Does the Constitution Follow the Flag?

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American soldiers fighting in the Philippines (1899)

Today, we'll be finishing up with the Gilded Age material, and also be having our latest presentation, this one from the Senate debate over the Treaty of Paris.  The central question: was imperialism constitutional?  What do you think?



Przybyszewski, The Republic According to John Marshall Harlan, pp. 118-146.


Downes v. Bidwell (1901)


Senator George Hoar on imperialism


1.) To what extent did Downes (and the other Insular Cases) raise constitutional issues akin to those we have been looking at previously in the term? Do you agree with the Court's majority that these cases involved principles never before decided upon judicially?
2.) What were the constitutional implications behind Hoar's dissent? Was he, in the long term, correct in his assumption that an imperialist foreign policy required the President usurping Congress's role in foreign policy?
3.) Was the term "imperial republic" a contradiction in concepts?