Although scholars have investigated the intricacies of anti-Americanism, few have examined the factors that affected the abilities of minorities or colonized people to protest U.S. policies. This article compares and contrasts the responses of Chinese in the Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong to the May 24th Incident of 1957, when 25,000 Chinese attacked the U.S. embassy and ransacked the U.S. Information Service Office in Taipei, Taiwan, due to the acquittal of a U.S. soldier for killing a Chinese. While U.S. military and economic aid motivated recipients to rally behind the anti-Communist banner, geopolitics, domestic conditions, and anti-Chinese racism also played pivotal roles in determining whether the Chinese could voice or act upon their anti-American sentiment. The Philippines’ heavy dependence on U.S. military and economic aid, coupled with long-lasting anti-Chinese racism, limited the potential for Philippine Chinese to critique U.S. policies. By contrast, tenuous U.S.-Thai relations and domestic anti-Americanism emboldened Thai Chinese to lambaste U.S. military injustice. Although the largest U.S. aid recipient, Britain adhered to neutrality in its Cold War politics and permitted a vibrant cultural industry in Hong Kong, resulting in strong criticism of U.S. policies among the city’s Chinese.
Is “Hermit Kingdom” an expression we should retire from the discourse around North Korea? The term is a holdover from a much older Korean dynasty—the Joseon kingdom of the 19th Century, when foreign relations were limited and elites looked upon outsiders as barbarians in much the way their suzerains in Jungguk (Imperial China) did. In more recent times, as the regime headquartered in P’yŏngyang heavily restricts foreign travel into the country and allows almost none out, regularly crack downs on foreign culture and ideas (including—make that especially—South Korean), trades almost exclusively with the People’s Republic of China, and
Historian Gary R. Hess has argued that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was determined to achieve a number of objectives after the Allies defeated the Axis in World War ii. He wanted to maintain cooperative relations with the Soviet Union, elevate China as a great power capable of fostering stability in Asia, and free all nations from colonial rule. Perhaps his most important goal, however, was to have the United States assume a leading role in creating and becoming a member of a new international security organization, thereby redeeming its mistake of refusing to join the League of Nations.
Abe Fortas (1910–1982) has been best known for service during his legal career as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States for four years from 1965 to 1969. His supporters have characterized his life as a lawyer who supported and defended the American Civil Rights Movement during the tumultuous periods of the 1950s and 1960s in the United States. However, observers of his career have paid little attention to the fact that Fortas was one of the few American bureaucrats who took the stand in defense of those of Japanese ancestry in the official hearings in the 1980sinvestigating the internment of Japanese Americans during World War ii. Fortas, as undersecretary in the Department of the Interior from 1942 to 1946, had a close relationship to key U.S. policies dealing with people of Japanese ancestry during the Asia-Pacific War, including the establishment of martial law in Hawai‘i and the ending of the Japanese internment. Fortas’s responses to and critiques of U.S. policy regarding the Japanese American question reveal the intertwined dynamics of how white racism developed and challenges against it at the governmental level.
is an associate professor of History at Rhodes College, Memphis Tennessee, USA. He is the author of Japan’s Pan-Asian Empire: Wartime Intellectuals and the Korea Question, 1931–1945 (Routledge, 2020). His areas of research include comparative colonialism, East Asian intellectual history, and Asian American history. His scholarly articles have appeared in Social Science Japan Journal, Sino-Japanese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.
is full professor of American Studies at the University of Reims in France and a member of the editorial board of Cold War History. Her research
Reo Matsuzaki’s Statebuilding by Imposition moves beyond familiar theoretical formulations examining intra-imperial state formations to the more challenging task of comparing inter-imperial administrative divergence. Taking Taiwan under Japanese rule and the U.S. colonial Philippines as his case studies, Matsuzaki contends that externally imposed state structures facing widespread indigenous resistance can only function efficiently if they rely on authoritarian practices. Both the Japanese and Americans succeeded in expanding the scope of their respective colonial states while diverging in terms of those states’ administrative strengths. Japan created a strong high-capacity state that dominated Taiwanese society, while U.S. state-building efforts resulted
Sarah Kovner has written a well-organized and well-researched narrative history analyzing the complex experience of men and women the Japanese held captive during the Pacific war. She employs a comparative analysis, examines camps in multiple locations, including Japan, and challenges standard interpretations. Among several key arguments, one that stands out argues that “there was nothing inherent to Japanese character or culture that led to inhumane treatment of pows . . . [and] the Japanese government and military never made it policy to abuse pows [prisoners of war]” (p. 3). This alone sets Kovner’s work apart from
This article examines the little-known system of foreign aid that the Eisenhower administration called “triangular trade.” Created to increase development aid without specific Congressional authorization, U.S. officials managed it chaotically and often secretly. This article analyzes U.S. application of this policy in relations with France, focusing on an examination of “triangular francs” whose most important manifestation occurred in South Vietnam. It tries to understand the complicated and often contentious relationships between the three nations with respect to “triangular francs,” illustrating its often neo-colonial aspects. After first presenting the system, the article proceeds to examine each of the three participants’ role in it and reservations about it. In particular, it seeks to show how Saigon’s leaders sought to influence the system to make it more advantageous to them and the impact this had on both Paris and Washington.
Two historical trends drew Americans and Filipinos together—imperatives of empire in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and Cold War strategic needs in the later 20th Century. Christopher Capozzola, professor of history at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, makes sense of this close relationship in his new book, Bound by War: How the United States and Philippines Built America’s First Pacific Century. Starting with the Spanish-American War and ending with the return of the Balangiga bells in 2018, Capozzola weaves together diplomatic, military, and immigration history to show how the U.S.-Philippines relationship changed both countries’ histories. The best parts