Postcolonial Pragmatism

  • Jeffrey Ayala Milligan


It has been now slightly more than one century since the U.S. Army landed in the Philippines in the vanguard of a westward imperial expansion that had itself begun little more than a century before. Americans arrived in the Philippines fired, in part, by a missionary zeal for a colonial mission civilisatrice intended to, in President McKinley’s words, “educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow men for whom Christ died.”1 Their tools for this divine mission would come to include “high powered rifles, Stokes mortars, and gas bombs” and the mythology of the “little red schoolhouse:” the first to subdue Christian and Muslim Filipinos’ aspirations for independence and the second to convince them, and ourselves, that it was for their own good.2 Thus, where Spain left most of the Philippines with a legacy of Christian piety, the U.S. colonial legacy to the Philippines was a deep faith in education as a tool for social transformation and a moral cover for political oppression.


Educational Policy Liberal Democracy Cultural Criticism Historical Injustice Postcolonial Theory 
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© Jeffrey Ayala Milligan 2005

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  • Jeffrey Ayala Milligan

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