communities tightly linked to island life by a steady circular migration. Duany explores the Puerto Rican sense of nationhood by looking at cultural representations produced by Puerto Ricans and considering how others--American anthropologists, photographers, and museum curators, for example--have represented the nation. His sources of information include ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, interviews, surveys, censuses, newspaper articles, personal documents, and literary texts.