Savage Acts: Wars, Fairs, and Empire 1898-1904

Travel back in time to the 1893 World’s Fair with its grandiose buildings and displays of “exotic” people from around the world. The fairs promoted America’s interest in overseas expansion and notions of Anglo-Saxon superiority. Savage Acts links the pageantry of fairs to the story of the Philippine War, America’s first attempt to claim an overseas colony and a turning point in U.S. foreign policy. Philippine diplomats and fighters as well as U.S. politicians and soldiers tell their experiences of the conflict and the opposition it sparked. (Length: 30 minutes)

Chapter selection

  1. The Culture of Imperialism (0:07)
  2. The Forgotten War (1:17)
  3. World’s Fairs (4:09)
  4. Conquest of the Philippines (6:12)
  5. Imperialist Debate (10:16)
  6. Update on the War (13:31)
  7. The Midway (17:10)
  8. Civil Rights and Empire (21:54)
  9. End of the War (24:28)
  10. 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair (27:28)

Download Video

Teaching Materials

Viewer’s Guide (.pdf)

See collection of related primary documents and teaching activities in HERB