In the first decades of the 20th century, geography textbooks in America shifted their emphasis from racial categorizations of countries to economic ones, with the nations of the world “organized around commercial potential rather than racial difference.”1 As Susan Schulten argues, this new “commercial geography” both reflected and shaped the political and historical imperatives of the time. It gave intellectual legitimacy to American economic interventions overseas, while at the same time being fashioned through this new internationalism.2 By making natural a worldview of potential “sameness” through commerce, this new commercial geography was constitutive of America’s emerging economic empire.