In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the United States expanded its borders by acquiring new territories, primarily in the Pacific and Caribbean. Using colonial settlements in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, this Digital Public Library of American (DPLA) exhibition looks at both the colonizers and the colonized, exploring "the lives and legacies of citizens and subjects--those who established and defined the American presence abroad; those who fought to keep the American flag off their soil; those who crafted domestic visions of exotic lands; and those who negotiated life in the empire." Content in the collection includes political cartoons, sheet music, photographs, stereographs, illustrations, paintings, and video, such as newsreel footage showing Hawaiians celebrating on the occasion of becoming the 50th state. The exhibition is organized across thematic sections: The Age of Imperialism; Building the Empire; American Subjects or Citizens?; Colonization; America's Empire at Home; and The End of the Empire. Materials in the exhibition were contributed to DPLA by dozens of institutions, including the National Archives and Records Administration, University of Wisconsin Digital Collections, the Smithsonian Institution, South Carolina Digital Library, J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards, and many more.
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