The Anxieties of Empire

British Debate on the Failure of John Crawfurd’s Mission to Siam, c. 1820-1830

  • Ithi Sophonpanich George Washington University

Abstract

The failure of John Crawfurd’s mission to Siam in 1821-2 to gain significant concessions over trade sparked a debate in the press and journals. The focus of this article is on the rhetorical strategies that British authors used to describe Siam and where they thought Siam was located in the hierarchy of civilizations. The Siamese were represented as too low in the scale of nations to see the benefit of trade with the British. Behind this posturing, the East India Company was fighting to retain its monopoly privileges.

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References

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Published
2021-05-14
Section
Articles