Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Bud Dajo, Moros, Philippines

Major Advisor

Frank Costigliola

Associate Advisor

J. Garry Clifford

Associate Advisor

Micki McElya

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


“The Right Sort of White Men”: General Leonard Wood and the U. S. Army in the Southern Philippines, 1898-1906

Omar Hassan Dphrepaulezz

University of Connecticut, 2013

This dissertation examines an encounter with the Muslim world within the context of U.S. overseas expansion from 1898 to 1906 and the transformation of white masculinity in the United States from the 1870s to the 1920s. In 1906, in the southernmost portion of the Philippines, the U.S. military encountered grassroots militant resistance. Over one thousand indigenous Muslim Moros on the island of Jolo, in the Sulu archipelago, occupied a dormant volcanic crater and decided to oppose American occupation. This meant defying their political leaders, who accommodated the Americans. These men and women, fighting in the defense of Islamic cultural and political autonomy, produced the spiritual, intellectual, and ideological justification for anti-imperial resistance. In this dissertation, I examine how underlying cultural assumptions and categories simplified definitions of race and gender so that American military officials could justify the implementation of U.S. policy as they saw fit in the Southern Philippines. I argue that U.S. military officials had wide latitude in designing the military campaigns and conduct they believed were justified in order to implement and enact imperialistic policy. Occupying military forces set the template through their campaigns and strategies, whether effective or not, that became the historical experience that shaped U.S. foreign policy. For these reasons, I focus on how social constructions of race, gender, a U.S. ideology of imperialism and expansion, and lived experience with Native Americans, all shaped how U.S. military officials formed ideas about who the “Moros” were, how to deal with them, and how to construct them as a savage “other” as extra-continental expansion continued throughout the twentieth century.