“The Exposition Has Become an Instrument of Civilization”: Race and Imperial Discourse at the Omaha and Buffalo Expositions,” contextualizes the Omaha and Buffalo Expositions’ narratives of empire within the broader imperial and anti-imperial discourses of the Gilded Age and emerging Progressive Era. It argues that while the Native American and Filipino exhibits reflected distinctive histories of American colonialism—they were also meant to serve as counterpoints to European empires. That is, these exhibits of “conquered” peoples were to illustrate what distinguished American imperialism from that of Europe. Indeed, by employing ethnological exhibits of non-Western nations under European colonialism as foils to American dominions, the fairs boosted American morale and faith in its own imperialist adventures. Specifically, African “villages” were necessary to the fairs’ arrangement of the “stages of civilization” and race classification. As many anthropological treatises and texts placed Africans at the bottom rung of the evolutionary ladder, America could boast that its imperialism was not wasted on irredeemable subjects—but rather on people who could be ushered in Civilization and Christianity.