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In the wake of Hawaii's annexation by the United States, congressmen engaged in a series of intense debates about the suffrage laws that would govern the new territory. This article documents how these 1900 congressional debates contributed to a growing schism between the territorial definition of the state and the sociopolitical definition of the nation. The state officially expanded beyond the North American continent while the definition of the nation remained racially restrictive. A simultaneous espousal of inclusive, universalistic principles and exclusive, racist preferences characterized efforts among European American policy makers and political observers to exercise political domination over indigenous Hawaiians while, at the same time, maintaining white control of political power.