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Guam’s American Colonial Era

The taking of Guam by the Americans on June 20, 1898 during the Spanish American War heralded the beginning of significant change, once again, for the Chamorro people. The Americans brought not only a new style of governance with an emphasis on separation of church and state, but also imposed economic restrictions and issued many rules administered by an ever changing Naval administrator, most of whom only stayed for a year or two. Each naval governor had his own ideas about how things should be and ordered the Chamorros to comply. Chamorros were not U.S. citizens and had no recourse, as the Naval governor was also the court.

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