American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

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)

Savage Acts wonderfully links popular culture to elite foreign policy-making, provides delightful cartoons to help make its points, and shows rare footage. This is not the usual educational video.”
—Walter LaFeber, Andrew H. and James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor, Cornell University

Viewer’s Guide (.pdf)


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