• geographical societies;
  • history of geography;
  • U.S.-Philippine relations

ABSTRACT. Between 1898 and 1908 the National Geographic Magazine reported copiously on the territorial acquisition and U.S. colonial administration of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War. The pages of the magazine provide an intriguing window on connections between the emergence of geography as an organized profession and the expanding sphere of U.S. control of overseas territories. The overall picture reveals a shift from bold calls for direct economic exploitation of the natural resources and labor power of the Philippine Islands to more platitudinous justifications for U.S. control, based on moral responsibility and the ostensibly objective imperatives of “scientific” development.