Almost Citizens: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Constitution, and Empire (Studies in Legal History)

Almost Citizens: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Constitution, and Empire (Studies in Legal History) by Sam Erman 110840149X 9781108401494
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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 shift in constitution law: away from the post-Civil War regime of citizenship, rights, and statehood, and toward doctrines that accommodated racist imperial governance. Ermans 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.

Author: Sam Erman

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 291

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication Date: 2019-10-24


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