• Between the acquisition of the Philippines in 1898 and the approval of an independence bill in 1934, members of Congress extensively discussed the future of the Philippines as an American territory using the ideas and images created by American writers, journalists, scholars, missionaries, travelers, and colonial and military officers. However, members of Congress did not passively consume a body of knowledge about the Filipinos created by the American cultural mainstream. They also sought their own answers to the questions raised by American control of the Philippines. Through their travel accounts, books, interviews, articles, public speeches and lectures, a group of congressmen actively participated in American knowledge production about the Philippines. In doing so, these congressmen also expressed beliefs about the United States’ international role, and the challenges and anxieties that possessing colonies posed for the American republican system.
    Congressional knowledge production about the Philippines circulated among the general public through publications, lectures, and speeches of some members of Congress. On the other hand, hearings and debates on the Philippines in Congress also gave congressmen an opportunity to produce knowledge, and reproduce the knowledge about the islands created by American cultural mainstream. Two opposing discourses on the Philippines were developed by congressmen: one supporting American control of the Philippines and depicting American colonialism as an enlightened enterprise; the other representing the Philippines as a racial, ideological and strategic menace, and imperial enterprises as a threat to Republicanism.