In the twentieth century the United States was the new imperial state in the Caribbean. Its educational power was felt directly in a few Caribbean territories for the first time. American educational ideas and models followed the flag into Cuba (1898-1902 and again 1906–9), Puerto Rico (after 1898), and later the Danish Virgin Islands (after 1917), Haiti (1915-34) and the Dominican Republic (1916-24). Their influence was not felt directly elsewhere in the Caribbean in the early twentieth century as there was no political vacuum in the French, Dutch or British empires. Naturally, the United States could only ‘Americanize’ in education, and this process was carried furthest where territories were acquired permanently as in the case of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Cuba escaped into a qualified independence, and so recovered from the shock of having an American military regime establish a public system of elementary education between 1898 and 1902. Haiti and the Dominican Republic, especially Haiti, the two longest-established independent nations in the Caribbean, had very unpleasant experiences with the Americans as educators and military occupants simultaneously. These nations, however, had the cultural capacity to resist immediately and throw off American influence gradually, after the soldiers left.1
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