Its [the Centennial Exhibition’s] object is to bring before the world the resources of the people of our nation in friendly competition with those of other nations. In its results it will test the relative advantage of a government by the people over imperial governments, for the successful development of the great works of peace. The vast preparations being made for our Exhibition by foreign nations realizes to us the necessity of leaving nothing undone which in these respects will determine, on our own soil, our real position of leadership in the world. — International Exhibition (1875)

We need at this juncture to reintroduce the question of diversity in the making of the North American informal empire. In part, this can be accomplished by considering other cultural mediators whose texts and visions have left an important and enduring imprint in the metanarratives of U.S. expansionism. —Ricardo D. Salvatore, “The Enterprise of Knowledge: Representational Machines of Informal Empire,” in Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.-Latin American Relations, ed. Gilbert M. Joseph, Catherine C. Legrand and Ricardo D. Salvatore (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998), 70.