The Other American Colonies

An International and Constitutional Law Examination of the United States' Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Island Conquests

by Ediberto Román

Tags: Civil Rights/Race and the Law, International Law, Legal History

Table of Contents (PDF)

334 pp  $35.00

ISBN 978-0-89089-499-6

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The Other American Colonies: An International and Constitutional Law Examination of the United States' Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Island Conquests is a thorough and thoughtful examination of U.S. overseas expansionism. This work illustrates how, despite its own anti-colonial beginnings, this country is the world's largest overseas territorial power. Roman looks at U.S. control and treatment of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Micronesia, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas, the Marshall Islands, and Palau, as well as the situations in the Philippines, Cuba, and Hawaii. As the international community increasingly calls for the termination of colonialism, the book demonstrates how the United States has inconspicuously maintained its empire.

From a constitutional perspective, the second-class citizen status of millions living on these territories is compared with American legal rhetoric concerning citizenship and its precepts of equality and justice. From an international law perspective, the work examines this country's integral role in the development of the international norm of self-determination, paradoxically comparing these efforts with its own conquests. The book will be of interest to internationalist, constitutional scholars, historians, and students of political science, anthropology, international relations, and ethnic studies.

"This is an exceptional book from one of the most accomplished young scholars in the field of colonialism… The text is an enormous undertaking, and he has the synthetic powers and critical bite needed for such an encyclopedic subject… It is a masterful, compelling work." — Michael A. Olivas, William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law, University of Houston Law Center

"The Other American Colonies is the definitive legal study of the oft-forgotten islands that are de facto colonies of the United States, populated by people with second class U.S. citizenship. Professor Román clearly demonstrates the dangers of 'plenary power' of government without the ordinary constitutional system of checks and balances and basic rights for the individual. In a time when the President of the United States has declared that law cannot constrain the United States in the post-September 11 'war on terror,' this book's analysis of just what happens to people and lands without legal rights and a political voice is chilling." — Kevin R. Johnson, Mabie-Appalas Public Interest Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, UC Davis School of Law