Abstract

This article explores the interactions of American missionaries and opium traders in and around Izmir (then called Smyrna), focused on Protestant Christian evangelism of its Christian Orthodox residents, in the first part of the nineteenth century. It argues that American missionaries placed confidence in the humanitarianism of American international commerce, even commerce involving opium. Opium was the main commodity that first drew American traders to Izmir, where they bought opium and shipped it for sale in China, and on which, despite its growing controversy there and in America, they made great profits. The missionaries’ faith in ‘free trade’ helped to rationalize their efforts and focus on those Eastern Mediterranean peoples, especially Armenians, who were likewise engaged in commercial activity, in order to reform the peoples of the Ottoman Empire.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2523-9465
Print ISSN
1016-3476
Pages
pp. 371-388
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-11
Open Access
No
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