After the United States secured its independence from Great Britain, many Americans looked at the world and wondered about their place within it.
What role would early Americans play in shaping the world around them?
Today, we explore early American conceptions of the world with Emily Conroy-Krutz, an Assistant Professor of History at Michigan State University and author of Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, we explore early American conceptions of the world with Emily Conroy-Krutz, an Assistant Professor of History at Michigan State University and author of Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic.
During our exploration, Emily reveals information about “Christian Imperialism”; Details about American missionaries, such as who served as a missionary, where they served, and what goals they had for the different peoples they ministered to; And, how early American missionaries went about their work of converting the world between 1810 and 1847.
What You’ll Discover
- The definition of “Christian Imperialism”
- How Christian Imperialism helps us understand how some early Americans perceived the world and the United States’ place within it
- Whether non-religiously motivated Americans also thought about imperialism and the United States’ place in the world
- Who served as early American missionaries
- The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM)
- Why early American Christians wished to serve as foreign missionaries
- The story of Adoniram and Ann Judson
- Why the first American foreign missionaries served in India
- Conversion techniques used by early American missionaries
- The conversion experience of Babajee and Audee, residents of India
- What converts gave up when they converted to American Protestantism
- The inflexibility of Americans with regards to cultural conversion
- Whether early American missionaries employed a standard set of conversion techniques across all missions
- The work of early American missionary schools
- Details about missionary schools for the Cherokee people
- The link between civilization and Christianity
- Details about missionary schools in Hawaii
- Links between missionaries’ interest in civilization and the U.S. government’s interest in civilization
- What role American culture played in conversion
- The role of women’s education played in conversion
- How early Americans’ conceptions of the world and their place within it change between 1810 and 1847
- Details about the colonization movement
- What early American missionaries meant by the term “colony”
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Emily Conroy-Krutz
- Emily's Website
- Emily’s Michigan State University webpage
- Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic
- Twitter: @econroykrutz
In your opinion what might have happened if Great Britain hadn’t had missionaries? How would the work of early American missionaries abroad have been different? How would the lack of British example have changed the way early Americans looked at the world and their place within it?
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