S2, Episode 3 -“British Christianity and Opium in the Formation of the Oriental Other” with Drew Legere

In this episode Dr. Manamee Guha is joined by Drew Legere, a Junior at Fort Hays State University to discuss her research project on the tense relationship between the British and the Chinese leading up to the Opium Wars. As the British involved themselves in the opium trade, which brought British controlled Indian opium to China, both the opium merchants and Christian missionaries argued in support of the opium wars. Religious arguments were used by both groups to emphasize the importance of a British connection to China. For British opium merchants, demonizing the Chinese through their heathenism allowed the merchants to ignore the negative impact of the opium trade since the Chinese lack this vital British quality. Christian missionaries supported the opium wars to expand Christian influences on China, but later view the opium trade as a barrier to conversion which they viewed as a necessity for Chinese betterment.

You can find this episode on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyAmazon Music, or any of the major podcast platforms. Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode.

 Suggested Reading: 

Berridge, Virginia and Edwards, Griffith. Opium and the People: Opiate Use in Nineteenth-century England. London and New York, NY: Allen Lane and St. Martin’s Press, 1981

Derks, Hans. History of the Opium Problem the Assaulton the East, Ca. 1600 – 1950. Leiden: Brill, 2012

Mason, Mary Gertrude. Western Concepts of China and the Chinese,1840-1876. New York, NY,1939

Milligan, Barry. Pleasures and Pains: Opium and the Orient in Nineteenth-Century British Culture. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1995

Said, Edward. Orientalism, New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1979

Paquette, Jean “An Uncompromising Land; the London Missionary Society in China, 1807-1860,” PhD Diss., University of California, 1987.

Are you interested in a history degree? We have online and on campus B.A. programs and we also have online and on campus M.A. programs in history or public history. Learn more at https://www.fhsu.edu/history/academic-programs/

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