American Samoa History - the history of American Samoa
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   American Samoa   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   American Samoa History

   
 

American Samoa History


American Samoa consists of several islands in the eastern portion of the Samoan archipeligo. The Samoan islands were first settled by immigrants from the Lau Islands in Fiji, approximately 3,500 years ago.

Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century, and by the mid 19th century, Great Britain, Germany, and the United States of America, had all established trading posts and were all claiming parts of the islands. The 1899 Treaty of Berlin divided the Samoan islands between Germany, and the United States of America, and U.S. Navy subsequently established a coaling station at Pago Pago Bay.

During World War I, the German part of the islands, was captured by New Zealand and became a New Zealand protectorate. After World War I, a peaceful independence movement, the Mau movement, emerged in both the New Zealand (Western Samoa) and American parts of the islands, but was unsuccessful.

In World War II, American Samoa was an important military base, and U.S. Marines outnumbered the local population, and left a huge cultural influence.

Subsequent to World II, the U.S. Department of Interior sponsored an attempt to incorporate American Samoa into the United States. This attempt was however defeated in Congress, prinicipally due to the efforts of American Samoan chiefs. The chiefs' efforts eventually led to the creation of local legislature which meets in the village of Fagatogo. Additionally, the Governor of the American Samoa is no longer appointed by the U.S. Navy, but is instead locally elected.

As of today, American Samoa, remains an unorganized unincorporated territory of the United States. Although technically unorganized, American Samoa is self-governing under its constitution which became effective on July 1st 1967.


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How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States

By Daniel Immerwahr

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released: 2019-02-19
Hardcover (528 pages)

How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States
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A pathbreaking history of the United States’ overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empire

We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories―the islands, atolls, and archipelagos―this country has governed and inhabited?

In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century’s most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress.

In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.

PICTURES OF CHANGE IN PARADISE in American Samoa (circa 1910)

By Karen Wheat

Karen Meads
Paperback (104 pages)

PICTURES OF CHANGE IN PARADISE in American Samoa (circa 1910)
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This 2nd Revised Edition paperback is published on better quality paper with a shiny semi-gloss ink throughout including the 62 illustrations which enable for a clearer and somewhat glossy effect for the photographs and design work. Actually, now the illustrations just 'pop' off the page!This 2nd Revised Edition has won a Bronze Award in History from the Nonfiction Author's Association and the first revised edition is 'on call' at the Library of Congress in the Jefferson and Adams Reading Rooms in Washington, D.C. Plus, a positive review has been given by Kirkus Reviews which states: "A simple, uniquely intimate gateway resource into the early history of American Samoa as well as the influences of colonialism."This Title showcases 55 rare historical black and white professional photographs/illustrations circa 1910 of Samoan culture, people, places and buildings plus 7 other illustrations also included pertaining to the subject matter. The illustrations/photographs include buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Register. The collection of photographs were passed down to the author by four generations of her grandmothers saved in a lightly leather bound family photo album with short descriptions underneath. A freelance graphic designer made double negatives and enhanced each photograph in order to make digital illustrations of them. The original 'Ata Mai Samoa' 4 x 6 album rests at the Records of the Government of American Samoa/National Archives. The majority of the photos were taken in American Samoa, a territory of the United States by unknown professional photographer(s) circa 1910. The photographs also depict the forming of the new Naval Guardsman on Island known as the Fitafita made up of Chiefs (Matai) which can refer to an Ali'i or Tulafale. Taupou's and Siva Dancers are also presented within the backdrop in some instances of Pago Pago Harbor where the U.S. Naval Station, Tutuila, once resided.

The Pacific Insular Case of American Sāmoa: Land Rights and Law in Unincorporated US Territories

By Line-Noue Memea Kruse

Palgrave Macmillan
Hardcover (211 pages)

The Pacific Insular Case of American Sāmoa: Land Rights and Law in Unincorporated US Territories
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This book is a researched study of land issues in American Sāmoa that analyzes the impact of U.S. colonialism and empire building in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Carefully tracing changes in land laws up to the present, this volume also draws on a careful examination of legal traditions, administrative decisions, court cases and rising tensions between indigenous customary land tenure practices in American Sāmoa and Western notions of individual private ownership. It also highlights how unusual the status of American Sāmoa is in its relationship with the U.S., namely as the only “unincorporated” and “unorganized” overseas territory, and aims to expand the U.S. empire-building scholarship to include and recognize American Sāmoa into the vernacular of Americanization projects.

The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of an Anthropological Controversy (Studies in American Thought and Culture)

By Paul Shankman

University of Wisconsin Press
Paperback (299 pages)

The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of an Anthropological Controversy (Studies in American Thought and Culture)
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In 1928 Margaret Mead published Coming of Age in Samoa, a fascinating study of the lives of adolescent girls that transformed Mead herself into an academic celebrity. In 1983 anthropologist Derek Freeman published a scathing critique of Mead’s Samoan research, badly damaging her reputation. Resonating beyond academic circles, his case against Mead tapped into important public concerns of the 1980s, including sexual permissiveness, cultural relativism, and the nature/nurture debate. In venues from the New York Times to the TV show Donahue, Freeman argued that Mead had been “hoaxed” by Samoans whose innocent lies she took at face value.
    In The Trashing of Margaret Mead, Paul Shankman explores the many dimensions of the Mead-Freeman controversy as it developed publicly and as it played out privately, including the personal relationships, professional rivalries, and larger-than-life personalities that drove it. Providing a critical perspective on Freeman’s arguments, Shankman reviews key questions about Samoan sexuality, the alleged hoaxing of Mead, and the meaning of the controversy. Why were Freeman’s arguments so readily accepted by pundits outside the field of anthropology? What did Samoans themselves think? Can Mead’s reputation be salvaged from the quicksand of controversy? Written in an engaging, clear style and based on a careful review of the evidence, The Trashing of Margaret Mead illuminates questions of enduring significance to the academy and beyond.
 
 
2010 Distinguished Lecturer in Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History
 
The Trashing of Margaret Mead reminds readers of the pitfalls of academia. It urges scholars to avoid personal attacks and to engage in healthy debate. The book redeems Mead while also redeeming the field of anthropology. By showing the uniqueness of the Mead-Freeman case, Shankman places his continued confidence in academia, scholars, and the field of anthropology.”—H-Net Reviews

The Insular Cases and the Emergence of American Empire (Landmark Law Cases & American Society)

By Bartholomew H. Sparrow

University Press of Kansas
Paperback (312 pages)

The Insular Cases and the Emergence of American Empire (Landmark Law Cases & American Society)
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When the United States took control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam following the Spanish-American War, it was unclear to what degree these islands were actually part of the U.S. and, in particular, whether the Constitution applied fully, or even in part, to their citizens. By looking closely at what became known as the Insular Cases, Bartholomew Sparrow reveals how America resolved to govern these territories.

Sparrow follows the Insular Cases from the controversial Downes v. Bidwell in 1901, which concerned tariffs on oranges shipped to New York from Puerto Rico and which introduced the distinction between incorporated and unincorporated territories, to Balzac v. Puerto Rico in 1922, in which the Court decided that Puerto Ricans, although officially U.S. citizens, could be denied trial by jury because Puerto Rico was "unincorporated." There were 35 Insular Cases in all, cases stretching across two decades, cases in which the Court ruled on matters as diverse as tariffs, double jeopardy, and the very meaning of U.S. citizenship as it applied to the inhabitants of the offshore territories. Through such decisions, as Sparrow shows, the Court treated the constitutional status of territorial inhabitants with great variability and decided that the persons of some territories were less equal than those of other territories.

Sparrow traces the fitful evolution of the Court's Incorporation Doctrine in the determination of which constitutional provisions applied to the new territories and its citizens. Providing a new look at the history and politics of U.S. expansion at the turn of the twentieth century, Sparrow's book also examines the effect the Court's decisions had on the creation of an American empire. It highlights crucial features surrounding the cases—the influence of racism on the justices, the need for naval stations to protect new international trade, and dramatic changes in tariff policy. It also tells how the Court sanctioned the emergence of two kinds of American empire: formal territories whose inhabitants could be U.S. citizens but still be denied full political rights, and an informal empire based on trade, cooperative foreign governments, and U.S. military bases rather than on territorial acquisitions.

The Insular Cases and the Emergence of American Empire reveals how the United States handled its first major episode of globalization and how the Supreme Court in these cases, crucially redirected the course of American history.

American Samoa: 100 Years Under the United States Flag

By J. Robert Shaffer

Island Heritage
Hardcover (213 pages)

American Samoa: 100 Years Under the United States Flag
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A richly illustrated history of the Samoan Islands, particularly its relationship with the U.S., published to commemorate its 100th year under the American flag.

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America

Ecco
Released: 2009-09-29
Paperback (608 pages)

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America
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“A funny, moving, rousing collection, greater than the sum of its excellent parts.” —New York Times Book Review

Edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey, State by State is a panoramic portrait of America and an appreciation of all fifty states (and Washington, D.C.) by fifty-one of the most acclaimed writers in the nation.  Contributors include renowned and bestselling authors such as Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Ann Patchett, Anthony Bourdain, William T. Vollmann, S.E. Hinton, Dave Eggers, Myla Goldberg, Rick Moody, and Alexander Payne.  Inspired by the Depression-era WPA guides and awarded an “A” grade by Entertainment Weekly, these delightful essays on the American character deliver “the full plumage of American life, in all its riotous glory” (The New Yorker).

Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century

By Charles King

Doubleday
Released: 2019-08-06
Hardcover (448 pages)

Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century
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“Elegant and kaleidoscopic . . . This looks to be the perfect moment for King’s resolutely humane book.”
—Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times

“Captivating.”
NPR.org

From an award-winning historian comes a dazzling history of the birth of cultural anthropology and the adventurous scientists who pioneered it—a sweeping chronicle of discovery and the fascinating origin story of our multicultural world.


A century ago, everyone knew that people were fated by their race, sex, and nationality to be more or less intelligent, nurturing, or warlike. But Columbia University professor Franz Boas looked at the data and decided everyone was wrong. Racial categories, he insisted, were biological fictions. Cultures did not come in neat packages labeled "primitive" or "advanced." What counted as a family, a good meal, or even common sense was a product of history and circumstance, not of nature. In Gods of the Upper Air, a masterful narrative history of radical ideas and passionate lives, Charles King shows how these intuitions led to a fundamental reimagining of human diversity.
     Boas's students were some of the century's most colorful figures and unsung visionaries: Margaret Mead, the outspoken field researcher whose Coming of Age in Samoa is among the most widely read works of social science of all time; Ruth Benedict, the great love of Mead's life, whose research shaped post-Second World War Japan; Ella Deloria, the Dakota Sioux activist who preserved the traditions of Native Americans on the Great Plains; and Zora Neale Hurston, whose studies under Boas fed directly into her now classic novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Together, they mapped civilizations from the American South to the South Pacific and from Caribbean islands to Manhattan's city streets, and unearthed an essential fact buried by centuries of prejudice: that humanity is an undivided whole. Their revolutionary findings would go on to inspire the fluid conceptions of identity we know today. 
     Rich in drama, conflict, friendship, and love, Gods of the Upper Air is a brilliant and groundbreaking history of American progress and the opening of the modern mind.

The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power

By Max Boot

Basic Books
Released: 2014-03-11
Paperback (496 pages)

The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power
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"Anyone who wants to understand why America has permanently entered a new era in international relations must read [this book].... Vividly written and thoroughly researched." --Los Angeles Times

America's "small wars," "imperial war," or, as the Pentagon now terms them, "low-intensity conflicts," have played an essential but little-appreciated role in its growth as a world power. Beginning with Jefferson's expedition against the Barbary pirates, Max Boot tells the exciting stories of our sometimes minor but often bloody landings in Samoa, the Philippines, China, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Russia, and elsewhere. Along the way he sketches colorful portraits of little-known military heroes such as Stephen Decatur, "Fighting Fred" Funston, and Smedly Butler.

This revised and updated edition of Boot's compellingly readable history of the forgotten wars that helped promote America's rise in the lst two centuries includes a wealth of new material, including a chapter on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a new afterword on the lessons of the post-9/11 world.

59 Illustrated National Parks - Hardcover: 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service

By Researcher-Lecturer Joel Anderson

Anderson Design Group, Inc.
Hardcover (160 pages)

59 Illustrated National Parks - Hardcover: 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service
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  • Features the award-winning poster art of Anderson Design Group from Nashville, TN.
  • Take it with you on your next National Parks adventure or inspire some wanderlust from your coffee table.
  • Brand new book: illustrated, produced, and printed in Tennessee!
Product Description:
A celebration of the 100 years of wilderness and wonder at the 59 National Parks.


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